Recently Spirit received the dubious honor of being the Most Complained U.S. Airline according to a survey by U.S. PIRG Education Fund - a consumer advocacy group. Needless to say, the news spread like wildfire and pretty soon this result made it to the different aviation forums.
I had the opportunity to fly with this airline a few years ago and decided that it was not for me. The à la carte model for charging everything proved to be too annoying and I felt that I was being squeezed of every penny if I wanted anything extra that I used to get flying on a legacy carrier. In all fairness, the fare that I paid was very cheap. If I remember correctly I think I paid around USD 26.00 for a one way between LAX and LAS. This was the lowest fare between these two cities at the time and it was a bargain.
Spirit used T3 and there was hardly anyone at the counters. The agent that checked me in was very friendly and gave me my boarding pass which was the supermarket receipt type. No surprises here knowing how things work with this company.
I went through security and followed the usual drill - take off your shoes, belts and no items in your pockets. There was some remodeling going on inside the gate area and the layout was a bit chaotic and disorderly.
I took a glimpse at my plane by the gate and only managed to take a partial shot.
A few minutes later a gate agent appeared and I checked if he could change me to an EMERGENCY EXIT row. He took my receipt and issued me seat 12C one row behind. Boarding was conducted in an orderly fashion with priority given to elderly passengers and families traveling with children.
Upon boarding I was greeted by a male purser and took my comfortable aisle seat. The pitch was generous considering that the other seats have a regular pitch of 28 or 71.12 cm, way below the average. I guess they pack people like sardines on these planes. The cabin was dirty with littering items, stains and marks in different places.
I also noticed advertising displayed in the seat pockets and overhead bins. In the seat pockets there was no official inflight magazine, just the safety card and a Buy On Board menu.
After a smooth take off the FA rolled out the cart offering items for sale. Nothing is free with this airline, not even water. I passed and decided to read my book. Later the purser made an announcement about a credit card offer and passed some forms through the cabin. I think there was an incentive to join and one could get a certain amount of welcome points or miles but I also declined.
Arrival was on time to LAS and I am including a better picture taken a day after on my return. I will not do a report on that flight since it is basically the same as this one, with the exception that the purser on that flight was a bit more uptight and hardly gave a good morning upon boarding unless the passenger addressed her.
Bonus of LAS. I went to visit my favorite hotel there.
Los Angeles - LAX
Las Vegas - LAS
I enjoy flying a new airline and was glad that I was able to find a bargain fare with Spirit. In general, the ground crew were professional and accommodating.
The crew range from average to indifferent. Fortunately I was comfortable because I had an EMERGENCY EXIT seat, but if I had any other seat, I don't think that I would enjoy flying this airline.
Everything is on sale and some might find this annoying. This is truly low cost and it can take some getting used to. I personally prefer to give my business to a legacy carrier, especially if I have status with them. For those who are aware of how this airline operates and want to save money, I guess the decision is obvious. You get what you pay for.
Thanks for your visit.
My next trip will be in mid May when I fly AC SFO-YVR Y, LH YVR-MUC and TK MUC-SAW J, TK IST-TXL-IST Y, TK SAW-FRA J, LH FRA-ORD J and finally UA ORD-SFO in Y.
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Wow, were you on board a flying trash bin ? The inside looks so disguting ...
Great spirit special livery
I intended to fly with Spirit but because of the hand luggage that had to be paid I gave up
Nice routing to come
I can't wait to read your FRs
I had to fly with a very small carry-on in order to avoid the charges. NK is very strict in my opinion.
Maybe we can compare notes on some flights later. ;)
As to the cleanliness, well, you get what you paid for :( The livery is nice, though.
Thanks for this FR !
Most complained at and most hated too, but also one of the few profitable if I'm not wrong.
Spirit is the model of the ultra low costs, saving on everything including cabin cleaning !
28 of pitch ? How does the average American can even fit ?
I guess the average American has to go on a diet or buy 2 seats. With more U.S. carriers installing the Recaro seats I don't think the comfort of flying domestically will improving any time soon.
While the idea of a la carte flying sounds a great idea, in practice, there are too many traps on the way.
Your luggage is 1 over the dimensions allowed, you pick up a few books at the airport shop (oops, extra bag fee!) etc.
How's the seat pitch? Is 28'' really cramped or is it doable?
Good thing that I was on a short flight, but I can't imagine sitting through this torture on a long intl. trip like FLL-LIM or BOG. Can you imagine?
But we all know there are those who will stand anything for a rock bottom fare. Good for them. The majority of us at FR are too spoiled flying premium cabins :P
The cabin indeed is discusting, but as jetsetpanda said, part of the blame is on the passengers.
Thanks for sharing!
Nevertheless, I like the livery and 26USD is very affordable.
Thank you for sharing
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