Greetings Precious Readers!
I promised a follow-up and I did not disappoint! (Er, this time!)
Spirit Airlines has gotten a fairly bad reputation due to its “no frills” policy and approach to airline service. I’ve already touched on its history and current reputation in an earlier post here. All ratings will be rated on a 0-5 😊 scale. Also, in my earlier post, I wrote about having set expectations and doing your research. I went into my flights with Spirit Airlines fully aware of their “no frills” policy and clear expectations of how it would be. It is an economical way to fly, and I treated it as such.
I’m going to jet right into my review. (See what I did there?)
Seat Picking – 😊😊😊😊😊
My friend, Caring* and I hadn’t vacationed before, but we were easily able to get seats next to each other without having to “request” it earlier. Specifically picking your seats is an added cost. I could see how this would bother someone, but I figure with other ‘standard’ airlines, that fee is built into your higher ticket price. Since the flight was only 2.5 hours each way, Caring and I didn’t worry about not sitting with each other. SA surprised us and seated us next to each other automatically. Lucky us! For this, I give it 5 faces. If it had been a longer flight, I might have coughed up the extra dollars to ensure I was somewhat near the people I’m traveling with. If it had been with Pilot, we definitely would’ve preferred to sit next to each other. The second flight wasn’t full, and the airline allowed us to move seats for more comfort. No seat neighbors = Happy KB. Caring and I ended up each sitting on one aisle seat across from each other, still able to talk, plus elbow room. What could be better?
Bare Fare Experience – 😊😊😊😊😊
Going in with a full understanding of the “Bare Fare Experience,” there were no surprises, or upsets in any way. If you’re not traveling far, or only traveling for a short period of time 1-3 days, and are able to pack light, I highly recommend this as a great money saver. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save my money for my actual destination rather than the travel to the destination. If it was a longer flight, like the one to South Korea, I would’ve sprung for more creature comforts due to the large amount of time actually spent in my traveling vessel. Since I went in with clear expectations, and there were no bad surprises, I’d say everything went according to plan. Really, what else is there in travel plans?
Baggage/Packing for Medical Needs – 😊😊😊😊😊
I only packed an average-sized laptop-holding backpack for my 3-day trip, clothes only packed for 2 days as I was wearing my “third” outfit, and a swimsuit. I had no issues getting baggage through TSA and ensured my bag was considered the right size for SA as my ONE bag. It’s not like a standard airline with a carry on + personal item. You only get ONE bag.
I did have an extra bag, but it was for medical purposes. I had contacted SA ahead of time, and they assured me my extra bag would not be charged for. They kept their word and gave no hassles of any kind in regards to my medical supplies. 5 😊 for that!
Seat Comfort – 😊😊😊😊😊
This was a pleasant surprise! The seats, although not plush were surprisingly comfortable! I’m a larger gal, so having slightly less padding actually gave me more room and less encroachment on my seatmates. I don’t require 2 airline seats, but I’m not thin. I’m not a size 4. I try to be conscious about not taking up space. Having said that, I also hate seatmates who lean over the armrest and shove their elbows into me to “establish dominance of the territory.” Be a pal. If you have an armrest, don’t use up BOTH. I’m only using 1, you should only be using 1. I digress… The seats on SA were comfortable, leather, and I had no problem catching a brief nap on them. I’m a lucky gal who can sleep anywhere, but I was actually comfortable, and didn’t need a neck pillow.
The all important LEG ROOM: The leg room was unbelievably awesome! I had more leg room on this trip than I did for my flight on Korean Air. Korean Air was a 10.5 hour flight to Korea and an 11 hour return flight to Seattle. I repeat: I HAD MORE LEG ROOM ON SPIRIT AIRLINES THAN I DID KOREAN AIR. That is saying something!
Lack of In-Flight Services – N/A
I’m not going to rate this. I didn’t purchase any food or beverages on the flight. SA is clear that any water, drinks, and/or food on the plane is an additional fee. I tend to snack, so I bought water and snacks in the airport before the flight. They gave me no hassles about bringing an additional bag of trail mix on the plane and my water bottle, even though they clearly didn’t fit in my stuffed backpack. I won’t rate this since I didn’t try their products, and neither did my friend, so I cannot comment on the quality of water, beverages, or food. However, the staff was polite and their service was efficient getting the items into the hands of waiting guests.
Customer Service – 😊😊😊
I’d like to specifically say that the flight attendants and the pilots were some of the most genuinely nice staff I’ve seen since Korean Airlines. I’ve traveled by air easily 25+ times in my life. This was the second-most friendly service I’ve experienced for flight services. They cracked jokes during the emergency lecture pre-flight, the pilots also brought a level of brevity to typically sterile and stale instructions, which made the plane burst into light laughter. Flight guests are a tough crowd. Hat’s off to them!
This was my first time flying with SA, so I can’t comment on how their service was in the beginning, but I found them polite, courteous, efficient, and able to successfully bring some humor to the flight. At 6:00 AM, I call that talent.
The reason I knocked off two faces–that phrase looks weird–was due to pre-flight issues. SA doesn’t allow you to print boarding passes until within 24-hours of your flight. I printed them at home, because printing the boarding pass at the airport is an additional fee. The print off didn’t scan at TSA, and they directed me to the SA counter to get a boarding pass re-printed like a standard boarding pass. Apparently the bar code/smart code used on home printers rarely scan well at TSA check in points and this is a common occurrence. Since our flight left at 6:00 AM, Caring and I were at the airport at 4:00 AM. The SA counter didn’t open until later that morning.
Luckily, the airport had standing kiosks like mini-ATMs where I could print a new boarding pass myself (free!). However, if the airport hadn’t had a kiosk, I would’ve been stuck until the SA counter opened, missed my flight, and Caring and I would’ve had a shorter vacation (or she would’ve been in our warm climate destination without me). If you’re traveling to a more remote place, I don’t know how this would affect your travel plans. Several other counters of other airlines were open with staff, so it was disappointing to see the SA counter dim and desolate.
Canceled Flight – N/A
My flight wasn’t canceled, so I cannot comment or rate the experience. So, that’s a good thing!
OVERALL: A solid 3.75 / 5
Overall, I give SA a 3.75/5, which compared to other reviews I’ve seen, isn’t too bad. If you’re looking to get from Point A to Point B with a little humor thrown in, and leg room to spare, this is the discount airline for you!
Traveled with Spirit Airlines? What was your experience? Comment below!
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Want to provide me with much-needed advice, and think I’m writing with rose-colored glasses? I’d love to know how wrong my thinking is! Tell me how wrong I am!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.
I was not asked or compensated in any way to provide this review of Spirit Airlines. The information provided on this blog is voluntarily of my sole opinion.