If you’re not familiar with Spirit Flights. The best way to describe them would be that they’re like a budget airline version of an elite hotel. They might be cheap, but they are definitely not cheap on amenities or Spirits customer service. Luckily, I’ve used Spirit Airlines several times. And I’ve figured out a few ways to get better service and even lower fares than their typical customers get. Here are some tips that will help you get a hold of Spirit Airlines!
Never call it Spirit
Spirit is Southwest on steroids with little to no legroom, high fees and a focus on cashless travel. Don’t be fooled: while they may charge you extra to print your boarding pass or pay via credit card (and then tack on yet another convenience fee), it’s better to plan ahead than waste time paying $100 for a Spirit checked bag. Find Spirit Airlines deals online an you can nab last-minute fares for 20 percent off if you book in advance. But their Secret site might be even more enticing—if only because most of us don’t know it exists.
Avoid peak hours (6am – 10pm M-F)
Try to avoid flying Spirit Airlines during peak hours. The airline’s busiest days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you’re trying to get a good deal on Spirit Airlines flights, you’ll want to schedule around these times, as they can be hundreds of dollars more than off-peak fares. If your trip happens to fall on one of these days, we recommend getting an earlier start at planning. Fares are generally released about three months in advance; so if your trip is less than six months away from today, try checking back around February or March for those cheap fares again!
Book with your phone
You can use an app like Flystein to buy your tickets directly from your phone. The company will also send you texts with updates about Spirit change flight, gate changes, and flight delays. You might think of Spirit as a dirty airline; it’s cheap and fairly bare-bones, but that also means that there are fewer fees. Keep in mind: If you miss your flight due to a delay on Spirit’s end (as opposed to one caused by weather or other factors), you won’t get a refund. Spirit’s fees and Spirit Airlines refund policy change often—don’t fly with them if you don’t want surprises!
Change in advance
If you plan to flying Spirit Airlines, check your Spirit Airline status a few days before departure. You can change or cancel flights for a nominal fee. Often these changes are free if you call in the Spirit Airline number. If you know you’re going to be gone for several days and have to buy multiple tickets or have a connecting Spirit book flight, it might be cheaper to just pay for one ticket and use Spirit’s refund policy on one of your legs of travel. When I lived in DC, I always flew Spirit because their business model allowed me to book last-minute trips with no additional fees and Spirit Airlines fly only once when I had a multi-leg trip that would otherwise cost much more on another airline.
Fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only
The Spirit fare sale calendar is a complicated beast, but if you can figure it out, you’ll get Spirit Airlines cheap flights. The best day to fly with Spirit is on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only. That’s because Tuesday and Wednesday travel is largely business-oriented; Spirit Airlines flights are typically full of people who would rather pay more for comfort than save money. By Saturday night most people have spent their budgets so they stay home or visit their parents over vacation rather than blow money flying Spirit Airlines somewhere new. And since those business travelers already paid a premium for a flight that week, when they realize what’s going on (and see how Spirit cheap flights those same flights are on Monday), most of them will take advantage of your willingness to pay extra.
Get there early at least 2 hours before the flight
Spirit Flights is a budget airline meaning everything about them will be cheaper (and crappier) than other airlines. Even if you are Spirit Airlines check in online, you must print out your boarding pass at home or go to an airport kiosk 2 hours before your flight leaves. If you don’t bring a printer and can’t get one at home or at an airport kiosk then you will have to pay $7 for a printed copy (payable with cash). Getting to the airport early will allow time for finding parking, taking a shuttle bus to the terminal, printing tickets and dealing with possible Spirit check-in issues.
Bring snacks and drinks
We all know that plane food isn’t exactly what we’d consider a gourmet meal. But when it comes to snacks and drinks, things get even worse. Sure, you can buy food on flights from Spirit, but it will cost you an arm and a leg. Instead of paying inflated prices for snacks at Spirit, bring your own in either your carry-on or suitcase. You won’t only save some cash with every flight—you’ll also get more variety than eating two servings of processed salami in one day! A fun tip is to buy individual servings from bulk stores like Costco or Sam’s Club so you can try new things each time.
Get to the gate at least an hour before departure. Use this time wisely!
If you don’t Spirit check in bag, Spirit will charge you for carry-on bags. If you check your bag, make sure you’re not wasting $100 on a checked bag fee with Spirit baggage policy. You can save that money by arriving early enough to repack your carry-on and stash it in an overhead bin. If no bins are available, hand it to a flight attendant as soon as possible so that they can stow it under their seat. Once it’s stowed safely away from all passenger feet, odds are slim that it will be lost or misplaced during your flight. But even if something does happen to your luggage, there is no need to panic because…
Never use their app or website for Spirit Airlines. Instead.
Go to FlySpiritt, search for your flights and then book with whatever airline they recommend. Even if it’s not Spirit, you can usually save money because Kayak will show you cheaper alternative flights. When booking through their Spirit Airlines website or app, there are a lot of hidden fees (e.g., airport fees, service fees) that you won’t see until later in your purchase process; using an aggregator service saves you from these last-minute surprises. Finally, remember that you have to pay additional Spirit Airlines baggage fee 2022 per bag—and if you plan on traveling over Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Year’s holidays when a lot of people are flying Spirit Airlines home, expect additional delays and have backup plans for getting home!
Be nice to them!
Everyone is nicer to you when you’re nice to them. Spirit Flights knows that, so make sure you are always pleasant and smiling at their staff members (especially those in uniform). You never know who might be watching, and if they see you being rude to a flight attendant, they’ll assume your behavior will also extend to them as well. It may sound overly simplistic or obvious, but it goes without saying that if people like you, they’ll be more inclined to help you out in any way possible. Asking politely can really go a long way in situations like these!