How to Fly Spirit Airlines (If You Must) — Flying Spirit Airlines

Flying Spirit Airlines

a plane on the runwayOnce again we’re looking at flying out to see friends over a weekend this spring. And once again it looks like the lowest cost option is Spirit Airlines. Now if you’re flying by yourself and flying Spirit Air would only save you $50 or so I can completely understand why you may choose to go with another airline. In our case, we are flying with our family of four. In this particular case, including all additional costs, we are saving $81.50 a person by flying on Spirit. Multiply that by four and that is $326 savings. However, if we do this wrong, Spirit could easily cost us more than one of the other airlines. Here’s what we’re doing to save money by flying on Spirit Airlines.

Buy Your Tickets at the Airport

First, we are buying our tickets at the airport. Spirit charges a $16.99 surcharge per ticket for each one-way ticket you purchase online. Two $16.99 charges for four people comes to $135.92. Well over the cost in gas and parking we will have to pay to drive to the airport to get our tickets. If you’re only one person, it might not be worth driving to airport to save $33.98 if the cost of gas and parking ends up being close to that. That is something you have to figure out.

Make Sure Your Carry-On Fits Under the Seat in Front of You and Pay for Checked Bags Online

a couple of bags on the floorWith Spirit Airlines they will charge you for any carry-on that does not fit under the seat in front of you. It is also cheaper to purchase your bags online than at the airport. So even though we go to the airport to buy our tickets, we wait to purchase our bags online. Spirit Air has recently changed their prices and decreased the price of a carry-on; it used to cost $10 more to carry-on a bag rather than to check a bag, now it’s a $5 difference. It is $35 to bring a carry-on and $30 to bring a checked bag. That is the price if you purchase them online BEFORE you check-in for your flight. If you wait to purchase bags until you check-in online the price goes up to $45 for a carry-on and $40 for a checked bag. If you wait to do it at the airport ticket counter it is $50 for a carry-on and $45 for a checked bag. If you do it at the gate it is $100 for either one.

Join the $9 Club if You Plan to Fly Spirit Often

I bought their $9 club membership last year for $59.95. If there’s a $9 fare ticket I can buy everyone’s ticket at that price as long as I’m one of the people flying. I also get $9 off bag fees if I purchase our bags online. If I do it at the airport (at the counter or at the gate) I pay the same price as everyone else. I have managed to save more than the $59.95 fee over the course of a year so buying the membership was the right decision for us. It really depends on how much you plan on flying on Spirit and if you can take advantage of their cheaper fares. Last year I was able to book three one-way tickets from DFW to Orlando for $29.90 each. When three or four of us are flying we tend to check one bag for the group of us so we have saved money there too. a screenshot of a chat

You Need to Pay for Assigned Seats

Spirit also charges for seats. Unless you are traveling with kids you will not be guaranteed that you will sit next to the person or people you are traveling with unless you pay extra for your seats ahead of time. This hasn’t been an issue for us since every time we’ve flown Spirit we’re flying with the kids or one of us is flying by ourselves, but it’s something to be aware of if sitting next to the people you’re traveling with is a big deal or not. You can also pay more for seats that have more leg room or the “big front seats†in the front of the plane. The price for seats vary depending on the distance of the flight and what kind of seat you choose.

Forget Free Peanuts, No Free Soda!

a box of wine in a canSpirit does not offer any kind of complimentary beverage or snack service on any of their routes. If you want a water or a soda you will have to pay for it. They also sell snack food and alcoholic beverages as well. These prices seem to be on par with other airlines food/drink prices. They also offer price breaks if you buy more than one item. You save $1 if you buy two items, $2 if you buy three items, etc. We tend to bring our own food and drinks on the flight, but we have sometimes purchased snacks during the flight if we didn’t bring our own.

Print Out Your Boarding Pass Ahead of Time

If you go to the ticket counter and do not have your boarding passes already printed out, either at home, or at their kiosks at the airport you will be charged a printing fee of $5 a pass. I had a mild panic attack on our last trip when we had to change our flight home because of weather and then I couldn’t print out our new boarding passes before heading to the airport. Luckily, as long as I did it at their kiosk, we were not charged for them.

In Sum…

a plane flying in the skyWhenever I suggest someone fly on Spirit Airlines I also tell them to make sure they know all the ins and outs and they should figure out their extra costs beforehand. You don’t want to end up paying more than you would have paid on another airline because you didn’t pay for your luggage ahead of time. I would also not recommend purchasing tickets on Spirit through a third-party site. I know not everyone is willing to jump through all the hoops, and for some the savings may be negligible, but I have no problem doing all of these things to fly on Spirit Air. In this case it will save us over $300. That kind of savings several times over the course of a year can go towards an extra family trip for us; and that is worth the inconvenience for me.  🙂

For an update and MORE Spirit information, click here.


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  1. Does spirit allow you to take advantange of it’s $9 club fares when you buy at the airport?
    I’m trying to figure out what’s a better deal – going to the airport to buy tickets – five flyers so the passenger usage fee is $169 or joining $9 fare club. Thanks.

      1. I wanted to buy tickets through spirit from Atlanta to Cleveland Ohio. This would be my first time. Can someone explain to me how to purchase them from the airport since everyone recommends that it is a lot cheaper.

        1. Hey just call the airport directly. U don’t really have to go to the airport. The spirit agent should be able to get the best deal. The earlier u book it the better.

    1. No it doesn’t, and you can’t get $9 fares over the phone either. In addition, reservations you make over the phone are also charged the $16.99. So to save that fee you 1) have to go to the airport and 2) cannot utilize a $9 fare even if you are a member.

      Sometimes the $9 fares are only nominally cheaper than the regular fare ($10). Sometimes they’re $35 or more off the regular fare. It’s just one of those things you have to do the math and figure out what works best for your current situation.

      The time I joined the $9 club it was going to save us $50. I haven’t purchased a $9 fare since, but it has saved us an additional $45 in luggage fees over the 12-month membership.

      1. Hey I had a question, I am going to be flying to kansas my first time ever with Spirit, my Dad is paying for the ticket via credit card, I have to be down there tomorrow and at the end of the whole process of purchasing the ticket it said that I would have to have my dad’s credit card with me? Or so he says. Does that sound accurate?

        1. When your dad booked it he should of gave the airline your information. Like birthday, age, etc. Then when you arrive at the airport all u would have to show is your id.

    2. After reading this column and getting some great advice I decided to purchase my family’s airline tickets at the airport. I purchased 4 adult tickets to Orlando for August of 2015 through Spirit. It would have been $712 online and I paid $568 at the airport. I had my husband with me so parking wasn’t an issue. If you can buy your tickets at the airport- DO IT!!

  2. We were looking at flights to my cousin’s wedding into DFW. American’s prices were though the roof. I asked the wife and her comment was “OK, as long as it’s not on Spirit”. We waited and one night I caught a fare drop and paid less than the Spirit fare to fly on AA and get a free bag (because of my Aadvantage CC). YMMV.

    1. I had similar experiences flying out of Detroit. I used to fly Spirit to LGA because it had the cheapest prices, but Northwest (Delta now) would have sudden drops I could take advantage of.

  3. I started flying Spirit about 2 years ago and I will never look back. The big 4 don’t offer a product worth spending almost twice for my airfare. Like she said around $50 or so then i’ll take United or Delta. Best part I like about Spirit, is for $50 I get for the big front seat. First class for only $50. The big 4 first class is a joke and not worth spending thousands to get status for a chance at a bigger seat. I fly IAH MCO a lot and my one way fares are around 50-100. United is $250-$500. I just wont spend that extra money. The points and status is not worth it anymore. I even bought a $19 ow a few months back.

    1. When Tiff flew to try out Spirit’s wine in a can for us, the lunch at the airport in between flights was less than her round trip ticket!

  4. Thanks so much for this info! My family of 6 lives in Dallas but we have extended family in California that we’d like to visit more often. And driving is not my favorite thing. 😐

    Question #1: Regarding the $9 Fare Club…

    You said this: “If there’s a $9 fare ticket I can buy everyone’s ticket at that price as long as I’m one of the people flying.”

    So, if just one of us pays the $60 membership fee, we can buy all six tickets at the $9 Fare Club price? I just want to make sure I read that right. (I was under the impression each person had to be a member in order to get their ticket at that price.)

    Question #2: Buying at the airport…

    I understand that the $9 Fare Club tickets must be purchased online. However, if we choose *not* to become a $9 Fare Club member and we purchase our tickets at the airport to avoid the $17 fee, do we just purchase them right at the ticket counter?

    Thanks so much!

  5. Yes, one membership has allowed me to purchase all four of our tickets at the $9 fare rate. The $9 fare baggage rates apply to everyone traveling with me as well. Their 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 $9 fare club member in order to receive fare and/or bag savings.” Also, if you purchase a tickets that aren’t a $9 fare flight, you can still use the $9 fare baggage fees for you and everyone you’re traveling with.

    Yup, just at the ticket counter. At DFW there’s one line for people who are dropping off their bags for a flight, and another line for those who need to purchase their bags, ticket, etc. And I always look up the flight times and prices ahead of time so I know exactly what days/times I want to fly and how much I’ll be expecting to pay (since flight prices can change that quickly on Spirit). Hope this helps!

    1. Yes, that helps a lot! Clearly I should have read all the fine print more thoroughly. 🙂 Thank you for the info. It helps to hear it from someone who has actually done it.

      Question: You mentioned the flight prices change quickly. Would you say the best way to keep track of the price fluctuations is via their email list?

      Another question: Do you find that the cities that get the $9 Fare Deals also fluctuate quite a bit?

      We have a pretty flexible schedule and we’re pretty good at traveling light without the need for extras, so I’m thinking Spirit might be a huge win for us.

      Thanks again!

