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Spirit Airlines - how much do their add-ons really add up to?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Candy Apple, Jan 24, 2017.

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  1. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    We are thinking of flying from Cleveland to LV on Sat. April 15 (day before Easter) and coming home Thur. the 20th. We have used Southwest in the past but the last two times have taken Frontier, which was not only much cheaper, but had good flight times and arrived a half hour early each leg. Unfortunately, Frontier is out of the question this time because the only N/S flight coming home doesn't leave until after 9 PM and gets us home the next day around 5 AM. We do NOT want an overnight flight! It doesn't matter what dates we look at for Frontier - it's the same bad flight times home.

    That brings us to Spirit, which we've never used before and I'm kind of nervous not knowing what to expect. We can get two non-stop round trips on those dates for about $539 base price. The flight times coming home are much better but the flight getting into Vegas doesn't arrive until about 9 PM meaning our first day is lost. We would check one bag each way, which is $21.00 apiece. They aren't specific about how much seat assignment cost. We aren't big people and don't need large seats. How much is a regular seat? How much are the other unknown fees and taxes?

    For Southwest we're looking at close to $800.00, and it is over $800.00 if we add in the early bird. Flight times are good going home. We could get in to Vegas eight hours earlier and have plenty of time to enjoy our first day, but is it worth paying that much more? Last year we only paid a little over $400.00 total for the two of us on Frontier, so paying "double" seems excessive.

    I appreciate your opinions.
     
  2. Fet297

    Fet297 113 survivor North Vegas

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    Why not price different carriers one way? Maybe you could save money that way and meet your time requirements.

    Example: fly frontier to Vegas and spirit from Vegas

    I find that Spirit is very clear on the cost of every add on and it can be costly if you decide to carry on/check bags at the counter. Also, I believe their checked bag limits are up to 40 pounds instead of the usual 50 limit.
     
    AirBnB Henderson. They say social distancing...Will we make this trip?
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  3. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    Fet, the two different carriers might be a good idea if Frontier also had good times getting in to Vegas, but their flight doesn't arrive until evening either.

    Southwest has the best times coming/going but it's a lot more expensive.

    I don't see on the Spirit website how much it charges for a seat. It gives a huge range. They also mention other "fees" without saying how much.
     
  4. Fet297

    Fet297 113 survivor North Vegas

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    Southwest is having a sale right now.

    That's good information, I didn't know if you considered different carriers.

    As for spirit, you can go through the booking process to get a feel for each add on fee and what the total cost would be. You do not have to complete the booking. Also, I've read it is cheaper to go to the airport and book a Spirit flight there. I've never flown that airline but have priced numerous flights on their site.

    Good luck with your travel plans.
     
    AirBnB Henderson. They say social distancing...Will we make this trip?
  5. QuaDxAceZ

    QuaDxAceZ High-Roller

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    I personally will do everything I can not to fly with spirit in the future. YES they usually offer the lowest fares but their baggage fees are high and they charge a crazy rate to carry on(minimum is $35 I think). Seats are very uncomfortable(super thin seat cushions), tray tables are about the size of an ipad, and ive had very rude flight attendants on multiple occasions
     
  6. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    Yes, that is the Southwest "sale" price. It was about $30.00 higher yesterday, so not much difference relatively speaking.

    Didn't know I could start a booking with Spirit and then stop without giving too much information...I could give it a try.
     
  7. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    I think you need to fill in passenger names and addresses before you can add options like baggage and seats. Make them up, feel free to use Joe Flebeets as your Nom De Plume. Checked luggage is $30 and carry on is $35 and seat selection can range from $13 to $18 and the big seat is around $50-60.

    The cost difference vs. convenience is a personal preference. But if I can save $100 or more on a similar itinerary, I would consider Spirit. However, about 4 hours into a 5 hour day flight, I'm squirming in the seat a bit.

    Don't leave us hanging, let us know how you made out.:thumbsup:
     
  8. BlueBellThunder

    BlueBellThunder VIP Whale

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    I've flown Spirit on my last 5 trips to Vegas. Yes they do nickel and dime you on everything, but their prices are very clear on their website. Simply add in the checked bag and other fees like seat assignments and if it's cheaper than a legacy carrier then you might want to consider them. We always pay the extra for the big front seat and check in 2 bags total. On my last 5 trips it's always been cheaper over the competition. It's been between $300-$400 per ticket. On the legacy carriers at least an extra $100 or more. And nonstops out of JFK on JetBlue or Virgin America are always at least $600 per ticket.

    I'm flying out of BWI for my April trip. Will also be there for Easter. Depart on the 11th come home the 18th.
     
  9. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    I have a few friends that flew Spirit & said 'never again'. I think a lot of that was because of the comfort level.

    However, I did just read a trip report (regarding a Vegas bound flight originating I think in the NW). Travelers got to the airport, checked their bag & then went thru security. Flight cancelled. No weather issue. No reason given. Offered a flight 3 days later. They lost their vacation, room was too late to cancel so lost that $, had show tickets booked & lost that $ also. That is one issue you can run into with one who does not have as many flights. They have no agreements with the legacy carriers if they have issues.

    When you start adding in the seat cost & the checked bag you may be around $80 more total? That's getting to the point where it would be close enough (for ME) to SW's price to just choose SW. Especially if my flight times were more desirable.

