One of the most exciting parts of planning a trip is figuring out how you'll get there. If your next trip involves air travel, you've probably noticed how many airlines there are to choose from. So, how do you choose?
I often fly across the US and Latin America. And if you're like me and fly anywhere within the US, the Caribbean, Latin, or South America, you may have come across Spirit Airlines.
When I did my research for my upcoming trip, I also found Spirit Airlines. But I hadn't heard much about them before.
So, just like you, I wondered whether I should use them on my next trip. That's why I spent hours on researching all the details on this budget air carrier.
And voila! My in-depth Spirit Airline was born so that you can know everything I've found out.
In this blog, I'll give you the inside scoop on their destinations, prices, and more to help you make your decision!
What Is Spirit Airlines?
Founded in 1983, Spirit Airlines is an ultra-low-cost airline that flies within the US, Caribbean, and Latin America. The company is headquartered in Florida. As of July 2022, it's been under negotiation to be acquired by JetBlue Airlines.
Where Does Spirit Airlines Fly?
As mentioned, Spirit Airlines flies within the US, Caribbean, and Latin America. They do also have a select few locations in South America.
With over 50+ destinations in the US alone, you'll likely be able to use Spirit Airlines to help you get around much of America. Some of the major cities you can expect to catch a Spirit flight out of include:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Diego
But you can also fly to the following destinations with Spirit Airlines:
- US Virgin Islands (Saint Croix or St Thomas)
- Colombia (Armenia, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellin)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic (Punta Cana, Santiago de los Caballeros, and Santo Domingo)
- El Salvador
- Haiti (Cap Haitien or Port au Prince)
- Honduras (San Pedro Sula or Tegucigalpa)
- Jamaica (Kingston or Montego Bay - not sure which airport would be best? Airports in Jamaica is here to help!)
- Mexico (Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Monterrey, or Puerto Vallarta)
- Puerto Rico (Aguadilla, Ponce, or San Juan)
- Sint Maarten Island
You can use their destination page to see what non-stop journeys they offer from your closest airport!
Important note: Be aware that flights to Cabo San Lucas are seasonal and only operate in the spring and summer.
You may want to read more about Spirit Airlines' Latin American destinations. You'll find in-depth blog posts for several of them on our Latin America page!
Purchasing Tickets: Fare Options
Yes you can definitely go with the standard seats and no perks when it comes to buying cheap flights with Spirit Airlines. That being said, the air carrier does offer an array of options to fit different budgets and travel needs.
Known as an ultra-low-cost carrier, Spirit primarily offers a 'Bare Fare' option, which includes just your seat and one personal item—this is for the truly cost-conscious traveler who's all about getting from A to B. No frills needed!
But, if you're looking for a few more comforts or conveniences, Spirit offers the opportunity to add on extras. Need a carry-on or checked bag? No problem, you can add those on.
Fancy a bit more legroom? Spirit's Big Front Seats upgrade gives you just that: More space with a comfy, wider seat at the front of the plane. Although it may not be necessary on a short flight, it'll be appreciated on longer ones!
Another fare option worth considering is Spirit's 'Thrills Combo'. This package includes a carry-on bag, a checked bag, seat selection (including exit rows and the Big Front Seat), priority boarding, flight flexibility, and more. It’s designed to bundle all the extras together for a better value.
Frequent Flyer? Spirit's Fare Club Option
Want another way to save money if you travel with Spirit Air a lot? Introducing the Spirit Saver$ Club®.
For an annual fee starting at $69.95, you can become a member and get access to some of Spirit's lowest fares. The fare club also offers discounts on additional services such as baggage, seating selection, shortcut security, and boarding, along with flight flex, which can make your travel experience smoother.
The club membership is available in 3 different durations:
- 12-month membership for $69.95
- 18 months for $99.90
- 24 months for $129.90
Spirit advertises that the longer duration options provide a small saving on the membership cost.
But, one thing to keep in mind is the automatic renewal policy. Dangerous, I know!
Spirit automatically renews your membership for another 12 months (costing $69.95) unless you opt to cancel. Good thing a reminder is sent a month prior to the renewal date.
So, if you're considering this program, be sure to evaluate how often you'll be using Spirit's services to ensure that the benefits outweigh the membership cost.
Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees
As a budget airline, you'll find that Spirit doesn't have a large baggage allowance. Each passenger is allowed one small personal item, and it can't be bigger than 18" x14" x8". Any other luggage will come at an additional cost.
Spirit Airlines doesn't post their baggage fees online. But you can use their online tool to calculate what your extra baggage fees may be. Simply put in your flight details, and it will tell you how much your extra carry-ons and checked bags will cost you.
For example, on a flight from Portland to Denver, carry-on bags would cost $53, while a first checked bag would cost $47.
You can add baggage at any point up to the gate, but be advised that the price increases as you get closer to departure. To maximize savings, book your baggage while booking the flight!