      1. I do get the E-mails, but if I’m looking for particular flight I just check the website daily.

        The $9 fare deals vary, rarely is it actually $9. Some cities you see more often than others, I’ve seen Portland and San Diego come up before but I can’t remember if I’ve seen OAK or LAX come up. The cheapest I’ve seen a $9 fare at is $19.90 (still a good rate) and $59.90 or $79.90 is more typical for West Coast cities. Those deals are usually offered when you fly out on a Tues, Wed, or Saturday and those tend to be offered during their slower season when they’re trying to fill up planes. If you can be flexible and can wait for the good rate, that’s a good strategy. I also wouldn’t purchase a $9 club membership until you see a rate you want to take advantage of (they allow you to do that). A lot of times they offer the $9 rates for specific dates. They’ll have a list of anywhere from say three to eights dates for that price and it’s only available on a specific flight time. The one time I used it I purchased a one-way flight to Florida using the $9 rate then went to the airport to purchase our return tickets. If you absolutely need to fly out on a Friday and return on a Monday then it’s usually a better bet to reserve your tickets more in advance at the airport. Those rates typically increase the closer you get to the date of travel.

        I hope this helps and good luck!

        1. i have been a $9 member with a spirit CC. I get emails about getting points for charging things on my Spirit CC at affiliated sponsors but NEVER EVER wany emails about flight price drops, i have signed up repeatedly for email notifications, add them to contact list as checked junk mail, any ideas of what the issuer is?

          1. I’ve never gotten an E-mail for price drops. Of course even Kayak has been bad about that lately. That’s a different rant for another day. I just get E-mails for sales they have going on, some which I can possibly use, some I can’t.

  6. I’m getting ready to buy 4 tickets for my family from DTW to LAX. If I purchase the 60 day free trial membership when I book the flights will I be able to take advantage of the reduction in bag fees?

    1. I haven’t tried it and I can’t find the information on their website. I THINK as long as you pay for the bags before your membership expires, they should honor it. But make sure you 1) pay for the bags before you have to cancel your membership and 2) make sure you cancel your trial membership before the 60 days are up if you don’t intend to renew it. I’ve heard of people getting automatically charged the $59.95 several days later when they tried to cancel on the 60th day. Good luck!

  7. I’m flying spirit and i was wondering, my bags length is over 2inchs and its a tote, do you think that will be okay or should i use another personal bag?

    1. Can it be squished to fit in the tote carrier or does it have wheels? If it has wheels and cannot in any way, shape, or form fit into their bag sizer, I would go with another tote. I used to take a duffel bag with wheels but one time I was almost forced to pay the $100 carry-on fee for it at the gate. I won my case, but most people in that same situation didn’t. Ever since then I’ve gone with a bag I’m sure I can fit into the bag sizer that doesn’t have wheels as my “personal item”.

        1. You should be fine then. I’ve seen plenty of people make it through as long as their bag can be molded to fit under the seat. Good luck!

  8. I am going to fly spirit here soon with my two kids. one is 5 and the other will sit on my lap. Does anyone know what kind of snacks or drinks i can bring on for my kids or if i can even bring anything for them.

  9. I’m flying internationally with spirit airlines, and online, I have found all their info about policies regarding bags and the like, so I obviously want to pay ahead of time, but I just cannot find WHERE to pay for it online. Do you know where I go for that?
    Thank you!

    1. I haven’t flown internationally with them; but I usually go to the “manage travel” tab on their main page. There you can input your last name and confirmation code, then it asks you to login. Once you login it should bring up your reservation summary where you can change your flight, pick your seats (they charge to do that), and add-on and pay for your bags. Hope this helps!

  10. I have been flying Spirit once a month for 2 years now. You use to be able to pick your seat at the kiosk at no charge when checking in. They changed that a few months ago. I am not interested in paying for a seat so when would you suggest checking in to get a better seat? Should I do so 24 hours in advance, at the airport or sometimes in between?

    1. I honestly have not been able to figure that out yet. Since I normally travel with the kids I know with the three of us having to sit together I have a better shot at a seat closer up front than when I’m flying by myself. I still try to check-in at the 24-hour point and hope for the best. Good luck. And if you find out a better time to check-in, please let us know!

  11. I know the article is a few months old but if you can maybe answer one question for me. I fly spirit regularly and adhere to your suggestions above. I frequently get reduced fares being in the $9 fare club. My question is that since membership and renewal are the same price, if my membership expires in a few weeks but I don’t have plans to fly again for a few months, should I not renew and and just join before I fly so I can get the extra few months worth of membership that may come in handy next year? Do you lose anything? Will I lose my miles? I believe they expire after some time any so may not be an issue. Thanks in advance!

    1. I actually thought of doing this myself for the exact same reason; then I didn’t cancel the membership in time (renewal is automatic). So if you want to do it, just remember you have to go in and cancel your membership. From what I can tell I don’t think you lose anything. You lose your miles after three months of not doing anything to gain miles, whether or not you’re a $9 Fare Club member. To not let your miles expire I suggest signing up for their Free Spirit Dining. I sign my card up and make sure to dine at one of their less expensive restaurants if I’m getting close to losing my miles. However if you try to cancel, if you could, please come back and let us know if anything changes (or doesn’t!) so we can pass on that info to other Spirit flyers. Thanks! =)

  12. Hi, does the $30 fee for my first checked bag applies to my round trip ticket or do I have to pay $30 every time I check in? And also, if I understand correctly, the $9 helps only if I am flying, it doesn’t if I want to buy tickets for my parents who leave abroad. Correct? Thanks for the help!!

    1. The $30 bag fee is each way. And yes, the $9 club member has to be one of the people flying so other people flying with him/her can also use the discount for the luggage. Hope this helps!

  13. Hey, found this article googling around randomly. I am in the process of transitioning my family from Orlando to Houston, and we have found great value in Spirit. The key is to read, read, read everything and realize that Spirit saves money when you don’t bring extra luggage (that costs them jet fuel) or use personnel hours (for tasks you can do yourself).

    The last ticket we booked had my wife flying round trip from MCO to IAH at a total of $116.50 all in. She brought her own snacks and water and did just fine. I consider it the “Greyhound” of airlines, but with more common sense. We’re both willing to exchange the punishing of people who don’t read the rules for a super-cheap fare.

    All in all, Spirit does a great job of not auto-charging you for everything, but they suck at marketing them as such.

  14. So my daughter and I (4 years old) are flying spirit in two weeks. They will sit me next to her on the plane? I don’t need to pay for seat assignent?

    1. Yes, but the location may or may not be ideal. If you check-in online and for some reason you’re not assigned to sit next to her; make sure you get to the airport early enough to talk to a ticket or gate agent about it. I have been assured many times that they will sit you next to your children even without paying for select assigned seats.

  15. Wonderful. This is so helpful!! I am also traveling with my mother, and as long as one of us adults is with her i don’t mind if we get split up or end up in the row with no windows, etc. The amount I am saving on my package deal (flight and rental car) is so much that I am willing to be inconvienced a bit. 🙂

    1. I checked in online yesterday for a flight this afternoon and yes, they did assign my son and I seats together (the 9-year-old). We’re towards the back, but we are sitting together. =)

  16. Thanks for all your tips. I’m about to fly Spirit out of DFW for a quick trip we need to make to Philly. After years of “Be an American while in DFW” this will be a new experience for me.

  17. This is so great Tiff! I booked Spirit for next month – but I am a bit nervous. We have paid for 1 bag each. Two quick questions: is there a specific dimension that is allowed for your free “carry on”, or is it just what can stuff under the seat? I have a cpap and a purse. Will that be ok or am I limited to just one bag? AND: Can you print boarding passes at home without having a seat assignment? Thanks!

    1. The “personal item” (free carry-on) official dimension are 16x14x12 inches. I almost had trouble with a duffel bag with wheels a year-and-a-half ago. They do have a measurement device I have seen them make people use on occasion.

      I think they would be sticklers about the carry-on AND a purse; I usually put my purse in my backpack or checked bag to make sure we’re okay.

      Once you check-in online they assign your seats. So when you print out your boarding passes your seat assignments will be on your pass.

  18. Hi, thank you for taking the time out to answer so many peoples questions.. Me & the bf are flying Spirit for the 1st time in July… not my choice, but he HATES flying… in re: seats, it says that seats will be randomly assigned if we don’t purchase ahead of time… does that mean that even if there are 2 empty seats together when we book online, they won’t give it to us? In order to ensure sitting together, if there are such seats, WE MUST PAY FOR THEM? THANK YOU!

    1. I’ve had people tell me they have been assigned seats together without purchasing them; however, Spirit’s policy specifically states they do not guarantee seats together: “Spirit will randomly assign you a seat at check-in for free, but we cannot guarantee that you will get to sit with your friends or family.” To guarantee you will sit together you have to pay for the seats. Depending on how far your flight is you can usually find seats for $10 a person, the prices vary by route and location in the aircraft. Good luck!

  19. I have booked a flight for me and my girlfriend and her 12 year old daughter for July to Orland. I have read a lot of bad reviews about Spirit Airlines. A lot of the reviews are focused on flights not departing ontime. Is this something that I should worry about. I have read the baggage policy and am aware of the fees for checked bags.

  20. I booked a flight for July to Orland of me and my girlfriend and her 12 year old daughter. I have read a lot of bad reviews about flights not being ontime. Is this something we need to be worried about?

    1. The majority of the flights I’ve been on with them have been on-time or even arrived early. I had a flight this weekend that arrived 30 minutes early. The one long delay we had on Spirit was due to a maintenance issue, and we had one flight recently that was about 30-40 minutes late due to a combination of factors (some within their control, some not).

      1. Thanks Tiff for the help we booked the whole package through expedia and I just want to make sure we don’t miss picking up our rental car.

        1. Most rental car companies ask for your flight information so they can track if your flight is delayed or not. I’ve never booked a deal on Expedia before; but I imagine the rental car company would have your flight info if it was all part of the same travel package.

