Used: 2011

My blog, my rules. I am going to write about various airlines I have flown, whether or not they exist anymore. I am probably not going to talk about rewards and how to make the most out of your experience, as there are “experts” out there for that, I am just going to write about my experiences.

When I made my decision to come to Chicago, I also wrote out how much I anticipated to approximately spend on certain items, and since I had my accommodation sorted, the big ticket item of this trip was going to be the flight. I asked my friend how much she normally spent on tickets home and then also did my own research. I put away approximately $250 for the flight, taking into the fact I might spend a bit more since I needed very specific days and times. I kept an eye on flights for my dates starting in the new year, knowing I didn’t have to freak out until about a month or so before, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on things.

Flights hovered around the $250 mark, as predicted but when I saw a flight for $160 R/T, I pounced on it. It was was the faux popular Spirit Airlines. They are best known for their nickle-and-diming of every little thing. They are the first airline to charge for carry-on luggage. But for a short-ish flight (LAX-JFK every few months was normal for me about 10 years ago, so anything less is cake), I decided to risk it. I thought about what I wanted to pack and decided to see if I could possible jam everything I needed into a school backpack, one that I could fit under my seat and therefore wasn’t considered “carry-on”. I didn’t reserve a window seat for any leg, therefore saving $10 each way. Instead I bought a blow up neck pillow, something I wanted to buy at some point anyway. When I planned my weekend, my friend said she could provide a towel and shampoo and soap and sleeping materials, so that weeded a lot out. As usual, I packed so well, I had room to spare! In fact, I didn’t even wear the sweatshirt I brought. Gah!!

Signage for Spirit at both LAX and ORD was horrible. T5 at LAX is currently undergoing lots of construction and I wondered around for about 20 minutes until I found the Spirit counter. Thankgod I arrived super early! I took note of where I disembarked at O’Hare and when I arrived back at the airport to return, the lady who checked my ticket and ID made a passing mention that Spirit was at the L gates, which is the exact same place I arrived at, so it was easier to find in Chicago. I checked in online before I arrived at the airport, so I don’t know how check in is once you arrive, but it was fairly straight forward online. You have a last minute chance to reserve your seat and luggage, if you still want to when you check in online.

I was a little nervous that they were going to try to tell me that my packed backpack was not going to fit beneath my seat, even though I knew it would. Luckily, unlike some other airlines have flown with, they weren’t super anal about carryon and I got it on both ways with no problems, with a bit of room to spare, I could fit my legs under my seat as well! Couldn’t say the same with the dudes I was squished between each way, all 4 felt it was there right to fit their legs under my seat, just because they had no room and I did. I would NOT recommend this airline or at least the coach seats for most dudes. There is also is no sort of entertainment what so ever. Pretty much assume this airline is like Southwest, minus the free drinks and peanuts and Sky Mall catalog.

Moral: Hey, for $160 and the huge price difference between other airlines, how much can I really complain. Plus, everything was on time and I arrived in one piece. All the bare bones worked like clockwork, which is all I paid for and the service was delivered. If I had paid anymore, it probably would have sucked and I wouldn’t make a habit of flying with them, but it was really the price difference that sold me and makes me, maybe consider them in the future. Or at least I wouldn’t turn my nose up at them. Especially if I can jam my whole trip into a backpack and save on baggage fees. If you know what to expect when you book with Spirit, then you’ll be right as rain. Just be prepared.