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I know what you are thinking, but hear me out. After I returned from Jamaica in April I started looking online for a birthday trip the following month. You see, my birthday this year was a milestone so I wanted to bring it in big. I found a reasonable all inclusive package and booked a trip to Cancun with Riu Hotels.
The problem with these packages is that the airlines they partner with are not always my first choice, and they often have layovers. The package that they were offering had a choice of several airlines but they all had layovers. Except one. After the experience of flying through Chicago ORD last month I decided to go with a direct flight. The only airline that was offering a direct flight was you guessed it…Spirit Airlines.
I’ve heard all of the horror stories about Spirit but I could not get past the fact that they were offering a 3 hour direct flight to Cancun from Baltimore so I went ahead and booked it. I’ve also read all of the blog posts and articles about how to outsmart Spirit. I tried them all but failed. Spirit remains undefeated when it comes to nickel and diming people out of their hard earned money. By the time Spirit got done shaking me down with its supposed chump change flights, I was left feeling like a chump. In all fairness I had been warned. I’ll break down how Spirit got me good in a separate post.
When I arrived at the airport it wasn’t too chaotic. Since I had printed my boarding pass ahead of time and I wasn’t checking a bag I was able to go straight to security. I felt like Ice Cube the rapper in his video “Today was a good day” when I managed to pass through security without getting felt up! Once I made it through security with my dignity still intact I casually strolled towards my gate. Since I knew that Spirit doesn’t offer complimentary anything I packed my snacks at home and just purchased a bottle of water, a diet soda, Lifesavers, and gum. Just enough for the flight since the resort was all inclusive.
I recently got the American Express Platinum which includes Priority Pass lounge access. I was just chiding myself for not getting to the airport early enough to use this valuable benefit when I happened to walk past a Priority Pass lounge. I pulled up my membership number on my phone and went into the lounge. I was surprised that it was in the Spirit terminal and close to my gate. I got some fresh fruit, a cup of coffee, and a granola bar to take with me since my flight would be boarding shortly. There wasn’t a lot to grab and go since the whole purpose of the lounge is to, well lounge.
The boarding process for Spirit was smooth, especially since I was in one of the early boarding groups. I was the second person on the plane and since I had paid extra for the “big” chair in front I did not have to struggle to make my way to the middle of the plane. While it wasn’t first class, the seat was almost as comfy as a first class seat would have been.
Don’t get me wrong, Spirit is as no frills as they come. No power outlets, no wifi, no in flight entertainment, and no freebies of any kind. O.K. you do get a free carry on. They are like the dollar cab of the sky…they will pick you up and drop you off. In its defense Spirit has improved its on time rate recently so I guess that counts for something. Yet, the fact remains that I have friends who have been left high and dry by Spirit so it is a real gamble as to whether you will have an uneventful trip like mine or a nightmarish trip like my friends Sarah and Conni. I think if you have a plan B lined up and you are getting the better end of the low fares that they offer it might be worth the risk, but check back with me after Spirit has screwed me over.
Up in the air
The flight crew on my flight to Mexico was quite spirited and played a trivia game to get passengers to sign up for the Spirit credit card. Passengers were able to earn extra points for completing the application on the plane and they were given additional freebies for birthdays and anniversaries. The crew divulged at the end of the flight that Spirit will be adding wifi and better seating. You can see the video on my instagram account. The crew flying back home were the laziest flight crew I have ever seen. They literally sat down and gossiped amongst themselves for the majority of the flight.
So you might be asking if Spirit is now my new favorite airline? Absolutely not. But I don’t absolutely hate it. I would take it again if they had the lowest fare and offered the shortest direct flight to my destination.
Have you ever flown on Spirit Airlines? Would you fly with them again? Share in the comments section. Be sure to like like, share, and subscribe.