  21. I have booked a flight for July to Orlando for me and my girlfriend and her 12 year old daughter. I have never flown Spirit before what should we expect as far as flight service goes.

  22. We flew Spirit to Orlando in August last year and took advantage of the $9 fare club for discounts on tickets and prepaid luggage. We are flying Spirit to Orlando again this year in August, so we when we booked our tickets/baggage last week, we were still $9 fare club members.

    Our $59.95 annual membership renewal fee is due in July, prior to our trip in August. My question is, if I cancel my $9 fare club prior to our booked trip in August, will Spirit still honor our fare club tickets and prepaid luggage prices that we purchased when we were members? Our credit card has already been charged, but I can’t remember if we have to prove we are $9 club fare members when we actually travel. Thanks!!

    1. I have never had to “prove” I was a $9 fare club member at the airport. I cannot imagine them charging you more for your tickets since you were a member when you purchased them. I cannot see them charging you more for your bags either; but I think there’s a slight possibility they could try to do that when you check your bags. Here’s what their website says about canceling your membership: “It’s important to know that when you cancel your $9 Fare Club membership, you will no longer have access to the ultra-low club fares and member-only bag savings. Also, we don’t refund or pro-rate the membership in the event you decide to cancel.” If they tried to; I think you have a good argument that no where on it’s website or information regarding the $9 fare club does it state they would retroactively charge you more for flights or bags if you canceled your membership after purchasing them; but before the actual flight happened.

      1. Thanks, Tiff. That’s the same information I found when reading through the terms and agreement, but I wanted to get your take on it. I also wanted to say that I very much enjoyed your article and appreciate your continued response on the questions being asked here!

  23. Hi so me and my best friend are flying spirit airlines. Next week and we have not played for our checked bags online. I know it would be a better choice to do,but if we do does that information go on pur ticket

    1. Yes it will go on your ticket. When you print out your ticket at the top it will say something like “Congratulations, you’re eligible for the ‘quick bag drop’ line” which means you already pre-paid for your luggage. Hope you have a good trip!

  24. Hi! Thanks so much for your article. My one question is if a search on Spirit’s website shows that the $9 Club’s price for a flight is indeed $9 (Chicago to Minneapolis), is that truely the price? Flying at the non-club rate through spirit is still cheaper than flying another carrier. But I wanted to make sure that they don’t “pull a fast one” and once I sign up for the $9 Flight Club, suddenly the flight isn’t $9 anymore, its $30. (no point in paying the $54.99 fee if there’s no savings)

    Thanks! (I’ll be flying with a nearly 2 year old & a nearly 4 year old, so I’m just trying to get the best deal we can.)

    1. Is that including taxes and fees? That’s why a lot of their “$9 fares” are actually $20 now; $9 fare plus $11 taxes and fees. If it’s $20 vs. $38.99 each way that’s $18.99 savings per ticket (each way) BUT it’s a $16.99 savings per ticket each way if you buy your tickets at the airport without the $9 fare club. So it depends on how much it’ll cost you to go to the airport to buy tickets vs. purchasing the $9 fare club. Also don’t forget to include any luggage savings you’ll have. It takes seven one-way segments of checking one bag each time to make your money back on the $9 fare club if you don’t get any other savings out of it. If you did it for this flight alone, and it’s $20 each way total, that’s a $12 savings on your tickets plus $18 if you check one bag each way. Then don’t forget to take into account what it would cost you (in both time and money) to go to the airport. If you’re sure this will be your on Spirit flight over the next 12 months it’s probably not worth it; but if there’s a chance you’ll fly on them again then I would seriously consider it. You can also buy the $9 club membership as you’re buying your tickets. I hope that all makes sense and isn’t too confusing! =D

  25. Should I be concerned if it isn’t allowing me to do online check in? My fiance and I are flying to Vegas in the morning and I was able to print her boarding pass but not my own. I’m kind of panicking a bit.

    1. I had one flight where I couldn’t print out any of our boarding passes ahead of time and had a mild panic attack. Luckily I was able to print them out at the Spirit kiosk for no charge (it seems they only charge if you go up to the ticket agent to print them out). If you are 100% positive you purchased two tickets and not just one, it’s probably just a computer glitch and you should be able to print out your ticket at the kiosk tomorrow no problem. I would get to the airport a little earlier than normal just for peace of mind. You could also try to the reprint all boarding passes option later today in case it is just a website glitch.

  26. Hi Tiff, We are flying out on Monday. Just noticed that our flights are not nearly full. Once the plane is in the air, will we be able to move to empty seats if my family is not together?

    1. Yes they usually do. They always request everyone to wait until after take-off to move seats. You can ask one of the flight attendants if there’s a good spot for you all to move to once everyone’s allowed to.

  27. Hi! First thanks for this article and comments. I’m buying the $9 fare club, bc the difference in not paying for the baggage is almost equivalent to the cost of the membership.

    I’m asking a question in relation to your earlier statement re: canceling the membership before auto-renewal. You state: “I actually thought of doing this myself for the exact same reason; then I didn’t cancel the membership in time (renewal is automatic). So if you want to do it, just remember you have to go in and cancel your membership. From what I can tell I don’t think you lose anything.”

    Can you clarify what you mean when you said, “just remember you have to go in and cancel your membership”? Is that to the airport? Also, if you have tips or recommendations on the best way to cancel the membership that would be great!

    Finally, if I were to cancel right away, but paid for the year, am I paid up for the year band still have access? Or am I cut off at that point, bc I cancelled prior to one year? Sorry if that is confusing.

    Thank you!

    1. Again, this is the best I can tell, but once you cancel your membership it is cancelled. So if you plan on doing that I would wait until the year is almost up before canceling it if you think you might use it again. They also do not give you any sort of refund for canceling early.

      Sorry, by “go in”, I meant sign-in online, not the airport! The default setting is for your membership to automatically renew, so you’ll need to sign into your account and actually cancel it a few days before it’s supposed to renew.

      I apologize for the confusion and I hope this clears things up!

  28. I am thinking of flying to Phoenix in November. The big front seat costs $40 more. Since there is no seat in front to put my bag under, do they let me put it in the overhead bin at no charge?


    1. As long as it’s the size of a “personal bag” and not a carry-on bag you’ll still be allowed to bring it on board for free. The last couple of flights I’ve been on they’ve been more lenient about letting everyone (not just those sitting up front) put their personal bags in the overhead bins. They still have to fit the personal bag sizer and each person is only allowed one.

  29. Hi! Thanks for all the information! I plan on flying Spirit for the 1st time in August and I noticed the $16.99 surcharge they charge per person if you book online. I live over an hour to the airport we would be flying out of and I would hate to drive 2 1/2 hours just to save myself $68.00. Can I call Spirit and book over the phone to avoid the $16.99 surcharge? Thanks in advanced!

    1. Unfortunately the surcharge applies for over-the-phone reservations as well. :-/ That’s why I also tell everyone to do your cost-benefit analysis to see if driving to the airport to buy tickets is worth it for you. If you’re planning more than one trip; one idea is to book several reservations at once to make the trip worth it. Or possibly look into the $9 fare club membership. Sometimes the tickets are only $10 cheaper, but that could possibly be worth it if you plan on flying on Spirit more than once in the next 12 months, especially if driving to the airport for tickets is cost-prohibitive for you. Good luck!

  30. 3rd, 4th and 5th checked bags – their site says ‘$76’ for this. Does that mean if i check in 5 bags, it will cost me $76 for all 5 bags together?

    1. $76 each. If there is more than one person, it’s best to check only 1 bag for each person first, that’s cheaper than checking a 2nd, 3rd or 4th bag under the same individual. If we’re checking more than one bag, I check one under my name, and then the next one under someone else I’m flying with.

  31. Hi Tiff, can you please tell me what is better for me to purchase before my trip in two weeks as for as bags and seats ??

    1. You can get the best price for your bags anytime up to 24-hours before your flight. I’ve never pre-purchased seats, I don’t think the prices change the closer you are to your flight, but there may be less options available the closer you get to the day of your flight.

  32. How do I get to the cancel 9 dollar fare club membership page? I have logged in and spent hours researching this and still haven´t been able to cancel my membership.

    1. Hmmm… that’s weird. I haven’t canceled my membership yet, but this is what the website says: “The easiest way to cancel your membership is by logging in to and going to your My Account page. Your $9 Fare Club section of the page gives you an option to cancel your membership. Once you complete a few steps, you will see a message stating that you successfully cancelled the membership. You will also receive an email confirming your cancellation within about 24 hours.” I would say if you’re still having problems, I’d try calling them to have someone talk you through it. Good luck!

  33. This information has been so helpful since we are flying Spirit for the first time this week. If we check in online, and our seats are not together, can you pay for seats once you get to the airport? Any help is appreciated!

    1. I haven’t tried that before. I know my husband and his brother and his brother’s wife all went on a flight together, they didn’t pay for seats together, and were still assigned a row sitting next to each other when they checked in 24-hours before the flight. They were seated near the back of the plane, but they were still able to sit next to each other despite not paying for seats ahead of time.

  34. Tiff, Thanks for all your wonderful tips! You are a great source of info. I wanted to confirm that one can’t use $9 club membership at airport, so my cost benefit analysis had to be: price of ticket at airport, thus saving the $17 fee, vs. cost of online purchase as $9 club member, and if not already a member, the $20 temp membership.
    ALSO: had searched canceling temporary membership after purchasing flight and luggage but before the date of flight, found no answer, AND no email to send q to spirit since not in their FAQs. Have called them in past, no longer a 1800 number, always courteous response but inordinate wait time. So glad I found you! Will bookmark this site for future travel.

    1. Right, you can’t use the $9 fare prices at the airport OR over the phone. So that’s definitely a consideration when you’re purchasing tickets.

