8 Things to Know Before You Fly Spirit Airlines

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If you have been looking for cheap flights, you may have noticed Spirit Airlines show up in the results with low fares, but you may not know a lot about this discount airline.

Spirit Airlines is called an Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and offers extremely low airfares. Often you will pay for services on Spirit that are free on other airlines.

In this article, I’ll showcase everything you need to know before booking a flight on Spirit.


Spirit Airlines is based in Miramar, Florida.

It flies to nearly 100 destinations in the United States, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Source: www.flightconnections.com


Spirit Airlines offers just one fare class, and those fares are lower than what you would find on a legacy carrier. However, many of the things you would get on a legacy airline for free could cost extra when flying on Spirit.

Seat Selection Fees

When booking a flight on Spirit, you will be able to make an advanced seat selection for a fee. Their website says the price of selecting a seat ranges from $1 to $750 per leg of your trip. In August 2023, I checked the price for a September flight from Atlanta to Detroit. I found the seat selection prices ranged from $7 (middle seat, rear of the plane) to $52 (big seat, very front of the plane) each way.

If you do not choose a seat at the time of booking, you’ll be assigned a seat at check-in at no charge. Spirit does not guarantee people traveling in the same party seats next to each other if you do not book them in advance.

Baggage Fees

Spirit allows you to bring one personal item onboard for free which includes a purse, laptop bag, or small backpack with maximum dimensions of 18x14x8 inches and that includes handles and wheels. You may want to break out your tape measurer to make sure your bag is small enough. Most regular-size “rollaboards” will be too large to count as your free personal item.

Spirit’s website says that in some cases, wheelchairs, car seats, and strollers may be checked or carried aboard free of charge.


How much you’ll pay to check or carry on a bag depends on its weight, your destination and your travel dates. The best thing to do is use the Spirit Bag-O-Tron tool when you book your flight. You’ll definitely pay more if you wait until you get to the airport.

In August 2023, I looked up prices for a flight a September flight from Atlanta to Detroit. One carry-on bag cost $63 on my trip to Detroit and $57 on my return flight to Atlanta. Or, I had the option to check my bag for $60 on the way there and $51 on my return flight.

These baggage fees can add up quickly. It’s always great to score a cheap deal on airfare, but before you book it is important to understand all fees to be sure you are truly scoring the best deal for your trip.

Priority Boarding

You can get priority boarding (“Shortcut Boarding”) if you’re buying a bundled fare (more on that below) or by purchasing it as an add-on at checkout.

As I went through the process of booking a flight, I opted not to select a bundle. By the end, I was prompted to add priority boarding for $9.99 per person each way.

Change and Cancellation Fees

Spirit Airlines offers several options to change or cancel a reservation including through your online account, live chat, texting, or by calling customer support. All changes or cancellations made to reservations 60+ days away are completely free. For reservations less than 60 days out, check out Spirit’s change and cancellation schedule.

Other Fees

Here are some of the other fees listed on Spirit’s website.

Spirit Saver$ Club Membership$69.95
Agent Printed Boarding Pass$25 per boarding pass
Unaccompanied Minors$150 per customer, each way
Pet Transportation$125 per pet container, each way
Wi-Fi Browsing$3.99-$16.99
Wi-Fi Streaming$6.99-$19.99
Shortcut Boarding(Zone 2)$7.99-$9.99 each way
Shortcut SecurityUp to $20

Ways To Save Money on Spirit

Below are the programs Spirit offers that may save you money by grouping add-on fees together or through discounts.


Spirit offers two different bundle options that can reduce the price of the add-on fees and provide other benefits such as priority boarding.

  • “Just For You”
  • “Boost It”

You will also notice that you have the option to proceed without a bundle and just “book it.”


When choosing a bundle option, note that the price you’ll see on the website is only for a one-way ticket.

Here are the bundles offered to me for a roundtrip ticket from Atlanta to Detroit in August 2023:

Source: Spirit.com

Source: Spirit.com

Spirit Saver$ Club

Spirit Airlines offers its lowest fares in what it calls the Spirit Saver$ Club.

Membership costs $69.95 for 12 months, $99.90 for 18 months, or $129.90 for 24 months. One big perk of the membership is that you get the member discounted fare rate for up to 8 people when you book them on your reservation.

Other benefits of being a Saver$ Club member include:

  • Discounted bag fees
  • Discounted seat selection fees
  • Discounted priority boarding
  • Discounted shortcut security
  • And more!

I checked a half dozen fares with and without Spirit Saver$ Club to see if it would make sense to join, and I found the range of discounts to be 8-16%. I recommend comparing both fares along with the benefits of Saver$ Club to see if membership makes sense for you.

Spirit shares promo codes throughout the year in promotional emails that they send out. If you are considering a trip on Spirit, it may be worthwhile to join their Free Spirit program and opt into receiving their emails. Also, be sure to check Clark Deals for the latest Spirit Airlines promo codes.

Food, Beverage, and Entertainment

Spirit Airlines does not offer complimentary food and beverages.

There is an array of beverages and snacks available for purchase.


If you are looking for onboard entertainment on Spirit, you will not find it.

Spirit does, however, have Wi-Fi onboard. But, like their other amenities, expect to pay for this service. Wi-Fi starts at $3.99 for browsing speeds and $6.99 for streaming speeds and the pricing goes up for longer flights.

To avoid these add-on costs, remember to pack a snack (if you can fit it in your carry-on!) and download your entertainment to your device before you get on board.

Customer Service

Spirit’s website says that you can get in touch via:

  • Live Chat
  • SMS Text (48763)
  • WhatsApp (855-728-3555)
  • Phone (1-855-728-3555)

Spirit notes that contact via text, WhatsApp, and by phone are all 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

The table below shows 2023 data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which includes overall customer satisfaction ratings from Spirit Airlines customers and those of other airlines.

Airlines2023 Score% Change
Alaska Airlines818%
American Airlines781%
Southwest Airlines781%
United Airlines770%
Delta Air Lines76-1%
JetBlue Airways76-4%
Allegiant Air757%
All Others721%
Frontier Airlines672%
Spirit Airlines642%
All Airlines (Average)761%

See more on the airline customer satisfaction ratings in our article.

According to the June 2023 Air Travel Consumer Report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, 60.70% of Spirit flights were reported to have arrived on time in April (most recent data available).

Final Thoughts

Spirit Airlines offers cheap base fares — but you need to be aware of their fees. They also rank pretty low for customer service and on-time arrival.

To save the most money, you’ll want to look at all the fees and compare them to a bundle package.


If you are a minimalist traveler, you may be able to get away with the base fare. But, if you need to check your bags, select your seat and have Wi-Fi and snacks on board you may find your ticket price quickly matches — or even exceeds — that of a full-fare traditional airline.

Have you ever flown Spirit? Share your experience in our Clark.com Community!


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