I took a gamble. The Spirit fare was so cheap it equated to a “first class” seat for an economy class price and the ability to fly nonstop. Unfortunately, it did not pay off. Maybe it was because of the destination, maybe it was because time of day, but the flight was simply not pleasant.
John and I cut it close, arriving at LAX just an hour before departure. LAX seems to get progressively crowded throughout the evening, but 8pm was still early enough to avoid serious gridlock.
Thanks to PreCheck, we cleared Terminal 5 security in two minutes. I am thankful that Spirit now participates in Pre Check.
I had eaten dinner with my family before leaving but John was hungry. He asked what would be served onboard and was surprised to hear that we’d have to pay even for water. While he ordered dinner, I bought a couple water bottles. Note that if you bring your own bottles (which we should have done), LAX now has convenient hydration stations in every terminal that make it easy to refill your water bottles.
Boarding began on time at 8:25p, as indicated on our boarding pass. Because John’s food took awhile, I was not first onboard.
Let me note that no one enforced carry-on restrictions. Some walked on with several carry-on items and gate agents did not stop anyone. Once onboard, FAs also did not care what was placed in overhead bins.
Los Angeles (LAX) – Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)
Wednesday, September 27
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Seat: 2B (Big Front Seat)
Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat
On our A320, the first two rows featured “Big Front Seats”, which are akin to domestic premium class seats on airlines like Alaska, American, Delta or United. Almost…
The seats come “pre-reclined” and cannot be adjusted. So while still a wider (20″ width) and more comfortable seat than in economy class, it is not a real business class seat.
Legroom is decent (36″) and if this review was about the seat alone, I’d say Spirit was an incredible value. There is no in-seat power outlets.
FAs were pleasant, though a bit confused when I started taking pictures of the cabin. I told one that I had not flown Spirit in 14 years and she responded, “Oh. Well, welcome back.”
The door closed 20 minutes early…an impressively efficient boarding. We quickly taxied out after a manual safety demonstration and took off at 9:14a, one minute before scheduled departure time.
Spirit Airlines Buy on Board
In the air, FAs promptly began service, offering snacks and drinks. Almost everyone around me purchased something. Credit and debit cards are accepted while cash is not. Here’s the menu:
Although I wasn’t very hungry, I ordered a bag of mixed nuts for $4. Or at least what I thought was mixed nuts.
Turns out the mix was mostly raisins, pretzels, and sesame sticks but there were some almonds and cashews pieces in there.
Still, I figured a little snack before bed would help me fall asleep.
Spirit Airlines IFE + Fight
Spirit has no IFE or Wi-Fi onboard. The only entertainment came in the form of the fight that broke out during the flight.
> Read More: Fight Breaks Out on My Spirit Airlines Flight
I don’t want to rehash it here, but the raucous party going on a few rows back plus the stench of marijuana made it difficult to sleep. I’d say I managed only about 30 minutes of sleep over the course of the flight.
Spirit Airlines Lavatory
The A320 has one forward lavatory and two aft lavatories. The forward lavatory was clean.
Spirit Airlines Credit Card Hawking
About 30 minutes before landing all the lights were turned on and a FA began her credit card spiel. Sign-up for a “blackout free” Spirit Airlines credit card onboard and receive an extra 2,500 mile voucher. FAs went down the aisle twice with credit card applications. Very annoying.
Broken Gate at FLL
We landed 30 minutes early in FLL and pulled up to our gate. Unfortunately, our jet bridge was broken. After 20 minutes of tinkering with it, everyone was ordered to return to their seat, and we moved to an adjacent gate.
Spirit Airlines Price
My ticket was $78, the carry-on bag was $25, and the Big Front Seat cost $75.
My question is was my flight unique, or was it business as usual on Spirit Airlines? I am glad I tried it, but I’m in no rush to try it again.
The last time I flew Spirit was in February…of 2003. Even then there was a Big Front Seat and a la carte pricing. Not much has changed at Spirit Airlines.