      Also, it LOOKS like if you purchase your bags while you’re still a member (but cancel a membership before your flight happens) they will honor the $9 fare charge on baggage, but I haven’t been able to verify that yet!

    1. Only if you have another carry-on (backpack, computer bag, etc) AND your pocketbook. If it’s just your pocketbook, you’re definitely okay. I usually shove my purse into my backpack, because I know people have been charged for a carry-on by having a small bag and a purse.

  35. I will be traveling Spirit for the 1st time this weekend and can’t find the answer to my question anywhere. I have two children who still sit in booster seats (just the backless booster) that we need to bring. Do you know if we can bring them on the plane? Do we get charged for them? Or do we have to check them? Many thanks for all the great info!

    1. No airline can charge you to check booster or car seats for kids (as a carry-on OR as a checked bag). It is completely your call if you want to bring them on the plane or check them as normal bags. I prefer to check them since I like having less to carry through security; but I think most people choose to take them on the plane. You won’t be able to arrange it online to; you’ll have to do it when you get to the airport. Hope this helps!

  36. Hi, I am going to be in the Atlanta airport passing through tomorrow night. Can I walk up to a Spirit Air counter and purchase an August ticket for my daughter (who won’t be with me) to fly from Portland, OR to MB, SC in order to save the $17 Each way on her ticket for her upcoming trip?

  37. Excellent post.. Your tips are priceless! I’ll be saving $67.96 on 2 round trip fares by simply going to airport to purchase which is awesome! Question: Will I be able to use a promo code Spirit has going this month which offers $24 off as well? Do they honor promos at the airport??? Thanks in advance!

    1. No they don’t. So it’s a cost-benefit analysis if going to the airport is worth saving an extra $10 per ticket over purchasing them online with the $24 discount. I’m typically buy multiple tickets, in those cases it still makes more sense for me to buy my tickets at the airport. But it may be a wash for people who are only buying one ticket.

  38. Hi,

    I am so thankful for this post! It’s been so informative. I’m confused about the $17 surcharge for booking though. I am looking at flights online through spirit and don’t see a $17 charge mentioned anywhere. Is that something that’s tacked on at the end when purchasing the ticket? Also, is it possible to buy the tickets through another site such as expedia but purchase carry-on bags and checked bags through spirit?

    Thank you,


    1. It’s already included in the price they quote you. So if you look at the price online (the regular prices, NOT the $9 fares for the members) you can subtract $16.99 per ticket each way and that’s the price you can get at the airport.

      If you click on the question mark at the base fare price it breaks-out cost of your flight, and that includes a $16.99 “passenger usage fee”. That’s the fee you pay if you buy tickets online or over the phone. That fee is removed if you buy them at the airport.

  39. Linda: the 17 dollars its already included in the price. What they meant is that you might get a cheaper price at the counter. Don’t know about purchasing through another website but why do you want to do that? it wont be cheaper.

  40. So glad I found this site, so much valuable information. I’m flying out in a few days on spirit, for the 1st time and would like to know if there’s a limit on food you can bring on? And what are the rules for bringing water onto the plane? Thanks

    1. There’s no to the amount of food you can buy on the plane; but it has to be able to fit in your “personal bag” that fits underneath the seat in front of you. Same with the beverages, but remember you’re only allowed 3 ounces through security. You can bring an empty bottle and fill it up at the water fountain, or purchase a drink somewhere else after security and before boarding.

  41. I will be traveling with 2 small children and 2 other adults. Do you know if we will all be placed sitting together because of the kids or just one adult with two kids? I’m scared not having a seat assignment and one adult is with toddlers who haven’t flown before.

    1. From what I can tell, it seems like the automated system tried to seat everyone in a group together, even if you don’t purchase your seats ahead of time. You guys may be in a row of three and a row with two of you together but I’m sure you can divide the labor and split up the kids if you need to. You can’t take someone else’s assigned seat, but it’s perfectly fine to change seats around in your own party.

  42. Thanks for the great advice. Flying Spirit for the first time this weekend. If it’s a 2.75 hour flight (international) and I’m 5’9″, do you think it’s worth paying the extra $100 RT ($50/way) for the big front seat? Is it the spirit equivalent of first class? The spirit fare was $600 less (eek!) than the next closest fare, so it’s still a good deal, in my mind, but only if the difference is appreciable. Thanks!!!

    1. First, a disclaimer, I’m short, so please take my advice with a grain of salt. 🙂

      The “Big Front Seats” are the size of traditional first class seats, but nothing else extra is included with buying one of those seats. Several of the rows in the aircraft have more leg room. The Exit row seats (obviously) and the first regular row immediately behind the last “Big Front Seats” row. Obviously it’s up to you and what you value most. If the exit row is only $25 and the “Big Front Seat” is $50, you may want to consider the exit row. Sometimes Spirit needs people to sit in the exit row seats and you’ll get that chance for free before a flight, but you can’t count on that happening.

      Best thing I can suggest is look at their policy and if you do purchase a seat assignment, do it at the time it will cost you the least amount of money. Trial and error is going to be the best way to figure out which seat is your best value for the money.

      I hope you have a wonderful trip!

  43. Thans for all the great information. I will be traveling with Spirit for the first time on August 10 from IAH to MCO with my husband and two children. Im a bit scared with all the bad reviews and charges. I will have two checked bags but can each passenger take a backpack and should I purchase bags before or after check in? And can flight be cancelled for low passengers? Just because I checked for the seats and alot were still avaliable. Thanks in advance.

    1. For the bags, pay for them ahead of time if you know for sure how many you’ll need to check. Note: you do not have to pay for car/booster seats, but you can’t list them as checked bags online so you’ll have to tell them you have those when you check in at the airport. It’s cheaper to check one bag each for two different people than to put both bags on the same person’s account (the second bag is more expensive than the first). The first checked bag is $30 each way, the second checked bag is $40 if you put it under the same person, but if you list it as another person’s bag it’ll be only $30 for each bag. It is also cheaper to pay for your bags before you check in online. If you do it during online check in it’ll cost you $40 per bag instead of $30. Also, make sure you print out your boarding passes ahead of time; it’s now $10 a boarding pass if they have to print them out at the airport ticket counter.

      If a lot of seats are available that doesn’t necessarily mean the flight isn’t almost sold out; it just means people haven’t purchase their seats ahead of time; hence why they’re still “available”. The just haven’t been assigned yet. Most flights I’ve been on Spirit are fairly full and they are really motivated not to cancel flights. I hope you have a safe trip!

  44. Does anyone know, if I book Spirit tickets through Expedia can I then go to Spirit’s website and add bags?? I’d prefer to book via Expedia so I can earn rewards but it won’t be worth it if I can’t then add my bags to the booking/add seats etc.

    1. I have not booked on Spirit through a 3rd-party site before so I called them and the representative told me you CAN add your bags and pick your seat assignment on the Spirit website even if you booked on a 3rd-party website. You can go to the Spirit website and input your record locator number and last name under “manage travel” and then you should be able to do everything from there. If anyone has tried that and it doesn’t work, please let me know I’d be interested in hearing about it. I hope it works out for you.

  45. Hi I was wondering a few things about purchasing a ticket from mco to fll for a weekend specifically the weekend of aug 16 to the 17. Spirit charge 67 for the rt but it will not tell me if it on the 9 deal only if I purchase the membership. Will it be worth paying for the membership I don’t travel often and I will be traveling with my sister.

    1. If it doesn’t specifically state “$9 Fare Club” on the price, then it’s the standard price. If there’s a $9 fare club price it’ll with list the $9 fare club price AND the standard price and the $9 fare club price will be listed first.

  46. Okay so you can buy tickets online with an extra fee or you can buy it at the airport. Does spirit sell out their flights alot? I want to save that extra amount but i dont want to get to the airport and there not be any seats left on the plane. Have you/someone you know ran into a situation like this

    1. I haven’t had that happen to me yet. Some flights I’ve purchased only a week out and sometimes I’ve purchased them months in advanced.

      Just to test this out; I looked up the flights from Dallas to Orlando for tomorrow. They are still selling seats on all their flights (though at an exorbitant price). The only reason I ever have a sense-of-urgency with purchasing a ticket is if it’s at a really good price because their prices can fluctuate quickly.

  47. Thanks for all the info Tiff, you are a big help! After looking endlessly at luggage and packs, do have suggestions as to which brands you have seen used that pass the under the seat/go in the box test?

    I am out side of Ft Worth so hitting the airport is not an option for picking up tickets, however, is there that much of a difference in price? My RT to New Orleans was under $65 until the govt taxes bumped it to 89.Is the membership worth the extra? Have you had some great fares out of it?

    1. I had an interesting experience with my previous favorite duffle bag and almost got charged $100 to use it; so I’ve stuck to using backpacks as my personal item after that incident (with no problems).

      The $9 membership has mostly helped me with the discount in checked bag fees. I’ve at worst; broke even using it only for that. I’ve only used a $9 fare one-time, but part of that is because I can get a greater discount driving to the airport for tickets than utilizing a $9 fare.

      Since you don’t drive to the airport to get your tickets; it may be more beneficial to you. Sometimes the discount is only $10 each way from the standard price. If I’m buying a ticket for one person; it probably makes more sense to buy the ticket online with the $9 fare that than to go to the airport. If I’m buying 3 or more tickets it makes more sense for me to go to the airport. Since you’re not going to buy tickets at the airport it could be worth it for you if 1) you fly often enough or 2) are buying enough tickets since you can use the $9 fares for up to 8 additional people traveling with you. Just a note, the annual fee has gone up for the $9 fare club, it’s $69.95 now.

      I hope this helps. Good luck!

  48. How do I purchase my bags early?? The Spirit website does not make it easy to figure this out and I don’t want to get stuck over paying later. Is there a direct link you can provide?

