Here during a Fool, we write about Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) utterly often, and I’ve been a shareholder in a association given progressing this year. So naturally, I’ve review utterly a bit of what travelers have to contend about Spirit. Usually it’s not good.
Last week — with some terror — we attempted Spirit Airlines for a initial time. Despite my hesitation, we found that a outing went sincerely smoothly. (And of course, we got a good fare.) While a airline positively isn’t for everybody, it can be a good choice if saving income is critical to we and (1) you’re not intensely tall, (2) you’re peaceful to review a excellent print; and (3) we have a comparatively stretchable schedule.
The engagement process
I chose to fly Spirit Airlines especially given we was roving behind from a Atlantic City area to Chicago and Spirit is a usually vital airline handling during Atlantic City International Airport. (It’s an curiosity in a carrier’s track network — Spirit especially serves vast cities.) Rather than roving roughly an hour serve to get to Philadelphia or Newark and also profitable a aloft fare, we motionless to fly Spirit.
Low bottom fares are a hallmark of Spirit Airlines, and that was positively a box here. My transport was advertised during usually $63.09 one-way.
Spirit Airlines doesn’t embody many over a guaranteed mark on a craft with a bottom fare. The engagement routine was sincerely cumbersome, as Spirit offering me lots of “optional services,” including a indifferent seat, a carry-on bag, and checked bags, and other subordinate products such as hotels and let cars.
I was formulation to transport with a container and a mantle bag, and my backpack. While we would routinely lift a mantle bag onto a plane, that would have cost $35. Instead, we motionless to overlay adult a mantle bag and place it inside my vast checked bag, that wasn’t scarcely full. That way, we had to compensate usually $30 for one checked bag, bringing my sum to $93.09.
At a airport
I checked in for my moody about 24 hours in advance, yet given we was on vacation and didn’t have printer access, we couldn’t imitation my boarding pass. we approaching to compensate an additional $2 for copy it during a airfield kiosk, yet we wasn’t charged: a pleasing surprise. (Perhaps we fooled a complement by checking in online, even yet we hadn’t printed my boarding pass.)
During a online check-in process, we was urged to haven a chair — it would be some-more costly to do so during a airport. This was a many false partial of my knowledge with Spirit Airlines. Fortunately, we knew that we could usually select to not haven a chair and have Spirit allot me one for free. Not surprisingly, it was a center chair nearby a behind of a plane.
The biggest hiccup of my Spirit Airlines knowledge came right after we reached a airport. At a check-in kiosk, we beheld that Spirit charges an overweight cost for checked bags weighing some-more than 40 pounds. That came as a surprise, given scarcely any other airline has a 50-pound. weight limit. (This is since it’s so critical to review a excellent imitation with Spirit.)
I was flattering certain my container was overweight, so we changed a few complicated equipment to my backpack. It worked. When we got to a bag check counter, my container weighed in during 39.5 pounds. My trek substantially finished adult being bigger than a 16-by-14-by-12-inch extent for a giveaway personal item. However, we gambled that as prolonged as it was on my behind and not egregiously large, a embankment agents wouldn’t check. we was right — and we had no problem wise a trek underneath a chair in front of me.
My boarding pass pronounced that a moody would start boarding 45 mins before departure. That was an exaggeration: The boarding routine began reduction than 30 mins before a scheduled depart time. However, everybody was on house and prepared to go on time.
Spirit Airlines is famous for carrying a slightest legroom of any airline in a U.S., with usually 28 inches of “pitch” for any row. (That’s about 3 inches reduction than a standard economy seat.) Luckily, I’m usually 5’6″, so my knees weren’t touching a chair in front of me. However, it seemed anyone over 5’10″ or so would have felt cramped. If you’re really tall, cruise profitable adult for a “Big Front Seat” — or drifting another airline.
A lot of reviewers have complained that Spirit Airlines’ moody attendants aren’t friendly. we didn’t find that to be a case. Everyone we interacted with during a airline — during a check-in counter, during a gate, and on a craft — had a grin and a good attitude.
The moody itself was sincerely smooth, and we landed in Chicago roughly half an hour early. The one obstacle was that we had to lay on a tarmac for 15 mins until a embankment non-stop up. Even so, we got to a embankment about 10 mins early.
The checked bags were unloaded really quickly, that was a good surprise. By a time we got to a container carousel after a discerning lavatory break, a initial suitcases were entrance out. As a result, we had my bag and was prepared to go reduction than 10 mins after my flight’s scheduled arrival.
Sometimes, Spirit Airlines usually works
I’ve listened copiousness of Spirit Airlines fear stories, and I’m certain many of them are true. To offer rock-bottom fares, a association creates choices that can means problems when something goes wrong, such as bad continue or a commander who calls in sick.
For example, while my moody arrived utterly early, usually 66% of Spirit Airlines flights have arrived within 14 mins of a scheduled time year to date. That’s significantly worse than a attention normal of 78%.
Still, my knowledge shows that Spirit Airlines can offer a ideally good transport knowledge when there isn’t a vital disruption. You do have to review a excellent imitation and be peaceful to play a diversion of minimizing a extras we compensate for. For taller travelers, there’s also a poignant comfort trade-off. And we have to be studious and flexible, given we competence get strike with a prolonged delay. But overall, Spirit Airlines can count me as a confident customer.
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