Some of you may know that I attended a wedding in Costa Rica last month. You may be wondering which airline I flew with to get there. I tend to book my trips early to save the most money. I started looking for flights in March. The two lowest prices that I saw were $298 and $550 roundtrip. Delta Airlines was charging $550 and Spirit was charging $298. I’ve flown Delta a few times, and I’ve never had a problem with them, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pay $550 for the flight. Then there was Spirit. I’ve flown with them twice. My first flight ever was with them. In late 2006, I flew to Las Vegas with Spirit. The planes were nice and clean. The second time I flew with them to Fort Lauderdale. The planes were small and dirty. The flight even had a delay that caused me to get back home an hour later than originally scheduled.
I had to make a decision. Should I go with budget-friendly Spirit Airlines or should I book my flight with Delta? After reading a few reviews and talking to a few people who travel a lot, I decided to go with Spirit Airlines. I wanted to save as much money as I could. I just hoped that I didn’t make a mistake and purchase the flight from hell. Luckily, I didn’t. I didn’t have any problems with Spirit at all.
Before I completely booked my flight, I read everything! Everything you need to know is about fees and whatnot is located on their website. I honestly believe that 90% of the people that have problems with Spirit don’t read the fine print on their website. It tells you the following things.
You have to pay for your carry-on bag. It’s cheaper to pay for it in advance. If you pay for the carry-on bag, online you will pay $35 each way. If you purchase during the online checking, you pay $45. If you have to pay at the gate, you are dishing out $100. I know for a fact that people don’t read this info. I heard some passengers discussing the pricing with a representative at the airport.
You have the option to pay for checked baggage online before your trip. It’s $30 before your online check-in, $40 during the check-in and $100 at the gate. I made sure that I purchased my bags before the trip. My bags came up to $70. So with bags, the total of my flight was $368. That was still almost $200 cheaper than Delta.
Spirit does allow you to bring one personal item on the flight for free. The item can’t be bigger 16″x 14″ x 12″. I measured my personal bag, and it fit those dimensions…..barely. At the airport, Spirit has a thing where you can check to see if your bag is the correct size. Mine fit in the bin with no problem. If you are worried about the size of your personal item, my suggestion would be to go to the airport before your trip and put your bag in the bin.
As with most airlines, these days Spirits charges you if you want to pick your own seat. That will cost you between $1 – $199. It’s not that serious to me. I never pay for my seat. I’m fine with airlines assigning me seat once I check in. If you’re traveling with family, you may want to pay for your seats so that y’all can sit together.
When checking in baggage, most airlines have a limit of 50 pounds. Anything over that amount, you are charged a fee. The weight limit for Spirit is 40 lbs. Make sure that you pay attention to that. The more pounds that you bag is over, the more that you will pay. You risk paying an extra $30 -$100 depending on how many pounds over your suitcase is. When packing for Costa Rica, I made the decision to leave a couple of pair of shoes at home. I’m glad I did that because my bag weighed 36 pounds at the airport.
My itinerary went like this. I flew from ATL to FLL and then from FLL to CR. The first plan was a little small compared to other airlines, but the seats were comfortable even though they didn’t recline. None of the seats on Spirit flights recline. The flight from FLL to CR was great. The plane was pretty big. It had more room than I expected. I can’t lie; I was caught off guard. My return flights were just as nice.
If you’re flying Spirit for the first time, don’t expect any free food or drinks during the flight. They have food and drinks, but you have to pay for it.
All in all, my flight with Spirit Airlines was a success. There were no delays. Every flight was on time. The planes were clean. I have no complaints at all. I’d probably fly with them again, especially if I were trying to save a lot of money.