    1. There are 4 bold tabs going across the main Spirit Airlines page. You need to go to the “manage travel” tab (the second one); then you input in your last name and your confirmation code. If you have an account with Spirit, they will then ask you to log-in to your account. Then it will take you to your “reservation summary” and about half-way down it’ll give you the option to change/add bags.

  49. Hi Tiff,
    I am planing to buy a ticket frm Boston to Dallas from spirit airlines
    I am worried about the personal item will they accept a bagpack/duffel bag which is more then specified inches?
    Or do you suggest any sites where we can get the bag of there specified dimensions ??

    1. I’ve always been fine with either a backpack or a duffel bag without wheels as long as you can make it fit into their bag-measuring device. The one time I saw them flag a lot of people was when they were trying to take duffel bags with wheels and handles that couldn’t be made to fit into their sizer.

  50. Can you check in a tote. My son leaves for college soon so I would prefer him taking totes than luggage.

    1. For a checked bag; their rules are based on the dimensions and weight of the bag. So as long as the tote meets those requirements you should be fine. Here are the requirements from Spirit’s website:

      “Maximum of 62 linear inches (length + width + height; 158 cm) including handles and wheels and maximum of 40 pounds in weight (18.1 kg). Any bag that exceeds these dimensions or weight limit is considered oversized/overweight and has a corresponding charge. Unfortunately, we cannot accept bags that weigh more than 99 pounds (45 kg) or that measure more than 80 linear inches (203 cm) in overall dimensions.”

  51. Hi! tx so muhc for this blog!
    I am traveling in september with 2 member of my family and i am buing the tix this week.
    1.) If my suitcase is less than 40 pounds do i still pay for it ?
    2.) We are 3 people ..can each of us bring a regular backpack (school-work type) and how heavy it needs to be?.. I know the measure but can it be small but heavy?
    3.) I guess i buy the tix and once is 24 hours prior to the fly I go online and pay for the suitcase? or i need to do it when buying the tix?

    thanks so much

    1. Yes, if you have to pay for any checked bags except for car/booster seats. It needs to be 40 pounds or less. If it’s over 40 pounds you will be charged an overweight fee.

      They have never weighed our personal bags. Ours have been pretty heavy at times and that’s never been a problem.

      Once you buy the tickets, make sure you go online to purchase whatever bags you need more than 24 hours before your flight. Once you get inside 24 hours you’ll be in your check-in window and they will charge you more for the bags.

      Hope this helps!

  52. Great job with the info.

    Looking at a nice trip to Miami and would like to use my miles for the 1st time (ever).

    Q: Am I able purchase 2 adult and 2 childrens tickets using only frequent flier miles? Any chance of getting bumped?

    Thank You

    1. If you have the miles, you can buy tickets for other people on your reservation. I don’t know if you’ve looked into how many miles the flight will cost; but Spirit does not have a great mile redemption program unless you have their credit card.

      I have not heard of anyone getting bumped just because they used miles instead of buying their ticket. A confirmed reservation is a confirmed reservation no matter how you pay for your ticket.

      Good luck!

  53. Hi! Thanks for the great tips! I was wondering if you figured out the best time to purchase tickets. Also, I know you said if you have kids, you’ll be seated together. My husband and i will be travelling with the three yr old daughter in November. Will the three of us be seated together? Thanks!

    1. It’s not a guarantee that the three of you will sit together; but it seems like the system tries to sit parties together. My husband flew on a trip with two other adults (and no kids) this past summer, they didn’t pre-purchase their seats, and the three of them were seated in the same row together on both flights.

  54. Hi there,
    I understand you can either buy in person or get the $9 fare deal, but not both. If I bought the tickets at the airport, can I still become a member of the $9 fare to save on the baggage if I book at the airport? We have 6 people so it would be worth it to spend $59 to save on all those bags. Thanks

    1. Yes, you absolutely can do that. I rarely use my $9 membership for cheap fares, we mostly use it for the discounts on checking bags. Just a heads up, the fee as recently gone up, the $9 fare club is now $69.95 a year.

  55. Hi Tiff, My sister in law and I will be flying in two weeks. she has not been on a plane foe a long time and wants a window seat. Are we able to go on Spirit’s website and just look at the seat prices without purchasing any? also what time would you suggest to arrive at the airport if your flight leaves at 6:30 am? You are such a terrific help for all of us! thanks again!

    1. Yes, you will need to login to Spirit’s website. Then go to “manage travel” and input your last name and confirmation number. Then you can go to “change/select seats” to see how much seats cost. Just remember the cost for a seat is EACH way and the cost may be different on your return flight than your flight out.

      For an early flight it depends on which airport you’re flying out of and if you’re checking bags or not. I’ve made it on an afternoon flight (where I didn’t have to check a bag) only 30-40 minutes before a flight, but I definitely DON’T recommend doing that. We had a 7am flight out of DFW last month; we arrived before 6am and it was a madhouse. We made it through okay since the line moved quickly and they did give people with the earlier flights priority, but if you’re checking bags I’d say get to the terminal at least 90 minutes before your flight and 60 minutes if you’re not checking bags. If your airport is known for ridiculously long/slow security lines, add an extra 30 minutes to those times. Day of the week matters too. Lines tend to be worse on Monday mornings (the day I flew out of DFW) than on Saturday mornings. Hope that helps!

  56. Thanks for this very straightforward, informative article & comments! My guy & I will likely be flying Spirit for the 1st time ever next month from SAN to DFW for a weekend wedding. My question is about purchasing at the airport. We live close enough & drive a hybrid so gas to/from the airport isn’t an issue and it would make sense to go there to save $16.99 per person, per flight (we’ll be doing nonstops there & back). What I do wonder about is *HOW* to do this as I’ve never bought a ticket at the airport (though it does sound kind of spontaneous/adventurous!)…also, since Spirit is known to nickel & dime for anything extra, is this buying at the airport just purchasing via a kiosk or do we actually speak to a human (and if we talk to a human do we also pay extra for that)? And do both travelers need to be present? I can’t find the operating hours for Spirit’s counter at SAN on either Spirit’s site or the SAN airport authority site…should I just assume it is a 9am-5pm Mon-Fri kind of deal? Any light you can shed on buying at the airport would be greatly appreciated!

    1. First, no worries, you do speak to a human being (novel concept, right?!?!) not go to the kiosk. =) There should be two lines at the ticket counter, the “Quick Bag Drop” line and the “Full Service” line. You’ll need to get in the “Full Service” line. Both travelers do NOT need to be present but you need the name and birth date of everyone you’re buying tickets for.

      DFW’s a hub so the Spirit counters here are open 22 hours a day, 7 days a week, because there are so many flights going in and out. It looks like SAN has flights leaving starting at around 9:30 in the morning, so I think between 7 – 7:30 a.m. is a safe assumption for the ticket counters opening. They may close for a few hours in the later morning/early afternoon if there are no flights that leave between 10 am and 3 pm. The next flight I saw was at 3:20 pm, then 5:20 p.m. then 8:05 p.m. So say the 9:30 a.m. flights are the last ones until the 3:20 p.m. flight, the counters may be closed from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. then reopen around 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. or so. Again, you may want to do a little more digging to see if there are other flights, but if those are the only ones, then I think those are fairly safe assumptions. =)

      I also would check what days you want to fly out on ahead of time and what flight times you want so you know what to ask for when you get there. I also figure out the cost ahead of time so if for some reason the prices change I can have a back-up plan. Good luck! =)

      1. Much obliged for this advice! It still surprises me that Spirit doesn’t charge you to buy a ticket at the airport from a human when you’d think the online option is cheaper for them, but maybe they need ‘busy work’ for employees who have to man their airport counters anyway.
        I didn’t think about their counter operating hours aligning with flight times…good idea.

        1. I’m surprised too. Especially that it’s cheaper to buy tickets at the airport but it’s cheaper to buy your bags online. Who knows?! I have noticed that the ticket counter agents always look relieved when I tell them I’m just there to buy a ticket and I’m not checking in for a flight. =)

  57. Thank you so much Tiff for all the info and for your replies, this is amazing. I do have a couple of questions. In my case I live 15 miles from the airport, and usually travel light so I am definitely going to the airport to purchase the tickets to save $16, and won’t be checking any bags in. So my question is this. Being that I fly once a month, is there any other benefit that I might miss out on if I skip the $9 Club (which costs 69.95 now)? Also I understand you haven’t purchased any deals but have you seen some amazing flight/vacation offers as part of being in the club, beyond the $10 off the flights we see online? Im realy just wondering if i will miss out on something that might justify the $69 cost of the club. Thank you!

    1. If you know you’re not going to be okay with just a personal bag and you won’t need a checked or a carry-on bag on your flights; I would wait to purchase a $9 membership until you know you’re going to use it. You can always see what the $9 fare club deals are even if you’re not currently a member. I purchased the membership to get flight deals, the membership saved us $50 in flight costs and was only $59.95 at the time, so I knew even if I didn’t use any discounts again for the rest of the year, the worst thing was I’d be out $10. Hope this helps!

    1. Yes, they have kiosks at the airport and the last I saw they are still free to use to print out your boarding passes.

  58. Thanks for all the great information. My family will be traveling together on Spirit to Miami and I’m wondering if we will be allowed to sit together. It will be me and my wife, my five year old daughter, and one year old son who will sit in our laps. What would be Spirit’s policy in that case? My wife and daughter get scared while flying. Will I be able to sit with them without paying the extra fee for assigned seats?
    Another question, just to verify something you said previously. Each ticket is $30 less using the 9 dollar fare club. By what you’ve said previously, it would be cheaper to buy them online with the club price than to drive to the airport and buy in person. Is that correct? I’m not a 9 dollar club member, but my mom is, and she offered to buy the tickets for us using her 9 dollar club status and I will pay her back. Can you see any reason why doing that would cause any sort of problem?

