I’ve written before about my experiences with JetBlue and Southwest Airlines. I also fly Frontier fairly often, and the next time I do I plan to write something up about it. My family and I are taking a trip next month and I hadn’t yet booked our flights. When I started looking at possibilities today, it turned out that Spirit Airlines by far had the cheapest flights. Since I know that people are always looking to save on their Walt Disney World vacations, I thought I’d share my booking experience.
I haven’t flown Spirit before, and booking wasn’t as cut and dry as the other airlines. I usually will book directly through an airline’s website because I haven’t found cheaper deals elsewhere, and I like to earn miles or points. If you book directly through Spirit, expect a lot of popups for different travel sites.
Since I fly Frontier a couple of times a year I know that the discount airlines will nickel and dime you. Spirit is no exception. You’ll pay for a carry on (a personal item that fits under the seat is included), checked bags, picking your seats in advance, and there could even be a fee to check in. Fortunately, you can check in for your flight for free online or on their app, so that doesn’t have to be an extra.
Spirit has a loyalty program known as Fare 9 Club. With it you can supposedly get discounts on flights, as well as pay less in baggage fees, etc. Since Spirit flies to one of the main places that I travel to I decided to go ahead and sign up. It cost $59.95, and supposedly I saved something like $18 on this trip because of it. The Spirit website is incredibly slow, and it took three times for my information to go through. Don’t worry, I immediately checked to make sure that I was charged only once.
When booking a flight, make sure that you keep checking the total at the top. At one point I hit something that I didn’t mean to, and my total almost doubled. It wasn’t as easy as just going back a step, I had to start the whole booking over again.
With Spirit, you pay for the things that you take for granted with some airlines. If you’re going to need a carry on or a checked bag (which is cheaper than a carry on) it costs less if you add that when you book. You’ll also pay for your seat selection. I’ve heard of families that were separated because they didn’t pay for seat selection on a discount airline, I don’t know if that was Spirit or not. I added bags and seats for our flights. When it was time to finally check out, the website wouldn’t let me. I put in my information several times and kept getting an error message. Again, I checked my account each time to make sure my card wasn’t charged. I was then logged out for “inactivity” even though I wasn’t inactive, and I had to start over. Fortunately, I was able to get the flights booked the second time that I tried.
After checking out, I was offered the option of having my receipt emailed to me. Of course I wanted it, but it still wasn’t as easy as that. There are several offers that you can sign up for before they will agree to send the email. They’re for companies like Blue Apron who have nothing to do with a flight to see my parents. I signed up for one email list by accident, but it was easy enough to unsubscribe from it.
My advice if you plan to book a flight through Spirit, give yourself some time! Between their errors, the amount of time that it took for each page to load, and the one mistake I made, it took me about 40 minutes to book. Also, pay attention to what you’re doing, so that you don’t end up with extra charges. Still, I’m glad that I got my flights booked, and I’m happy with the price. I’ll let you know how the flights go when I get back from my trip next month.