I recently booked a round trip flight between Los Angeles and Las Vegas for $93.00. I used either Expedia or Travelocity; I don’t remember which. What I didn’t know until after I printed out my boarding pass at the airport was that I had to pay $45.00 each way to check my small suitcase. Every other airline I’ve ever flown considered it a carry-on. On Spirit, it’s only a carry-on if it fits under the seat. It could have been worse. If I had to check the bag while boarding the plane, they would have charged $100.00 each way.
I asked the ticket agent how I was supposed to know that. He said their terms were posted on their website. I hadn’t used their website. I suppose I just should have realized there would be a catch. Maybe I’m overly sensitive to being cheated, but I don’t think it’s fair to hide the true cost of travel so far down in the small print.
Just so you know, the only thing free on Spirit Airlines is the lavatory. A bottle of water is $3.00. A small bag of M&Ms is $2.50. If you want a pillow, there’s a charge. If you want a blanket, there’s a charge. If you want to pick your seat before boarding, there’s a $10.00 charge. That’s not an upgrade; that’s just what you pay for not having the seat assigned randomly. If you’re not traveling alone, that might be important to you.
On the return flight to L.A. there were a couple of inconveniences that reinforced my decision never to fly Spirit again. They issued a boarding pass for my seat to another person, so I had to wait until everyone else had boarded before they found me a seat. After we landed, we had to wait on the tarmac until another plane left the assigned gate. That’s not too terrible, but the wait was far longer than the ten minutes they told us it would be.