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.