Spirit Airlines: A Mom’s Review

If you are traveling with small kids and an equally small budget you’ve probably considered the budget airlines (Frontier, Spirit, etc.) and possibly you have been scared off by the overwhelming number of negative reviews.

I almost was.

But then I looked at my bank account and said oh well, it’s Spirit or nothing.

To prepare myself I started reading the negative reviews on various sites, so I would know what I was in for. As I was reading I noticed a common theme… 90% of the negative reviews were the CUSTOMER’s fault. See I had already read Spirit’s website pretty thoroughly and knew their rules (and that’s just to consider booking with them) and so when I saw people complain about the “hidden” or “surprise” charges I thought…umm no I just saw that in big letters on their site. They don’t lie to you, they are really up front that you are basically paying for the gas to fly the plane and a seat to sit on, anything else you need is on you…or them for a fee.

I felt a little better as I found very few complaints that weren’t preventable on the customer’s part except for delays and let’s be honest delays happen on all airlines. I booked earlier in the day to try and minimize the chance of them but other than that it was out of my control.

My honest review was that Spirit was pretty good and I will definitely fly them again!

I measured my personal item, paid for one checked bag WHEN I bought my ticket, weighed it before the airport and confirmed my carseats and strollers were free. I booked so far in advance, in person at the airport that I was assigned seats together for free. I pre printed our boarding passes and checked in online to avoid fees and of course packed water bottles (empty through security and filled at a fountain) and snacks so I didn’t need to buy them.

I had zero dollars in hidden fees, both flights were EARLY not late, the staff were all very polite and I was pleasantly surprised that unlike many bigger airlines they had changing tables in the onboard bathrooms :).

My gate checked stroller was treated very gently (I could see them unloading from my window!) and my belongs all returned in the same condition I checked them.

I don’t know what more I could ask from an airline, especially one i’m paying so much less than the others for.

If you fly Spirit you MUST do your homework, read and follow their rules but if you do there is no reason you can’t have a nice flight!

[For tips on traveling with children read here.}



2 thoughts on “Spirit Airlines: A Mom’s Review

  1. Full disclosure: I work for Spirit Airlines. Thanks for your very much on-point article. For first time flyers on Spirit, if they do their homework as you did, they have the same experience as you had.

    The vast majority of Spirit customers book on Spirit.com (where the lowest fares are available) and don’t have complaints. They get all the information they need to see how we are different, and how that difference save them a lot of money. Those that book their flights on a third-party travel site don’t get that information – and are surprised when they have to pay for bags, having boarding passes printed, and snacks. We understand how they feel. We don’t want anybody to be surprised, and we continue to work with those third party travel sites to be more transparent about our way of flying.

    Spirit customers, like you, are willing to make the tradeoff of some supposedly “free” creature comforts in exchange for low fares. We understand more legroom, Wi-Fi, TV screens, complimentary carry-on bag storage in the overhead bin, snacks and soft drinks are nice to have – but they add so much to an airfare. If you want those items on other airlines you’re paying for them as well – in a higher fare – but if you don’t want or need them, you’re still paying for them. We feel if you are going to add to our costs by doing things differently, we’ll share those savings with you in lower fares.

    And for families, we know families want to sit together, especially when small children are involved. Our agents work very hard to seat families together. But on many airlines there’s no guarantee this can happen. Some airlines have no seat assignments at all. If it’s impossible to electronically have families sit together, our flight attendants will work with other passengers – including offering incentives to move – to accommodate families. That said, if a family wants to guarantee they’ll sit together, we offer the option of purchasing seat assignments ahead of time.

    Thanks for giving Spirit a fare shake in your article.


  2. I was the same..checked every “hidden” fee and was prepared for delays. However, when your flight is cancelled with absolutely no recourse as to how you will make it to the second leg of your flight (they told me to “buy a ticket with Jet Blue,” a ticket that cost $600) I can’t recommend a flight on that airline to anyone. I ended up having to cancel my entire flight with Spirit and rebook with hours to spare a flight with United (only $81 more and a direct flight, I might add). I would like to think that maybe my situation was an anomaly and that usually they don’t treat customers like that. Unfortunately, after some internet sleuthing I could see that many customers went through the same (or worse) experience as me. If it was truly a matter of getting the customer from Point A to Point B with “no frills,” I would be all about that. Unfortunately, if you can’t even accomplish that, what’s the point of really cheap fares?


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