I fly several times a year. Most of my flights are to New England to spend time with my parents and other members of my family. One thing that is nice about living in the Orlando area is that we have a variety of airlines to choose from, and the options keep growing. In the past I’ve shared my thoughts on both Southwest and JetBlue. Recently I ventured out into new territory; Spirit Airlines.
Booking my flight with Spirit was a bit of a frustrating experience, and I will admit that I had low expectations for the actual flight. I had heard a lot about the discount airline. I knew that I’d pay for the extras such as being able to pick my seat and a checked or carry on bag. I had heard stories about late or canceled flights, and I was a little bit nervous that something would go wrong.
I shouldn’t have been worried. Flying with Spirit was easy, and there were no problems. Both flights took off close to on time, and both landed early. The one issue that I had was that on our flight home the plane got really hot inside after we landed. I don’t know if they turned off the AC or what, but that was the one drawback.
What I didn’t expect with Spirit was the sense of humor that both flight crews had. There were jokes about what airport we were headed to, jokes about the fact that passengers have to pay for the extras, and other comments that made the experience more enjoyable. When both flights were close to landing the flight attendants led the passengers in flight yoga. Both flights had a giveaway of 500 miles for one lucky passenger (which wasn’t me). Spirit may not have WiFi or movies, but the flight crew does their best to keep the passengers smiling.
I’d like to mention the woman at the desk in Orlando who handled our one checked bag. She was one of the friendliest customer service representatives that I’ve ever met. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch her name, but I did compliment her in a message to Spirit. She was my first human contact with the airlines, and she did a great job of representing the company.
If you’re booking a flight with Spirit or any other discount airline, remember that you need to keep an eye on your bottom line. You might see fares that are incredibly low, but if you want the extras you’ll pay for them, and the cost will shoot up fast. With Spirit you’ll pay to pick your seats (which you’ll want to do if you’re traveling with a group that needs to stay together). You can bring a bag that will fit under the seat, but a carry on that goes in the bin overhead will cost more. A checked bag costs a little less than a carry on, and it needs to be 40 pounds or under. There is a fee for one of the check in options. Food and drinks on the flight cost extra. All of these add up, and in the long run they could cost you more.
For our flight we picked seats because there were three of us. We paid for one checked bag. Everything else that we needed we were able to put into our backpacks or duffle bags and put them under the seat. Those were the only extras that we bought, and we ended up with a really good deal on our flights.
I would definitely recommend Spirit Airlines. The staff was friendly, the seats were comfortable enough, and the flights were smooth. Of course for me it’s all about the bottom line, and Spirit made a lot of sense for our trip. If it makes sense for our next one, I’ll happily fly Spirit again.