    1. It is likely you will be assigned a row of three together (most likely towards the back of the aircraft), but it’s not guaranteed. They can’t separate one parent from the children; but the system seems to attempt to try and sit parties together. My husband and friends were all assigned seats together without paying for them ahead of time last month and they weren’t flying with any children.

      For the $9 Fare Club, you will see online if they are offering cheaper fares for the flight you are looking for. They do not offer cheaper fares for every flight, it depends on where you’re flying, the day of the week and the time of the flight. The amount varies as well. I’ve seen it for only $10 cheaper each way and I’ve seen it as much as $35 cheaper each way. However, if someone buys you a ticket at a $9 fare club price, they need to be on the reservation with you. Spirit’s 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 $9 fare club member in order to receive fare and/or bag savings.” Since my husband was flying without me, and the $9 Club membership is under my name, I could not get him a $9 Club rate or the discounted bag fare, even though I was the one purchasing the tickets, since I was not on the reservation. Hope this clears everything up.

      If you see a significant savings by purchasing a $9 membership you can do it online at the same time you buy your tickets. When I did it I saved $50 on the flight I was purchasing and paid $59.95 for the membership (the price has now gone up to $69.95). Then the membership is good for the next 365 days from the day you buy it.

      Good luck!

  59. So, is there a sample site you can look at before signing up for the $9 plan?? I would like to see a sample of flights leaving DFW and where they travel to…like NYC, Florida, etc.

    Is it $19.95 for the 60 day trial, then $59.95 after the 60 days is up, then $69.95 for the renewal?

    If you can not use the $9 deal through Spirit, is it cheaper to go ahead and purchase the tickets at the counter or simply book the entire package (flight and hotel) on Expedia?

  60. You can go to Spirit’s home page and put in different destinations and dates and “search flights” to get an idea of how much the flights will cost. If there are $9 fares for the flights you’re looking at they will show up even if you’re not a $9 fare club member. You can also wait to buy the $9 membership until you see flights you want to purchase using the $9 fare rates. I purchased my membership the same day I purchased my flights.

    If you pay for the 60-day trial, after your 60 days are up you’ll be automatically charged for an annual membership unless you call and tell them you want to cancel it ahead of time. For a while they had changed the price of annual membership to $69.95, but it looks like it’s back down to $59.95 again.

    I have never booked tickets on Spirit through a 3rd-party site. Anytime I’ve looked at those, I can usually get a better price buying them directly through Spirit at the airport. However, I don’t usually purchase package deals, so I can’t tell you for certain if those would be cheaper through another site or not.

  61. My family and I will be going from Detroit to Cancun mid November . Did I miss my opportunity to buy a cheaper flight? Did I wait too long to purchase or do you think I may have a chance that flights will go back down? Thanks!

    1. I still see good deals on Spirit from Detroit to Cancun if you can be flexible on which days you fly on. I would purchase a flight soon in this case since you’ll start getting close to Thanksgiving and my best guess is prices will start getting worse. I also see some good $9 club deals to Cancun for certain flights that would make it worth a membership (all the people in your party can get the $9 club prices if at least one person on the reservation is a member). That’ll save you money on your luggage as well since that discount also is applied to everyone on the reservation.

      When I remember, checking kayak is a good way to gauge whether or not to buy tickets right now. Once you put in a search it will come up with a price trend and tell you to either “buy” or “wait” and give you a percentage of how confident they are prices will go up or down within the next week.

  62. I am planning a florida vacation with 3 girlfriends and we would like to rent a car through Spirit as well as our flights. Can you give me any helpful hints. We are Canadians flying out of Detroit and are unable to buy the tickets at the airport, would purchasing the $9 membership work for us?

    1. I’ll be honest I never looked into renting a car with Spirit before. I looked up a flight and car from Detroit to Ft Lauderdale in March from March 16th – March 23rd, and then compared it to rental car rates on hotwire and priceline and Spirit is far and away the better deal.

      I also noticed that there was no price break on the price of the airline fare and car rental for being a $9 fare club member. You can still get a discount for your luggage or carry-on bags, but not the flight. If you know you’re each going to have either a checked bag or a carry-on, then getting the $9 membership will save you money since you’ll save $9 per bag each way ($72 savings in luggage, and the membership costs $59.95) so it’s still only a $12 savings overall. If you guys know you are taking three bags or less, or if you’re absolutely sure you’re not going to fly Spirit again in the next year, it’s not worth it.

  63. I bought rt tickets from Orlando to Chicago to help a friend at a trade show. I also purchased 2 checked bags online. Now plans have changed and I need to cancel. Is there any way for me not to pay the $120 cancellation fee?

    1. Unfortunately I don’t see any way around it. Spirit is like most airlines where you have to cancel within 24 hours to not be charged a fee. Sorry. 🙁

  64. Hi Tiff, How many days in advance i can purchase the tickets at airport counter(DFW). I am using spirit airlines master credit card.Can i use my miles while booking the ticket at airport like booking in online.

    Thank you

    1. From Tiff:

      My best guess is if the flight is available for purchase online, it should be available for purchase at the airport. Spirit tends to have flights available for purchase 9-10 months out. If you don’t see the flight available online, I wouldn’t expect to be able to purchase it at the airport.

      I found this on their website about making award travel reservations over the phone: “To book by phone with one of our FREE SPIRIT reservation specialists, contact us and select option 4. However, this option is an extra $25 to offset the cost of using an agent’s time. Save money by booking your award tickets online.” They don’t specifically address booking award reservations at the ticket counter, but my guess would be they charge extra for that as well. I can try to find out the next time I go; but it sounds like you would be better off making award reservations online.

  65. I’m Trying to buy tickets from DFW to Orlando for September 16th-September 20th to visit family. The tickets are currently $270 RT/person. Im trying to decide if I should get the $9 air fare.
    You mentioned that even though your a $9 air fare member or not you see the same prices, is this right? So whatever prices you see as a member is the same as they currently are running at right now with no membership? Also the tickets were $165 yesterday and waited too long to buy by the time I tried it was too late and the price went up. Do you recommend getting the $9 member fare and would the price be less or almost like yesterdays price? or would you recommend going ahead and buying the tickets or waiting to see if the prices will go down. I did see seats and the flights for those dates are almost completely empty. I really do want the best fare for my family and I. After seeing the $165 I’m hopeful the prices will eventually drop again to buy tickets. I’m not trying to get the $9 air fare membership for reduced luggage either. We plan on traveling light.

    1. If there are $9 fares available for the dates/times you’re looking for, you’ll see them on the website. It’ll list a $9 fare club price and a standard price. If you only see a standard price listed, then there is no $9 fare club price available for that flight. Now, those can always change, the prices, as well as the $9 fare club availability vary day by day. Prices can drop again. I remember looking at prices for a flight and it going up and down each day while I was debating taking this trip. It seemed like as soon as I decided to go, the price jumped again. Then I’d check the next day, and it was back down. Spirit’s goal is to fill up their planes and the prices usually reflect how many seats they have left to go. Good luck!

  66. Do you know if you can carry on a neck pillow and a “personal item” carry on bag to fit under the seat in front of you? I read on their website that you can carry-on (in addition to a personal item) reading material and snacks/drinks for the plane, but I’m unsure about a neck pillow? Maybe if I put it around my neck while boarding?

    1. I did see someone carry a real pillow on board, but I have no idea if that was their personal item, or in addition to their personal item. I think wearing it around your neck as you board should be fine. Worst-case scenario, I would try to stuff it in your personal bag if they say something about it. Good luck and I hope you have a good flight!

  67. I have one question. I’m traveling with my wife and my 4 year old son. Will they seat the three of us together or only an adult and the child?

    1. Most likely, yes. It’s not guaranteed, but usually parties still get seated next to each other. My husband and friends (all adults) traveling together got seated in a row or three together without purchasing seats ahead of time.

  68. Tiff:
    Is getting my boarding pass at a Spirit Air kiosk at the airport still free? If so, does it matter if you get the boarding pass less than one hour before a flight? Will I still be assigned a random seat with no problems?

    1. Getting your boarding pass the kiosk is still free. When you need to do that depends on 1) what airport you’re flying out of and 2) where you’re flying to. This is Spirit’s policy I cut and pasted from their website:

      “Spirit may cancel a reservation or seat assignment for any customer without a boarding pass at least 30 minutes prior to a scheduled departure (45 minutes for Atlanta, Chicago, New York LaGuardia, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan; 60 minutes for international and U.S.V.I. flights). Please be at the gate at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure or you may lose your reservation. In the event of a delay, we recommend that customers remain in the gate area for updates and possible early departures.”

      If you’re flying internationally, one-hour is the cut-off so I’d get there a little before that. If you’re flying out of anywhere else it looks like you’ll be fine, but just make sure you give yourself enough time in case something happens (traffic, weather, etc). If you think you’re not going to make your cut-off time, I’d try to check in online before you head to the airport, then you can still print out your boarding pass at the kiosk if you can’t print it when you check-in online. Good luck!

  69. Hi,

    Great article, so informative! I am looking at flying Spirit for the first time from Minneapolis to Orlando with my husband, our 15 month old son and our moms in mid March. The prices seem really reasonable right now and we will drive to the airport to purchase tickets. Is there a trend in prices, like the earlier you buy them the cheaper they are, or is it worth waiting to get a better deal? With that being Spring Break time I assume it’s best to buy them now but just wanted to check as we’re first timers on Spirit! Also, any advice on traveling with a lap child…is it really tight? And because this airline is budget friendly I’m assuming we won’t be the only family traveling with a squirmy baby!? Are people on this airline typically kind/friendly about that?
    Thanks so much!!

    1. Yes, there are usually lots of families, especially flying to Orlando. It’s never comfortable flying with a lap child, the fact that you have four of you helps. They also offer pre-boarding for people with young children. =)

      If anyone is really tall, they won’t be comfortable, but I know tall people who tell me they aren’t comfortable on the regular coach seats on any airline anymore. And with a child you can’t sit in the exit row seats, but if you go to the airport to buy your tickets you may be able to get the roomier seats right behind the “big front seats”. I never see those available for sale online and someone suggested to me that those are saved for families with small children. Given it’s an Orlando flight there will probably be a lot of families flying so those may not be available, but always worth asking.