While I won’t rule out flying Spirit again, in terms of this trip I should have flown economy class on JetBlue instead.
You probably would’ve enjoyed the lively atmosphere if the goal wasn’t sleeping on the flight. It sounds way more fun to be in a party plane than some random boring flight.
I don’t get it. Why even bother with Spirit when you have two other superior choices in JetBlue and Virgin America?
Fair question and the answer is one word only: price.
$1000 vs. $800 vs. $175.
I would have paid $500 for JetBlue or Virgin, but not double that.
What a lousy post this was. Talk about 5 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. “surprised we had to pay even for water” and “no recline so not a real business seat”. What do you live under a rock? Also just to clarify the 1st row does recline 2nd row does not.
No, the first row also does not recline. But thanks for chiming in.
FYI, They don’t recline anymore. The only reason I took them was the price to Colombia and the fact they reclined. Matthew is right, you might as well take a coach class ticket. They cost the same as the Big Front Seat, Bags, water and food.
I value seat comfort above all, I don’t care about food and the other incidentals, so for me it would actually be a good value. And with earplugs/noise-cancelling phones, would the noise/fight have been bothersome? $178 in a comfortable seat LAX-FLL is not that bad.
You could have brought a bag of snacks for yourself from the grocery store! You don’t need to buy those little bags of nuts on a plane as far as water why didn’t you bring an empty bottle and fill it after the security Point by the water fountain that has filtered water now? If you just want the regular water in a cup of ice it’s free. Maybe you can afford the extra money for JetBlue I cannot so sounds like a good price to me
Price is what is all about but their service is horrible. Arrived at airport early, checked a bag etc. Waited for security line to dwindle passed thru security, they closed the door on 14 passengers. Took off with our luggage and we had to drive to pgh to take a later flight. Experience has been horrible past two trips in September but travelling for pleasure.
Wow, You’re complaining about paying for water when you only paid $178 for non-stop big front seat? So you would even pay $322 more (based on $500 on Jetblue preference) for a free water, peanuts, and an outlet? I guess most of us common folk can use that savings to pay our monthly car payment.
Well… you pay peanuts you get pretzels and raisins!
Then again if your objective was to get some sleep, why not bring some xanax or the likes?
I don’t know about others but I’m a Spirit fan. $25 to fly to Michigan, $64 to Jamaica and having a 6am flight to go straight to work on a Monday morning. Im game!!!!! It’s call “Bare Fare” that’s all you pay when you fly with Spirit. I purchase food at the airport if I need to and discipline myself to not purchase on flights. Sometimes my ticket only cost $16 round trip because I use my miles from my Spirit Credit Card. I will forever fly with Spirit!!!! #barefare
This is a very nice review of your Spirit flight. I especially liked the variety of photos you shared. I flew Spirit’s big front seat once from PHX-DEN, and though it was comfortable, it was very aged and dirty with no cushion support remaining! It appears the updated seats look cleaner and more modern than the 90s era first class seat I experienced about 5 years ago. I may give them another chance with an upcoming flight to BWI. Thanks for posting!
I’m mostly commenting to say thank you for writing and jeez, what is wrong with people leaving such harsh comments on here? What is wrong with people these days? It’s a personal review… Anyways, thank you for all the images! They were helpful.
Thanks also. I fly a lot between atlanta and bwi, and as price on southwest has crept up, i might give spirit a chance. Lately, it seems southwest is sooo packed, almost every flight is booked solid. Good for airline, bad for big/tall flyers. I normally just enter plane then sleep then deplane so i might try this as it seems flight+big seats is still cheaper than southwest. Just need to bring my sleeping blinds and noise cancelling earbuds, which i always carry.
Fantastic review, especially for someone trying to decide if they should also give it a shot. Nice of you to take alot of pics as well. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.
Thanks for your review. It’s help me to decide. Big seats that can’t recline , 4 hour trip with skunk smell and a private party, no thanks. No worth the money.