The origins of the company go back to 1964, when it was founded as Clipper Trucking Company. In 1980, they started an airline service called Charter One. Since 1992, the company has been known as Spirit Airlines and has expanded their list of destinations to 52, spanning the US, Caribbean, Central America and South America. Its headquarters is in Ft. Lauderdale, and its other top hub airports are in Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago and Detroit. Spirit Airlines became an ultra low cost carrier in 2007. They used an innovative plan to reduce costs by charging for optional services such as baggage and drinks or their Big Front Seat. The Big Front Seat option is Spirit's alternative to business class or first class, neither of which they offer. They also display advertising throughout their airplanes to generate ad revenue, including on tray tables, seatback inserts and overhead bins. Spirit uses only Airbuses in its fleet of planes. It has 29 Airbus A319–100s, which seat 145 passengers. Spirit also uses 26 Airbus A320–200s with a capacity of 178. Their two Airbus A321–200s hold 218 passengers apiece.
Spirit Airlines allows and encourages online check–in beginning 24 hours before the scheduled departure time of the flight. Checking in online with Spirit will often save the passenger money on baggage fees, if they choose to purchase their bags at that time. Online check–in also allows the passenger to use the Fast Bag Drop for quicker service at the airport. It is also possible to check in at the airport using either automated kiosks, which save money, or at the check–in counter. Passengers are charged a small fee to print out a boarding pass in the airport at this point. Spirit recommends that passengers arrive at the airport two hours before their domestic flight is scheduled to depart, or three hours before the scheduled departure time of international flights. Because of Transport Security Administration (TSA) screening requirements, bags must be checked a minimum of 30 minutes before the flight, or 60 minutes before flights to international destinations. In several major US cities a minimum of 45 minutes is required. These cities are Dallas, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Spirit Airlines website provides flight status updates.
Passengers who do not have a boarding pass at least 30 minutes before departure may lose their reservation. Loss of reservation can also occur if a passenger is not at the gate 15 minutes before takeoff.
Frequent Flyer Information – FREE SPIRIT
FREE SPIRIT is the name of Spirit Airlines' frequent flyer program. Free registration for the program is available via the airline's website. After joining, members will earn miles based on the cost of flights they purchase. The Spirit World Mastercard is another way to earn miles for Spirit Airlines. The miles can be redeemed for award travel. Members also have the option to make use of their FREE SPIRIT miles by exchanging them for magazine subscriptions or online games and contests. Being a FREE SPIRIT member also makes it easier to make reservations and manage bookings.
Spirit uses what they call their Bare Fare to keep their base prices as low as possible. Those who travel light will benefit the most from this policy, but it allows each customer to personalize their trip. Each passenger is permitted to carry on one free personal item. The item must be able to fit in a box with the dimensions of 16 x 14 x 12 inches (40 x 35 x 30 cm) including handles and wheels. This usually means only a small backpack or purse will be free to carry–on. An additional carry–on bag that can fit under the airplane seat or in the overhead bins requires a service charge and should be a maximum of 22 x 18 x 10 inches (56 x 46 x 25 cm) in size. This fee changes depending on when you reserve the carry–on privilege. The base price is charged if purchased during online booking or before online check–in. The price goes up slightly if a carry–on bag allowance is reserved during online check–in. Members of Spirit's $9 Fare Club receive a reduction on these charges. Passengers who wait until the airport to select the carry–on option will be subject to a higher charge, which rises again if carry–on luggage is booked at the gate. These last two prices are not subject to a $9 Fare Club discount.
Checked bags are also charged differently according to when the request is made by the customer. During online booking or before online check–in, the first checked bag is charged at the base price, while during online check–in the fee rises. The fee rises again if checked bags are booked at the airport or at the gate. The service charge for second checked bags has a higher fee structure, which similarly varies according to time of purchase. Third, fourth and fifth checked bags also have higher service charges. Spirit Airlines also charges additional fees for baggage items that exceed certain weight or size limits. Bags that weigh 41 – 50 lbs (18 – 23 kg) are subject to a base service charge, which increases for baggage in the 51 – 70 lbs (23 – 32 kg) range and again for anything that weighs between 71 – 99 lbs (32 – 45 kg). The first fee level for oversized baggage is for checking an item with a combined linear measurement greater than 62 linear inches (158 cm). For baggage that exceeds 80 linear inches (203 cm), a higher fee is charged. Certain items of sporting equipment have separate or specific fee structures. Regulations can vary from item to item; for instance, two surf boards can be checked together in one bag for the same price. Golf clubs, skis and snowboards are priced the same as checked bags and overweight charges may apply.
When tried to book a flight on line the price keep changing before my eyes. I finally got in touch with a live agent. At the ad book my flight I failed to get my luggage paid for I am a new customer with the airline and should've been told I had to pay more for my luggage
Plane was delayed hours
Great deal and fight
Spirit airlines really needs to improve the quality of their experience...might be cheap/inexpensive for last minute flights but overall they are not competitive in any other way!
We can not make the fligth. Spirit canceled two times.
After asking to sit in one of the 12 or so open seats in the very back of the plane, (I was seated between two very large men) I was physically pushed by one of the flight attendants on my flight from Seattle to Vegas because she was annoyed that I asked. She apologized for pushing me after she realized I'm nearly in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy, which I don't exactly find to be a good excuse. That set the tone for me and made my flying experience frustrating. I was somewhat disappointed in the professionalism on the first flight. The flight attendants on the same flight proceeded to sit in the very back row that was open and talk loudly while the entire cabin of passengers tried to sleep. My flight from Vegas to Orlando was much better. The younger flight attendants were more polite and encouraged the ability to sleep in a quiet environment.
Was wary of using spirit airlines after reading alot of negative feedback, but took a chance and was pleased with the outcome. The airline was and didn't pretend to be anything else but a no frills low cost carrier. We read the small print, got there early, made sure our carry on complied with their regs and found the experience to be quick, efficient and good value.