You know the old adage, you get what you pay for? Clearly the author had Spirit Airways in mind when coining that phrase. When they say no frills, they mean no frills. Here is my story, you tell me what you think:
We had to fly to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands for the weekend of May 22, 2010. So, in looking around for flights for my wife, 2 kids (aged 5 and 7) we considered all options. We look at multiple carriers out of Toronto. We looked at multiple carriers out of Buffalo and then were shocked to see low fares on Spirit Airlines out of Detroit. We have family living in Detroit so we drove to Detroit last Tuesday evening to catch our flights to Fort Lauderdale and St. Thomas respectively. When I received 4 emails notifying me it was time to check in for the flights, I found that despite the emails, I was unable to do so. What I was able to do was prepay for our bags for all 4 legs of our trip and also pay another fee to pre-select our seats. When I was done selecting all the options necessary for the flights, the bill came to over $450! Those price saving I was speaking of immediately went poof. I called Spirit Airways to see if I really needed to pre-select the seats as I was flying with two little kids and was told that they could only guarantee anything if I paid the fee AND unless I wanted someone sitting on my lap I should pay it.
You can imagine how excited I was for my flight when I arrived, wife and 2 kids in tow at the airport at 5am Wednesday morning for our 630 flight and saw the line for those of us who couldn’t check in online. Some 45 minutes later we had made our way through the line and then we were off to the security line. By the time we made it through that mess we barely had time to grab a snack and drink before boarding and taking off. The planes Spirit flies are FILTHY. No, seriously, the carpets on our flights looked as if they have never been cleaned- EVER. They were soiled and stained all the way down the plane. The seats were tiny and tremendously uncomfortable and despite paying the ridiculous fee to pre select our seats, we were fortunate enough to be in seats that didn’t recline and the row in front of us did. I couldn’t open my tiny apple Air laptop in front of me. My mood was dramatically improved then let me tell you.
The number one reason I will never fly Spirit Airlines is this, they charge for water. I don’t even mean bottled water. We were told that if we wanted a glass of water, you know to take medicine we would have to pull out our credit card and pay for it!!! There is nickel and diming and there is Spirit Airlines. They throw stale salty pretzels at you, and then want to charge you for any liquid you choose to consume. How can an airline be allowed to charge for a cup of water? This wasn’t only the case on our flight from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale, it was repeated on every leg of our trip to and from St. Thomas.
Now any review of Spirit Airlines wouldn’t be complete without talking about the decor of the planes. If you have never flown Spirit Airlines before, you have never seen anything like this. Every inch of the plane that is plasterable has an ad for Spirit Airways on it. Seriously, there are banners all up and down the plane for the Spirit Mastercard- current promotion, sign up and get 3 free flights! It would be one thing if they had actually sold ads to companies with something to offer the clientele on the flight, but tacky house ads on the plane???????
The highlight for me was on our flight home from St. Thomas, there was sheer chaos about who was sitting where on the plane. People, for whatever reason were in the wrong seats, the wrong rows etc. So when we boarded our flight someone was in our seats. After they had moved, the flight attendant came back to us in search of the other people’s boarding passes. My son got up form his seat and couldn’t find the missing boarding pass. He opened the pouch of the seatback pocket and it was FULL of garbage, leading the flight attendant to say, “oh god, don’t put your hands in there!”- Now given the cesspool she had just witnessed, one would think that she would come back and clean it up right? No chance. The next time we saw her was when she wanted to sell us some water or pop.
So, there you have it. I must admit, I was warned. I have learned my lesson. No savings would be worth a return flight on Spirit Airlines. All savings I originally thought I had evaporated with the bag and seat fees. Come August they are actually going to charge for carry on luggage. Trust me, if they could charge for breathing or use of the bathroom (also filthy) they would. In my experience on my 4 flights with Spirit Airlines all I can tell you is- never again.
, spirit airways
, st. thomas
, worst airline
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