Spirit airlines, a low cost carrier in the United states whom are giving the Majors a run for their money. Are the really in the race for the top spot in the US?
Spirit airlines is headquartered in Miramar Florida, a small city outside their biggest base in Fort Lauderdale which is placed in the middle of three of south Florida’s biggest airports. They provide a no frills experience that rivals Frontier whom are another LCC in the US and even some of Europe’s biggest names, Ryanair and Easyjet. They offer a base flight fare for as low as the single digits which provides you with a confirmed seat on the aircraft and nothing else. Seats,Snacks,& Bags will cost you a pretty penny.
If all the amenities cost extra what makes Spirit a low cost airline? A low cost airline is one in which reduces operating costs by minimizing the amenities and comfort in the cabin. Spirit does this perfectly in a way that they have no In-flight entertainment and a very bare bone seat. They also don’t necessarily have a seat back pocket as its just string and they don’t update their safety cards very often because they’re often torn or ripped. Another way they lower operating cost is they operate the same aircraft across the entire fleet. They operate a fleet of all Airbus aircraft (A319/320/321). This allows them to lower training cost which can technically be considered an operating cost.
The prices you can expect to pay for seats vary between $9 and $56 for a “big front seat” as Spirit calls it. You can also find that Jetblue charges $50 for more legroom at the front of their aircraft as well despite including all the amenities. Spirit also charges for bags which you can expect to pay $30 to $35 online or $50 to $55 at the airport. Snacks on board aren’t to bad but you can expect to pay for those as well. Snacks can run you anywhere from $3 to $8 for a snack box. Drinks will cost $3 to $9 or you can get pairings for as much as $20 for a “big mix” that includes 1 alcoholic beverage, 1 regular beverage, and 1 snack. Spirit also offers upgraded boarding and security for around $6 each per flight leg. All of these prices are based on one way, if you pay $30 for your bag one way it’ll be $30 on the way back.
Picture by: Clark Norton
So do airlines like Spirit really give the majors a run for their money? Of course not but they’re a great option if your on a budget and can travel light. They don’t offer IFE along with free seating,snacks, and much more that larger airlines offer which throw them out of the race in my opinion.
Would I recommend Spirit to anybody who’s looking for a cheap way of travel? Depending on the situation, yes. If your able to cut down on your own costs by bringing a small bag that will fit under the seat to eliminate the bag charge and don’t mind letting Spirit choose your seat for you it can be a great option. You can’t beat some of the prices they offer especially when for the most part they get you to your destination on time. I’ve only had one time where I’ve been delayed with Spirit. It was a seven hour delay in Orlando which they made up for by giving me a $200 voucher for future travel. Shows how great the customer service was! The seats have only made me uncomfortable once I may add. They’re really not bad if your an average sized person. I’ll be flying with Spirit in August from Seattle to Vegas and then on to Boston on a red eye. You can definitely expect a review from that as it will be my first 5+ hour flight with Spirit.
How do you feel about flying with a low cost carrier? Would you recommend them? Let us know what you think below!
Feature image courtesy of Wilfredo Lee