    If you shuffled dates a bit & did a later return home one day earlier you could come in at $650 for both of you.
    Depart April 15, Saturday
    Apr 15
    Sat

    1. 11:20 AM
      Depart Cleveland, OH (CLE) on Southwest Airlines
      Flight
      #704 [​IMG]
    2. 12:50 PM
      Arrive in Las Vegas, NV (LAS)

      [​IMG]WiFi available
    Saturday, April 15, 2017 Travel Time 4 h hours30 mminutes
    (Nonstop)
    Wanna Get Away (opens new window)
    Return April 19, Wednesday

    Apr 19

    Wed

    1. 09:35 AM
      Depart Las Vegas, NV (LAS) on Southwest Airlines
      Flight
      #4109 [​IMG]
    2. 04:30 PM
      Arrive in Cleveland, OH (CLE)
      [​IMG]WiFi available
    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 Travel Time 3 h hours55 mminutes
    (Nonstop)
    Wanna Get Away
     
  10. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    Thanks for your research, jgates. Five nights is really ideal for us. The 16th is Easter and we'll be spending several hours with our family who live in LV.

    I've heard later flights are more likely to be delayed. Arriving in LV at 9 PM is late enough (we're usually in bed at 11:00 PM, up at 5 AM)...we'd really be upset if there was an issue and we arrived the middle of the late, or worse, the next day.

    I wonder if price of SW will go down even more (60 day point would be mid Feb)...but then we run the risk of the only non-stop flights of the day being sold out.
     
  11. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Yes, prices sometimes go down. But, they usually go up.

    If you check prices often, you will see if they are headed up or down over time as they sell (or don't sell) more seats.
     
  12. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    As suggested above, you don't have to book round trip. Pay the extra ONE WAY and take Southwest there, give yourself an extra day of vacation. Then take Spirit home. I don't that kind of thing all the time. In May I'm flying in on SW (nice and early, in Vegas by 8 am) and taking Frontier home (leaves at 10:40 PM, basically an extra day of vacation).

    I've not flown Spirit but it sounds as if all of their add-ons are the same as Frontier, give or take a few bucks.
     
  13. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Others can confirm as I've never tried this, but I believe with SWA you can get a credit for future flights if the price drops.

    Or in fact, what you are doing is cancelling, getting a credit for what you paid, and then rebooking using the credit, resulting in something left over. So that is an option if you fly enough that you'd be able to use the credit.
     
  14. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    Yes you can get a credit on SW it the price drops. No fee. The credit is good for one year from the original booking date (not when you change the reservation). I love that.
     
  15. dcrawf

    dcrawf Low-Roller

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    I would definitely splitting things up, taking Southwest one way and Spirit in the other direction. No way I would want to get into Vegas at 9PM which mean you're not at your hotel before 10:30

    As previously suggested far better to pay for checked Spirit baggage when initially doing the reservation. They will charge more for baggage if you prepay to "check" after the initial purchase, and WAY more to actually do so at the check in desk.

    Frankly can't stand Spirit and Frontier because of the diming and quartering everywhere (too much to be nickel and diming). But often fly them because quite frankly, Southwest has long ceased to be the low-cost airline.
     
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  16. mdm4sfest

    mdm4sfest VIP Whale

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    Hello fellow Clevelander (well, Lakewood for me)...I am sort of in the same spot as I am flying out a week before you from CLE.

    Ive flown Spirit non-stop from CLE-LV before. At 5 foot 6, its a tad uncomfy as it has the smallest pitch (leg room) among all main carriers we would normally fly on. I believe the seats didnt recline either. But the flight was mostly on time and only $88 there.

    A couple things to think of...will joining their $9 club for a year cover any additional savings on Spirit (you made mention of $21 bag fee but thats ONLY if you join their club). Last year my brother paid $50 to save $120 on a single flight and then used his membership over the course of the year to save additional funds. Worked in his favor. Personally, when I fly Spirit/Frontier, I pack as little as possible and use a bookbag to avoid $30+ luggage fees each way. This usually only works when I fly down to ATL to see my brother. Flew with a bookbag last August to Vegas and it was a tight fit.

    The problem with Spirit/Frontier this coming April out of CLE is that the FLIGHT TIMES ARE SHIT. I like flying out early AM if I am only going to spend 4 days in Vegas. That way, I at least get my value out of it. Currently, we are looking to fly SW one-way to Vegas April 10 at $131 each way. We get to Vegas before 10am so we at least get value out of the day rather then come 9pm (Spirit/Frontier) the same day, a wasted night of a hotel ($$$$$), and thats banking on that Spirit/Frontier will even be on time.
     
  17. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    We only take one trip a year so any price drops from SW will not help us.

    I can't even do a fake booking on Spirit to get the total price. It wants me to log in. I've given my e-mail. At no time did it ask me to set a password, but it keeps ASKING for a password in order to log in to get the price. Oy....
     
  18. Universal

    Universal High-Roller

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    I wouldn't fly Spirit if it was free.
     
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  19. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    What was your bad experience like, Universal?
     
  20. vegasbound

    vegasbound VIP Whale

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    The cost for the seat varies $0-$20+. Flights under 3 hours I don't have a preference where I sit so I opt not to choose my seat - there is no cost when your seat is auto-assigned at check in. When I fly 3+ hours then I may opt to choose my seat usually starts at $4+ sometimes I middle seats and last two rows have no charge (same goes for Frontier). Roomier seats up front and exit rows have the highest cost.

    I only fly with a personal item on Frontier and Spirit. So, most often I pay for the flight alone. Many dislike the al a carte pricing, I wasn't a fan at first, either, but they've won me over. Why should I pay for stuff I don't use or extras I don't need? Last year, I booked three trips for the price of one on Southwest.
     
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