      For when the buy your tickets, the short answer is “it depends”. I wrote a post on it before about my experiences if you want to read through it, I wish I had a better answer for everyone with that question. Good luck!

  70. DO NOT FLY this airline. Rinky dink outfit that does not know how to run and airline with passengers. They ‘postponed’ a return flight from 7pm until 3am without any advance notifications or back up plans (or planes). As people in the line to find out what options were, many passengers said ‘yeah, the 3am is a guess’. only confirmation was on Tuesday, 3 days later. Save your money and frustrations by flying any other airline. This FUBAR by Spirit is costing more than original trip and if we would have booked with AA or SW, it would have been cheaper.

    Never again. Would not purchase any of their stock.

    1. Either or. If I’m planning ahead I’ll bring Lunchables, Uncrustables, baggies of Cheez-Its etc. If we’re sort-of rushed when leaving the house it ends up being bags of trail mix and whatever random chips/crackers I find and grab from the pantry. If we’re extremely rushed we hope we get through security quickly enough so I can buy food in the terminal. 🙂

    2. As a side note to bringing on food, I’ve never had a problem with things like prepackaged hummus–something I first worried would be considered a “liquid”.

  71. To make a long story short, let me tell you if you care about honest and truthful customer treatment Spirit Airline is not definitely a good choice!
    I arrived 35 minutes late to catch my flight from Houston to Orlando on Oct. 24, 2014. The board was closed and they did not let me in. Well, if you think I am giving bad reviews to them because of my mistake you are wrong. Of course most of the airlines will manage to send their customers with other flights. Spirit also pretended to do so. Over the counter I was told that they can put me on a stand by seat for the tomorrow’s flight because empty seats were not available. Left with no choice I accepted their offer. However, I decided to make a phone call to their customer service to see if they can get me a confirmed seat for Oct. 25th. To my surprise they said that there are seats available but I have to buy a new ticket. I returned to the counter happily in less than a minute to tell them that they can get me a confirmed seat. The manager of the flight who claimed to have 46.5 years of experience said that there is no seat available!!! I went back to the airport on Oct. 25th and noticed that they have indeed oversold the seats (!!) and I did not get the chance of getting into the flight. I asked the supervisor in duty to give me a confirmed seat for next week and she said that she cannot do that because it is not their part of their policies. Instead she offered me another stand by position for the next day. I explained that on Oct. 24th they were trying to get me a confirmed seat and I was put on stand by position because they claimed there was no seat available. I made a phone call to their customer service and they said that they cannot even put me on stand by (!!!) because I used my chance of being on stand by position once. The contradictory reactions that I received from these people indicate that they have no willingness to assist their customers. What is even more annoying is that I decided to buy a one-way ticket from another airline and use the other round of my ticket from Spirit (Orlando to Florida). They said that because I lost the first round of the flight the other round would be automatically cancelled. The also refused to refund me for the other round. I talked to whoever I had access from Spirit both in the airport and on the phone. Obviously, there are policies that are set according to each individual staff, and these policies are just designed to screw you up. Yes, why not when you can sell a customer’s seat to another customer and earn more money. I have had many international and domestic flights, and am shocked to see this awful and insane customer service. I told them that I am going to share my experience with them with other people so that Spirit cannot take advantage of other peoples innocence.

    1. They’re not lying to you, it’s just an arcane airline thing. Airline oversell flights routinely, but will not confirm a disrupted passenger onto a flight if it’s oversold. So it is entirely possible that is still selling seats to new passengers on a flight that’s already full, but airport CS isn’t allowed to confirm you onto it. At least not for free.

  72. when does the passenger usage charge show up? I am in need of purchasing 6 tickets for our trip to florida and got all the way to the point where it is asking for my credit card info and the charge is not showing? i would like to know what the total costs are before i purchase these tickets.

    1. It’s already added into your Base Fare. If you left click on “more info” for your “flight price” before you purchase your tickets you’ll see the total cost of your “passenger usage fee” there.

  73. oh, after reading all these posts where people go to the airport to avoid these charges I thought it was something that was going to be added on at the end
    i just wanted to make sure because when you are buying tickets for a family of six it can add up.
    one last thing since we are buying tickets for a family of six it sounds like we would save money if we bought the membership. would it be better to just do the trial membership instead of the annual?

    1. The charges are still there. They’re just already included in your purchase price. If you’re buying six round-trip tickets that’s an extra $215.88 you’re paying by purchasing the tickets online instead of at the airport.

      It depends on if there’s a $9 fare rate for the flight’s you’re looking at and how many bags you plan on taking. It’s $9 less per bag if you’re a member ($11 if you’re flying during the holiday period). And that discount is for both checked bags and carry-ons. The only thing I have against the trial membership is it’s easy to forget to cancel it and if you don’t cancel in time you’re paying for an annual membership anyways. But if you’re not sure if you’ll fly Spirit again in the next year a trial membership may be your best bet. Just make sure to purchase your bags (online) before your membership expires to take advantage of the discount.

    1. Everyone who has an individual ticket can bring a backpack on board. If you have a lap child you can only bring one, not one for each of you. A lot of times I stuff the kids backpacks with our stuff since their stuff tends to take up less room. 🙂

  74. My son is 9 and we will be traveling next month in January, do you think they will have one of us (my husband or I) sitting with him or should we purchase the seat assignments just to be safe? Trying to save some money. This website has been super helpful thank you for all of the advice.

  75. Most posts are about the 9.00 club. Mind is about Spirit in general. Worried about dirty seats, small space, and mean staff. Can you say how the actual flights are? Going from FL to Costa Rica and scared stiff lol.

  76. One more question: If I go to airport to buy ticket, will they print it out there then charge me the 10.00 for doing so or will they ask if I want to print it out at home?

    1. If you buy your ticket at the airport they don’t print it out there; they print out a copy of your itinerary and your receipt. You can still print out your ticket at home or at the kiosk.

      Honestly I don’t think the planes are dirtier or the staff is any meaner than any other airline. Sometimes you meet people who are having a bad day, but I haven’t had experiences that stand out as being significantly worse than with any other airline I’ve flown.

      The space is a little smaller than coach seats on other airlines; the seat pitch on average is 2-3 inches less than major airlines and the seat width is more or less the same as other airlines.

  77. Thank you for such an informative post and all the Q&A! I just called the Spirit counter at my airport to find out their hours (since I planned to purchase our tickets there after reading your post). When I told the employee wanted to come in and buy my tickets there, he said that the tickets would be MORE expensive if I purchased them at the airport instead of online. He said Spirit always charges less for things you can do online rather than having an employee do it for you. Any idea why he would tell me that? Has that ever been your experience? I’m wondering if Spirit may have changed this policy.

    1. The short answer is they’re USUALLY cheaper at the airport. Only exceptions are if it’s a $9 fare club rate or if they have a $35 or $50 off promotion online.

      I have no idea why he would say that to you. I went to buy tickets at the airport yesterday and it saved me about $100.

  78. Hi,

    Is there like a trick to buy a tickets, because, today is one price and a few hours later is another. How can you get a better deal online?

  79. Another tip when flying Spirit – the checked bag weight limit is 40 POUNDS, not 50 pounds like the other airlines. Found this out the hard way…

  80. I have flown Spirit about 6 times now and only delayed once because a storm passing over. I have had extreme success with flying them and exceptional prices to fly me and my family.
    My next trip:
    flying my family of 7 to Orlando in Sept 2015 using 5000 points RT + $26 (each person). I have enough points (83,000 pts) to fly 16 people there for $26 each. Or I can choose to go in October for 5000 points and $12 each person. Do the math. Can you pass up this deal?

  81. I paid for my checked bag on-line in advance. I know it said on Sprit’s website that you just go to the “bag drop” and drop off your bag there but what I dont know is where would get a luggage tag to put on my bag. And is there just one main “bag drop” or does Sprit Flights have their own?

    1. For buying at the airport, can you do so prior to the day of travel, or are all of these info-points about how to book, only pertinent if you are at the airport on the day you are flying?

    2. The Fast Bag Drop is a line to see a gate agent to get your luggage tagged like you would for any other airline. It “usually” gets you through faster than the “full service” line. The full service line includes people there to buy tickets or people who still need to pay for their bags at the airport and there are usually less agents available for the full service line than the Fast Bag Drop line.

    3. The Fast Bag Drop is a line to see a gate agent to get your luggage tagged like you would for any other airline. It “usually” gets you through faster than the “full service” line. The full service line includes people there to buy tickets or people who still need to pay for their bags at the airport and there are usually less agents available for the full service line than the Fast Bag Drop line.

  82. When you say “buy the tickets at the airport” are you referring to a kiosk at the airport or buying directly from the ticket counter? We are going to fly Spirit for the first time tomorrow, and although I am not a fan of all the fees, we have planned for them and expect them. Depending on our experience will determine if we use them again, and I would love to save the $34 (roundtrip) ticketing fees if I can. Just wanted to clarify.

    1. You buy them at the ticket counter, the kiosk is only to print boarding passes. You’ll use the “Full Service” line to purchase tickets, not the “Fast Bag Drop” line. Hope your trip goes well!

  83. Traveling in August to Oregon w/my wife and two kids, 8 and 12. Do you recommend purchasing seating or hope for the best. I know you said you have not had a problem w/ getting seats together flying w/ your kids. Thanks

    1. I’ve never not been seated with my kids and I have never purchased my seats ahead of time. The last time I asked a ticket agent they said you will be assigned seats with your party. Good luck!

