Recently Spirit Airline came out on the bottom of a favorite airline list. I may have been in the group of people that say “who”, if I hadn’t experienced it for myself and I totally agree. We had heard of the inexpensive airline from a friend who used their services, but keep in mind that he was traveling alone and was only gone for a weekend so he had one small suitcase that he carried on. By the way, the picture above is how teeny tiny their fold down tables are, I couldn't even fit my computer on it.  Here’s my story.


It was actually a surprise trip from my husband to visit good friends in Florida. We had discussed a vacation but didn’t think we could afford it. After he talked to his friend who went to Florida using Spirit Airlines and told us how cheap the air fare was, he decided to surprise me. It was HE that got the surprise after buying the tickets then dealing with the rules, stipulations and add ons.

Like I said the actual airfare was rather inexpensive and we high-fived on the deal we got. Little did we know what we were getting into.   We found out that you had to pay $40 EACH WAY for any checked bag that would go in the cargo hold and it had to weigh less than 42 lbs or you paid extra. We ended up buying a bathroom scale at Wal-Mart on the way to the cities just to make sure we were in compliance. If you wanted to skip a checked bag and use only a carry-on it would cost you $44 dollars. (What?  More?  Why?)  You were allowed one personal item to carry on the plane, that means a purse, backpack or a computer bag, but not both both a purse and a carry on. I ended up cramming my purse in my backpack. But then there was the size that was an issue.  The size they allowed was just a titch smaller than my back pack with the wheels and they measure both by height and width. So, I had to use a different backpack and was unable to roll it comfortably through the airports. Based on their restrictions and the fact that we were trying to save money we ended up packing way less than we usually do (I guess not a terrible thing). Plus, you saved money by “purchasing” your suitcase space ahead of time, (who knows that if you've never flown with them before) but it had to be done at the time you booked your tickets on their Spirit Airline website. if you waited until you got to the ticket counter, it would cost more.

You’re not guaranteed to sit next to your travel companion. Nope, if you wanted to do that it would cost you $9 per seat on the way down and $11 on the way back home. Which we did, I mean part of the reason we were going on vacation was to spend time together, not with total strangers. That add-on cost really irked me, why would they think couples, families, business companions wouldn’t want to sit together? Exactly, they knew they wouldn’t and we’d pay the price to do so.

Where ON the plane you sat could cost you extra money. If you wanted to pick your seat in a certain section of the plane, it would cost you. I’m not talking the difference between first class and coach either. If you wanted to sit in the middle of the plane, it cost more than in the rear of the plane. And for those that like the extra room of the exit aisle, that cost $30 per seat both ways.

I’m not sure if they still serve complimentary beverages and snacks on other airlines like they use to, but on Spirit Airlines there was no free food or drink on the flight, those cost a considerable amount of money. However, they did allow you to bring food and drink purchased in the airport on the plane.

Other unsuspecting passengers that were using Spirit Airlines for the first time were just as shocked and disappointed as we were. We were joking about being charging for the air we breathed, the toilet paper in the bathroom and electricity we used to turn the book light on overhead. When all was said and done, it cost us just as much as a full service airline and was much more stressful, from packing and planning to the actual travel day.

Also, you should note we used Expedia to book our flights and it cost more that way than going directly to the Spirit Airline website.