Spirit Airlines is definitely a no-frills carrier. You pay a fee for every piece of luggage, including carry-ons, which range from $25 if paid online at the time of booking to $100 at the airport prior to departure. There is no first or business class, just ten “big seats” near the front of the plane that you can reserve for an extra $12-$150 depending on the flight. (On our flight between Ft. Lauderdale and San José, Costa Rica, only two of the seats were taken, and one was by an airline employee. On most flights when there are extra seats available after take-off, passengers may move into those seats. Not so on this flight.) There are no onboard meals, snacks, or drinks included in the price of a ticket. All food and beverages must be purchased with credit/debit cards only. Later in our flight, no one came around with pillows or blankets, but then sleep is virtually impossible for me while sitting upright anywhere. I’m a belly sleeper. And in case you wondered, there is no wi-fi on any Spirit flight anywhere.
So how did Spirit Airlines become a Road Recommendation with such a negative review? Well, simply put, there are two sides to the Spirit Airlines coin. On the upside, you can’t beat their ultra-low ticket prices that include no hidden charges. They show you all fees and taxes up front. And when you join their $9 Fare Club for $59.99 per year, you may find your membership discounts actually pay for your membership fee in your first purchase. And although I have yet to see an actual $9 fare, Spirit Airlines does regularly feature promotions with fares as low as $19.90 one way. By the way, all $9 Fare Club purchases must be made online. For the budget traveler, Spirit Airlines can be a great value. They carried us to and from Costa Rica where we took a week-long backroad trip, and although there are downsides to traveling on ultra-low fare carriers, we look forward to exploring Spirit’s Central and South American destinations, and booking another cheap flight before too long . . . .
Spirit Airlines Route Map
(Images courtesy of Spirit Airlines)