Unlike bigger air carriers, Spirit Airlines doesn't automatically allow you to choose your seat. Although these days even major airlines are charging us travelers for pre-picking seats and extra legroom...
With Spirit Airlines, if you'd like a specific seat, this will cost anywhere between $1 - $50.
The pricing will vary according to your itinerary and the seat you're requesting. Big front seats with additional leg room could cost anywhere between $12 - $250. If you're happy to have your seat randomly assigned at check-in, that's free.
Amenities & Entertainment
If you fly budget airlines frequently, Spirit Airline will not surprise you...
Onboard its aircrafts, the focus is on providing an affordable, no-frills service. This means amenities and entertainment are fairly basic compared to other airlines.
There are no personal entertainment screens or Wi-Fi available onboard. That means you'll definitely want to bring your own device loaded up with your favorite movies, TV shows, or books. Keep yourself entertained during the flight and don't forget your headphones!
Food and drinks, including even soft drinks, are not complimentary but you can purchase them during your flight. The menu onboard is quite limited and includes a variety of snacks and beverages.
How to Check-In With Spirit Airlines
To check in with Spirit Airlines, you can either use their app or do it online.
Online check-in begins 24 hours before the flight and closes 1 hour before the flight. When you check in, you'll be assigned a seat and have the option to pay for any additional bags or other extras.
I recommend you do online check-in so that you can save money. Requesting a gate agent to print your boarding pass will cost you $10 per boarding pass printed.
Changing a Spirit Airlines Reservation
If, for whatever reason, you need to change your flight, you can visit the 'My Trips' page and change or cancel your flight there. Making any changes over 60 days out from your flight is free, but after that, fees are incurred. Between 7-59 days from departure, it will cost $49, and anything between 0-6 days from departure will cost $99.
You can also cancel your flight within 24 hours of reservation and receive a full refund. This is only applicable if the flight is over seven days away.
How to Contact Its Customer Service Line
If you need to get a hold of Spirit Airlines for any reason, there are a couple of ways to do this. You can call Toll Free at 1-855-728-3555 or use that same number on Whatsapp starting with "hello."
If you'd like to submit a complaint or compliment, you can do this via their online form.
For any frequently asked questions, check out their customer support page.
What Are Others Saying? Spirit Airlines Reviews
Spirit Airlines is a budget airline, and as the many budget airline reviews we've seen goes, it's always a mixture of really good reviews and really bad ones.
Recent customers have been dissatisfied with their service, despite the money they saved. Many customers have complained about the additional fees for bags. They also expressed frustration with the strict size limitations on the one courtesy carry-on. Others have noted uncomfortable seats and poor customer service.
Some travelers pointed out that with all the extra fees, the low-cost ticket doesn't necessarily save much money.
Is Spirit Airlines Worth It?
Spirit Airlines is only worth it if you're really tight on your budget. You need to be flying to one of their destinations and wanting to travel very lightly to make its budget fares worth it.
If you're planning on bringing extra luggage, it would be worth exploring other airlines to get you to where you want to go.
We've covered several budget and non-budget airlines on our blog. Be sure to give our Airlines page a visit as you scope out different companies!
My Rating: 2.8/5
- Several destinations in the US, Caribbean, Latin, and South America
- Low-cost fares
- Uncomfortable in-flight experience
- Poor customer service
- Expensive additional baggage fees
- Only allowed one small personal item per passenger without charge
- Additional fees for every aspect of travel
Spirit Airlines FAQ
Why should you not take Spirit Airlines Flights?
Spirit Airlines lure you in with their cheap flight tickets, which they call the "base fare". Spirit charges you on just about anything and everything, prompting to angry customers. On top of that, customer service, as with all low-cost carriers, are non-existent. All of that adds up to why people are saying to not fly with Spirit.
Does Spirit allow free carry-on?
No. They charge for both checked and carry on bags, but allow 1 personal item not exceeding 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm) total. 1 free checked bag is often included in international flights, but be sure to check your ticket and/or receipt before bringing one!
Is Spirit Airlines comfortable?
Generally, no. While you can pay for better seats, the regular seats are very bare bone and not comfortable. Comfortability varies per individual, but seats are generally very narrow, without much cushioning, and at times feel cramped.
Does Spirit tend to cancel flights?
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Spirit had an on-time flight percentage of 69%, delayed flight percentage of 29%, and cancelled flight percentage at 2% in the first 3 months of 2023.
What are the most common complaints on Spirit Airlines?
According to the Department of Transportation, the most common complaint revolves around flight issues, which include but is not limited to flight delays, cancellations, or overbooking issues.
Is Spirit OK to fly with?
If you're tight on budget and can accommodate for looser plans, Spirit is an option to consider. Just be aware of its poor reputation for customer service, on top of all the additional charges you might incur.
Plan your trips ahead of time!
Whether you decide to fly Spirit Airlines or opt for another airline on upcoming trips, we want your travels to go well. What better way to make sure your next getaway is a success than a handy trip planner?