I did a poll a while back to ask for feedback on Spirit Airlines before booking and many people did not recommend them. However, I thought I'd take a chance on a $67 flight from Houston to Orlando. If you are anything like me, you love saving your coins when you can! From the people who were kind enough to share their experiences, here's what I was able to gather:
Don't pick the latest flight.
Don't have a layover or connecting flight.
Your flight should not be anymore than three hours, due to comfort unless you pay an additional fee for a bigger seat
There are no free snacks or water.
Carry-on bags should be paid for at the time of booking online.
Be on time, because they are strict about their boarding times.
You can save on ticket prices by buying your ticket at the airport. (I didn't try this one but I'm very interested to know if anyone else has tried it with Spirit or any other airlines.)
The boarding time is early. Listening to the advice I had been given, I chose the first flight non-stop.. It was departing at 8AM but boarding started at 7:15. We got to the airport with about 30 minutes to spare. They made an announcement about checking car seats, strollers, and wheelchairs at the gate. I was carrying my daughter's booster seat so I was able to get a tag for it at no cost. We boarded the plane on time but had to wait about 25-30 mins, due to a brief delay regarding the weight of the plane. No one questioned me about my carry-on. The flight attendants were nice. The seats were not the most comfortable and there was not a lot of leg room. You do have the option to pay for a "Big Seat" or pay to choose your seat. However, it was okay for me since I am short. We made it in to Orlando safely but had to wait on the booster seat. Sigh. For the departure flight, we left on time and arrived early. This time I was told that I did not have to check my daughter's booster seat at the gate and was able to take it on the plane. Win! Overall, I do not have any complaints and will probably try Spirit again for weekend trips that are less than three hours! I'm glad I took the chance and tried them for myself.
My Packing/Preparation Tips
Plan out your outfits. Our trip was Saturday through Monday so we only needed to pack for two days, with an extra outfit.
To save on the cost of a carry-on or checked bag, bring a personal item only. Since I paid for two tickets, I was able to bring two personal items. I used the Adidas Diablo Small Duffel Bag with Packing Cubes and my Coach Reversible Tote (I have the one below in tan).
Whichever bag you use, make sure you check the dimensions and it matches up with the requirements that Spirit has. I wouldn't want them to catch you slipping and make you pay for those bags at the airport. In my packing cube, I was able to pack two pairs of leggings, two t-shirts, underwear, pajamas, a pair of pants and a blouse. In my daughter's packing cube, I was able to pack two pairs of leggings, two t-shirts, an extra shirt, underwear, & pajamas. These went in the duffel bag along with a pair of heels, a pair of booties for my daughter, a ziplock bag with liquids, and two cosmetic bags (one for makeup and one for non-liquid toiletries). In the tote, I had my laptop in its sleeve, a coloring book, crayons, a wallet, a book, snacks, and chargers for my phone and laptop. Both of these fit perfectly under the seat.
If you are bringing a carry-on or checking a bag, pay for it in advance. It is much more expensive to pay for the bag at check-in or at the gate. Also, check the total price (flight + bag) and compare it with other airlines if you are going this route to make sure you are getting the best deal.
Pack snacks and an empty water bottle, if you are traveling with kids. Spirit does not give free snacks, water, or anything! You can use the bottle to get water at the airport. If you don't bring snacks, the kids will see other people with them and ask why they are not able to get any. My daughter did this even though we packed snacks.
Check in 24 hours before your flight and print out your boarding passes and send a copy to your phone. If Spirit has to print them, they will charge.
What are your thoughts on Sprit Airlines?? Have you used them, had a bad experience, or gotten charged with extra fees? Leave me a comment and let me know! I'm interested to hear about your experience!