Spirit Airlines Informative - Not that bad
After buying tickets for a trip from Myrtle Beach to Atlantic City, my friend and I found these reviews of Spirit and were a little afraid that we had made a mistake. Since the tickets were non refundable, we went ahead with an open mind and decided to do everything we could to make our trip easier. We checked in and got our boarding passes online the night before our flight, made sure we only had carry-on luggage, put all of our valuables in separate tote bags that would fit on our laps or the floor under the seats, and arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. The check in line did seem to be a little long, but since we had our boarding passes already, we avoided that and went straight to security, and found that we actually could have arrived later than we did and still have time to spare. The plane was full to capacity, so one of the employees came to the gate about 30 minutes before boarding time and requested that as many people as possible check (for free) their carry-on luggage. We chose to do so. The people who chose not to check their luggage spent quite a bit of time trying to find a place to put it all once we boarded, and several people had shoved shopping bags, coats, computers etc. in the carry on compartments, then got attitudes when the flight attendants removed them and asked them to hold them (even though everyone was asked NOT to put anything in the compartments except luggage). We departed on time, it was a smooth flight and landing, and we actually landed a few minutes early. The flight attendants were friendly and helpful. By the time we got to the baggage pick-up area, our luggage was there. The flight back was just as uneventful. So I think that most of the bad reviews are from people who did not read the regulations or recommendations (clearly posted on the website) regarding luggage or arriving early if they needed to check in, and were unprepared or thought they should get special treatment (like the woman across from us with a carry on suitcase, 3 large shopping bags, a totebag, and a coat shoved into the carry on compartment who got angry when the flight attendant asked her to remove some of it so her seatmate could fit in his carry-on bag). I see a lot of reviews of $50 a night hotels that people think should be 4-star resorts, and that is what some of these reviews remind me of. True, some of them were legit because bad things do sometimes happen.....flights get delayed, people get bumped, there are bad customer service reps, things get stolen out of suitcases.....but I have found that happens with almost every airline at one time or another. True, they charged 3.00 for a soda, but hey, it said that on the website and we were prepared. We bought sodas after we went through security and took them on the plane with us. We did not purchase seat assignments, but luckily managed to get seats together since we checked in early, both on the flight up and back. However, we were prepared to not sit together if we had been assigned separate seats. If you are going to get tickets that cheap, they are going to have to cut corners somewhere.....I would rather see them sell overpriced sodas and snacks (not to mention hawking their credit card and $9 fare club during the flight) than sacrifice maintenance on the plane. One thing though: The complaints about the cramped, uncomfortable seating are NOT over-exaggerated. My knees touched the back of the seat in front of me, and the seats were hard. It was so bad that my friend and I joked about not having room to bend over and get the life jackets from under our seats if we needed to. It was like being on a school bus with wings... Other than the seats, overall it was just an average flight, no better or worse than most others I have been on. The price was right, and I would fly them again, just not a long flight as I don't think I could stand that uncomfortable seat for more than an hour or so. All in all I think you get what you pay for.
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