We are looking at flying from LA to New Orleans (without kids) and Spirit or Frontier are waaay cheaper than other airlines. But is it worth it? I don't want to be miserable on a 4-6 hour flight. If you've flown either, what was your experience like?
eggplant / 11716 posts
@BeachMama: I've flown Spirit 1-2x and I was also worried. But this was pre-kids so I risked it and then it was fine. I have heard their seats are closer together if you don't pay for the preferred seats and I think the seats don't recline, and obviously you pay for drinks/snacks. BUT since now all the major airlines have been putting seats closer together, I'm sure the difference is negligible.
blogger / wonderful cherry / 21628 posts
The last time my mom flew Spirit her flight was cancelled. She didn't get notified via email or phone call. Once she was at the airport they informed her they didn't have another flight for 48 hours. They eventually put her on an American Airlines flight since she couldn't wait two more days to go home. Her experience would make me hesitate. Plus you need more bags flying with kids and you have to pay extra for everything.
persimmon / 1367 posts
We flew Spirit to FL from Boston last spring, with a 1 year old on our lap. The flights weren't awful, though the seats were tiny and the plane was dirty. But, they charge extra for so many things that it would have ended up being cheaper to fly another airline when it was all said and done. Definitely read the fine print, as they charge for carry ons as well as checked bags, and a bunch of other things that would have been included in another carrier. There was also no in flight entertainment, which would have made it a little more tolerable.
persimmon / 1367 posts
For an example of their ridiculous fees, they charged us to check in in person, rather than online, but since we had a lap infant we were given no other option.
pomegranate / 3272 posts
Never had a good experience. I will definitely pay more to fly another airline.
pear / 1648 posts
I've had good experience with Frontier (several years ago, though) and generally poor experience with Spirit. In my experience, Spirit is at best uncomfortable and at worst, they more or less abandon you if things go wrong. Unless Frontier has gotten worse, though, I'd have no problem flying them.
olive / 61 posts
Spirit doesn't have any other airline affiliates so if they cancel you're flight they can't bump you to another airline. I'd pass.
pomelo / 5298 posts
@peachykeen: I dont know about service but frontier is now using ala cartel pricing like spirit. So the fares are super low but include pretty much nothing.
honeydew / 7235 posts
I had one not great experience and vowed to pay a little more not to fly them again. Baggage charges, uncomfortable plane, scary landing that was almost really bad.... we almost hit another plane.
persimmon / 1005 posts
I haven't been on either but a friend who flew spirit on a one hour flight ditched her return flight and bought a one way ticket home on delta because she said the plane was absolutely disgusting and she was so grossed out to be on it.
persimmon / 1286 posts
have had totally decent experience with frontier (they are as bad as any other major airline, IMO).
never flown spirit but we have family who does and literally every time they come to visit us, at least one flight is cancelled with no warning/delayed for hours/their luggage is lost for days.
persimmon / 1050 posts
We bought my MIL a ticket to come visit 2 yrs ago & it was on Spirit. She said the seats were really uncomfortable and wasn't very pleased overall (baggage charges & such). We decided to avoid them for future flights.
grapefruit / 4649 posts
We flew spirit once and never again. They cancelled our flight home and we had our 4 week old baby and they truly didn't care. My husband was on the phone with Delta booking is a different flight (that we'd have to pay for) when they have zero warning and boarded our flight. Has we not been in the boarding zone we would have missed it and many, many people did.
persimmon / 1310 posts
I wonder if you're confusing Frontier with the others? All the horror stories I hear are from Allegiant and Spirit. I flew Frontier a few years ago and didn't have a problem.
grapefruit / 4545 posts
I have flown Frontier several times, never a bad experience. Nice new planes.
Spirit - ugh...NEVER. I have had awful experiences with them and no longer fly them. They have no customer service...none...like if you want to talk to someone you have to go to the airport. So imagine what happens if something goes wrong? Not worth the minimal savings.
pomegranate / 3779 posts
I've never flown Spirit, but had a pretty poor experience trying to buy tickets from them one time. Ended up giving up and buying on another airline. I have flown Frontier several times and IMO it's comparable to other major airlines.
cherry / 128 posts
We flew Spirit once and NEVER again! Long story short - They were our second plane to catch to reach our destination (Key West) and they were delayed over 8 hours. They kept telling us our plane was going to arrive in the next 30min, then it was canceled, then the pilot was sick, then the plane just needed to refuel, told us it's on the mat but it wasn't - all while other spirit planes/flights going to the same destination boarded and left! It was a zoo!
No real complaints about Frontier. Other than they don't serve free beverages and you pay extra for your bags. Which is no big deal for us since their tickets are so cheap.
grapefruit / 4043 posts
Looking for an update here! Spirit is the only airline with a direct flight going across the country to where I unfortunately need to get to with my husband and two kids. Its an over night flight and I can book the big seats up in the front. Does anyone think this is okay, or is it just a terrible idea? Its pretty cringeworthy, to be honest, but I like the direct flight and flights in general are through the roof in costs right now to have one or two connecting flights with a 4 and 5 year old.
persimmon / 1079 posts
@agold: I wouldn’t do it. They are still horrible!
pomelo / 5257 posts
I don't have experience with Spirit but since there's Frontier discussion in the original thread I'll say DH and I just had a super uncomfortable Frontier flight two months ago. We flew with them because they were the only direct flight and we needed to fly on specific dates.
The seats were horrible with almost no cushion. Frontier definitely likes to nickel and dime so DH thought maybe they would try to upsell us cushions. No luck. The emergency exit rows stayed empty because the seats were $50 more. DH checked those seats hoping they had more cushion so we could upgrade but they were the same. We were only on the plane for three hours but it felt like torture. I was surprised because I'm not usually uncomfortable on flights. The rows were so close together we had trouble reaching down to get our stuff from under the seat in front of us. It would have been comically bad if it wasn't so uncomfortable.
We were really dreading the return flight but the return flight had much better seats and we were fine. I wouldn't choose a budget airline if we had other options but we'd probably suck it up if that was our only option again.
kiwi / 556 posts
I'm surprised by all the Spirit hate. I flew with them several times in the past and never had an issue. You just have to go into it knowing that everything is super basic. With that said though, this was all pre-covid, so I don't know how I'd feel now with possible delays or cancellations these days. I have heard that those issues are much more common now (though I've heard that for every airline, but I think spirit leaves people stranded more often). I wouldn't worry about the plane, seats, staff, or anything like that though.
nectarine / 2433 posts
@agold: my sister technically physically arrived to her destination on Spirit airlines (Bahamas or something) but I don't think has recovered emotionally from how bad it was lol.
grapefruit / 4043 posts
@cake2017: @Corduroy: @Lahela017: Thank you for your responses. Yikes. Well, I guess I can update later this summer after my own Spirit airlines flight. We booked the big seats in the front, which was actually a ridiculous upgrade on their own. However, even with the big seats, it all came out much less expensive than other flights - which all were one or two stops that i don't want to do with my kids.
@pachamama: Your response made me laugh out loud! I hope she recovers!
persimmon / 1093 posts
I have flown with Spirit/Frontier several times with my two young kids and never had an issue. They are super affordable. You get what you pay for so you need to plan ahead with bag checking, carry-ons, etc. I did upgrade to the big seats at the front of the plane once when my son was a lap child and they were so big he and I could sit next to each other on the one seat. I've never noticed a lack of cushioning on the seats as someone mentioned above. I think you can have a bad experience with any airline.