Understanding the Spirit $9 Fare Club
Is the Spirit $9 Fare Club Right for You?
One question I get asked a lot is if it’s beneficial or not for someone to join the $9 fare club. The honest answer to that is “it depends”.
What are your travel plans?
There are certain questions I like to ask, how often do you plan on flying Spirit in the next 365 days? Do you think you’ll bring a bag or a carry-on each time? How many people are you flying with? Do you see a $9 fare for a flight on a day/time you want to go? Is buying tickets at the airport not a convenient option for you?
How much cheaper are these tickets?
When I see $9 fare club prices, they are usually $10, $15 or $20 cheaper, each way, than the normal ticket price. That’s close to the same savings you would get buying your tickets at the airport. Sometimes you might see a $9 fare price on your flight out, but not the return. Or vice versa. They’re not always available; but I suggest watching the flights for a while to see if it would benefit you.
How many people can get the $9 fares?
You can wait and buy the membership the day you want to buy the tickets you see. You can get the $9 fares for other people in your party. The Spirit website states: “Enjoy the same savings for everyone on your travel itinerary. Benefits apply to you and up to 8 additional passengers on your itinerary.
Passengers must be reserved on the same booking confirmation number as the Spirit $9 fare club member in order to receive fare and/or bag savings.” When I joined I saved $50 on my tickets and the cost of membership is $59.95 so it was only a $9.95 risk for me to join. Even if I didn’t use any of the savings the rest of the year I would be no more than ten dollars worse off.
The baggage discount
If you are a Spirit $9 fare club member, you get a discount on bags (both carry-on and checked) and that is where being a $9 fare club member has saved us the most money. For the cheapest rate you must purchase your bag more than 24 hours before your flight. You get a $9 discount (each way) for being a $9 fare member for a checked bag and a carry-on bag. Once you can check-in online the price goes up $10 per bag each way, but it’s still $9 cheaper for the $9 fare member.
Since you have to purchase your bags for each way remember to pay for your bag(s) online for both your flight out and your return flight. One checked bag for a round-trip flight will cost $60. It’s $42 if you’re a $9 fare member. One carry-on bag costs $70 round-trip and it is $52 if you’re a $9 fare member.
If you purchase it at the ticket counter it’ll cost you $50 for a carry-on and $45 for a checked bag one-way whether you’re a $9 fare club member or not. If you don’t pay until you get to the gate it’ll cost you $100 per bag (again, this one-way) whether it’s a checked bag or a carry-on. If you brain fart and forget to purchase your bag before online check-in the day you leave, you can still get the cheaper rate for your luggage on your return flight provided you’re not flying back within 24 hours and you will still get your $9 fare rate as long as you pay for your bag online.
Do you get other discounts?
Another interesting thing I just found out is, if you’re a Spirit $9 fare club member, you won’t get a discounted price for a flight/car reservation or on a flight/hotel reservation. I’m assuming this also applies to the Flight/Car/Hotel reservation. You still can get a discount for your bags on the flight, but even if there’s a $9 fare available on the flight you’re flying on, it’s seems to be only available to those flying flight-only reservations.
How long does the membership last?
The $9 membership is good for 365 days from the day you buy it. So if you buy it Sept 8, 2014; your last day of membership will be Sept 7, 2015. You also have to cancel it; the default is automatic renewal. If you know you want to cancel it I would start trying at least a week out to make sure it gets done on time.
It really depends on your personal situation whether or not you you should join the Spirit $9 Fare Club.
For more on Spirit, check out the comprehensive guide:
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