Spirit Airlines Informative - Not Always a Low Fare and Beware of Hidden Taxes and Fees
Beware: Not always you will get a good deal with Spirit and check out for hidden fees in the Taxes and Fees portion of your ticket!! I've flown with Spirit over 14 times in the last 18 months from SJU to FLL, ATL and LGA. Every time that I've flown with them is because they offered a better deal than other airlines. Initially, the savings that I made compensated for the long lines at the San Juan airport counter (Spirit does not have self-service kiosks at SJU and would not allow you to print your boarding pass from your computer when traveling from San Juan, while all other airlines have kiosks and let you print your boarding pass), paying for onboard beverages, and flying in cramped aircrafts and seats and many times in filthy planes. Keep in mind that Spirit cuts the time the plane is on the ground, which means that there is less time, if any, to clean the aircraft.
However, since they started charging for carry-on bags, things changed for the worst and they have lost me as a customer since August 2010 on 4 new travels to Florida, New York, and Atlanta. In each of these four trips I found that Spirit's fares to these locations were higher than Delta and Jet Blue enven if I didn't select a seat or pay for a carry-on with Spirit. Therefore it was a no brainer to book with Delta and Jet Blue for a lower fee that would allow me to travel with free carry-on, free onboard entertainment, more comfortable seats, cleaner planes, print my boarding pass and skip the airport counter, while saving money. I can waive the comfort of selecting a seat without a fee and printing my boarding pass in the comfort of my home or office and I don't mind paying for beverages if at the end of the day, or the ticket I should say, I'm saving a significant amount of money with Spirit. However, unless you are traveling for one day, any decent and clean person that travels for 2-3 days will need a carry-on bag and Spirit will charge you for that! I really have a problem paying Spirit for carry-on when the so called "on-board carry-on crisis" that they claim slows down the boarding and exit time of passengers, was caused by them when they started charging for checked bags and by putting more seats to an aircraft than other airlines. I will only fly with Spirit again in short 1-2 days trips if I can fit all my stuff in a backpack and I can save at least $70 from the competitors or if I save at least $100 per ticket after paying for carry-on on longer trips. Otherwise, in my opinion, it is not worth it to go through all the hassles that Spirit represents in terms of long counter lines, cramped planes, uncomfortable seats, filthy planes, extra fees, and lack of onboard entertainment. To all those fellow travelers from San Juan, please be aware that Spirit charges $72.20 per person in TAXES and FEES for a round trip from San Juan to Ft. Lauderdale while Jet Blue only charges $46.20 for the same route and while American Airlines charges $46.20 to Miami and Air Tran $46.20 to Orlando, Florida. Shouldn’t government taxes and fees be the same regardless of the airline?