  84. Do you know how I can purchase a “trial membership”? I don’t see any way to sign up just for this in advance – only for a full membership. I also went all the way through an intended booking, the only option was for a full year $59.95 membership. I didn’t book or buy anything yet. The trial membership would save us enough to be worthwhile but the full membership wouldn’t. Need to book tickets ASAP (tonight/tomorrow morning at the latest). Thanks!!!

    1. They do offer a trial membership but it’s a different process to sign up for that. From the Spirit website:

      “You can try out the $9 Fare Club for two months for just $19.95. The trial option is available only when you make a booking at, and the membership benefits will go into effect on your next online purchase with us. You will see the trial selection on the Purchase page and can opt in before you confirm your reservation. The trial gives you a “sneak preview” into all of the exclusive club savings available to $9 Fare Club members so that you can decide whether you want to continue into an annual membership.

      It’s important to know that your trial membership will automatically renew into an annual $9 Fare Club membership (at $69.95) unless you choose to cancel.”

      Hope this helps and sorry for any confusion!

  85. Tiff,
    I’m planning on taking 8 to LAS in October. I like the idea of buying tickets at the airport. My question is, can I buy my tickets at one airport for use (flying out of) at another airport? The closer airport doesn’t have non-stop or one-change flights to Las Vegas. Another airport (PHL) is twice the distance from home, but does have more reasonably timed flights.

    1. You should have no problems buying tickets flying into or out of a different airport. I would suggest researching your flights and making sure you are clear with the ticket agent, but it shouldn’t be a problem. Good luck!

      1. Hi, flying Spirit for the first time and we purchased our tickets from Expedia. Is there anywhere to leave a car while we fly out of town and is it affordable

  86. CarryOn Free sells bags that fly fee FREE on all Spirit Airline flights! They were designed to fit the “personal item” size requirements set by Spirit, which means you can carry them onto the flight for FREE. They have been field tested to fit up to a weeks worth of travel necessities. They have wheels and a telescoping handle to manavuer like a large piece of luggage. We are helping people avoid those hefty baggage fees with the added bonus of not having to check a bag and long check in lines!

    1. can we bring a pillow on the plane with us? Also can we bring a drink does it have to be in a bottle and sealed and does it matter what size it is and can it be water, juice, or soda. thanks

  87. Hi!! We are looking at flying to FL from OH and there is 4 of us. Obviously its the cheapest we have found. I love all the info you gave I just have a few ??s 1) If we buy the tickets at the airport can we still become a $9 fare member and use towards the luggage? 2) If so do we just log on before we get to the airport to tell how many bags we have? 3) Will it work if we just do the 3 month trial of the $9 club thing?

    Thanks so much for all your info it was great!

  88. Hi, I bought my tickets today at the counter at the airport. I looked at the online check in procedure when I got home and it says to enter the confirmation # from the email they sent, but I have yet to receive an email. There is an invoice # on the slips she printed out for me. Am I supposed to use that for the online check in? BTW I used your suggestion to go to the ticket counter instead of buying online and we saved $72 by doing that…crazy!

  89. This was my first time ever traveling and I got screwed out of $55 dollars in my experience. I had one small bag which was most definitely a personal size (I’ve now learned after having talked to other travelers) I set my bag on the counter and having already printed my ticket, I expected to have no additional charges!! Lady charged me $55 for my bag anyway! Even the lady who took my boarding pass agreed that I should not have been charged and she was sorry I experienced what I had. SPIRIT AIRLINES STAFF IS HORRIBLE! STINGY, NOT HELPFUL, DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE COMFORT/QUALITY OF YOUR FLIGHT!

  90. Hi,
    I am a 9$ club member and I would like to book a ticket for my wife but I am not travelling with her, Do I get the benefits of 9$ club member for this ticket ?


  91. I fly spirit from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale to visit my family a couple times a year. I found a company called CarryOn Free that sells bags that fit the personal item size (16x14x12) so you don’t have to pay a fee, it’s totally free to bring it on the plane. I love my bag and it has saved me a ton of money in bag fees! I suggest all Spirit fliers should check it out. Stop paying Spirit for your luggage, its such a waste of money!!

  92. I’m flying Spirit for the first time to Puerto Rico for a wedding in January. My boyfriend wants to bring a suite bag but I can’t find anything on the Spirit website on if that would be free or if we would have to pay a carry on charge for that. Also, we have a connecting flight from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale so will I have to pay for my carry on in both Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale? Thanks for the help!

  93. Hi, at the moment, prices FLL – Denver 3rd week of March are very high ~ $500 round trip. Will they go down? when is the best time to buy tickets?

  94. I just read through all of your comments for this article and am impressed how many you replied to, how many times you repeated yourself, and how many times you provided information directly copy and pasted from the spirit site.
    I just wanted to tell you thank you for sharing all of your personal experiences, and bearing with those asking obvious questions!
    I will be having my first flight with spirit. I did not join the club, even though it would have only been $3 more, if I never used it again. I’m not sure if I will have another trip in a year or not. I might do the club thing next time around, if I decide to go for a traveling sort of life.
    I’m sure this will be a learning experience, but I thank you for all that I can now anticipate.
    Best of luck to you.

    1. Hello I just got back from NYC.I flew spirit as well. I had a great time and both times going and coming spirit got us there 30min earlier than scheduled. Good luck on your flight and don’t listen to all the negative talk about spirit. To be honest all the American airlines have issues and I haven’t found one that no better than the other as far as getting u where u need to be on time. That’s the important thing. Trust me I have flew them all delta, American, united, and southwest. All have been through something negative with me. Good luck on your flight.

  95. My question is about bigger passengers. My husband and 2 small sons are flying to Atlanta tomorrow. I am panicked about being “too big to fly”. I have paid to pick our seats in the back of the plane and I will be sitting by the window with both of my son’s (4 and 8)sitting next to me. Am I going to have any issues?! I’m super nervous about this! Also, where do I ask for a seat belt extender, should I need one.

    1. Andrea what u should of did was brought the bigger wider seats at the front of the plane. That way u would have been one of the first to board as well as the first to unboard. They are also a lot more comfortable. Try to see if u can still get those seats before tomorrow trip. They may have a couple left.

  96. Hola. Great article. I have one question, that I cannot find an answer to, with regards to the $9 fare club.

    While I understand it’s cheaper to buy tickets at the airport, which I have done quite a few times, does the $9 fare club eliminate the passenger usage fee?

    Is going to the airport the only way to save on the airport usage fee?

    Many thanks and just have to say, knowing the tricks really saves a ton of money. Most of my flights, FLL to DFW average between $30-45 (non-stop, round trip). I only travel with a backpack so no extra charges for bags. Such a great deal.

    1. The $9 fare also includes the airport usage fee. Sometimes the flights are only $10 cheaper (each way) for club members, sometimes it’s significantly more. It’s a cost-benefit analysis if buying the $9 fare online is worth saving the time/trouble of going to the airport for slightly more savings. Also, with the new Spirit baggage policy it’s cheaper to buy your bags WHILE you’re booking your tickets online. If you buy tickets at the airport it’s going to cost you $5 more to purchase your bags online than if you bought your tickets online. Assume you purchase one bag each way and one ticket each way, that’s only a savings of about $6 to buy tickets at the airport.

      Yes, going to the airport is the only way to avoid the fee (buying tickets over the phone doesn’t avoid it either).

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks for this. I had a feeling this was the case but couldn’t find anything regarding this and the fee. That pretty much settles it. For me, the $9 fare club really won’t save me any money as it’ll always be cheaper to buy at the airport. The Spirit card seems like an option, but the annual fee is rather annoying.

        Thanks again!

        1. I don’t think that $9 fare club is all that. Spirit still doesn’t give u anything for free it just discounts everything. However spirit airlines comes in really handy in Myrtle beach. It gives more direct flights than any other airlines there. But I will pass on the $9 fare club because I have the AAdvantage card from American airlines that gives you way better deals. I fly American if I can’t get a direct flight from spirit. I find spirit hard to trust with connecting flights.

          1. Well yes, $9 is not that great of a benefit for me. I mainly fly to DFW from FLL and since I don’t travel with a carry on, only a backpack, $9 fare is not practical. However, even if I did travel with a carry on, the money saved on bags, vs the yearly fee still isn’t worth it, to be honest. I’m still going to get a better deal just going to the airport and buying the ticket.

            The passenger usage fee is really the big catch for me. As for points, I’ll just use my Citi Card, as I can use it for Spirit flights.

            I might venture to other cities in the future, but for now, Spirit is the best deal for direct flights to DFW (without a carry on).

          2. I agree with you. I use my venture card for points when I fly spirit for the same reason u do them points. I could care less for any card spirit airlines tries to offer. Love my citi card from American airlines and when I get a great deal on American airlines with that reduced miles benefit I always come out on top even with the yearly fee. But spirit does come in handy because in some cases spirit does be cheaper with all there fees added in verus the major airlines. But then again it depends on where I’m going then I might just pay the higher fee and go American.

          3. When I joined the $9 Fare Club the savings on the $9 fare flights I purchased that day made it only a $10 extra investment for me to join. I saved $50 in flights by purchasing $9 fare club flights, so my total purchase price was only $10 more than it would have been if I hadn’t joined and paid the regular fare. I easily made that $10 back that year in savings on luggage fees. I usually recommend joining only if:

            1) You fly a lot with Spirit and know you’ll make back the money in baggage fees over the next 12 months or

            2) There’s a $9 fare club price you want to take advantage of right now that will make being a member worth it to you.

          4. I understand what u saying Tiffany and thanks for your input. But I just don’t see how I would get my money back from joining the $9 fare club. I respect spirit and from my experience it’s a alright airline. It has issues it issues at times but don’t all American airlines. I fly about four times a year. Two to NYC is every year and two random cities like Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle etc. However I just don’t see how I would break even with the $9 dollar fare with spirit and the $60 yearly fee. There are so many better travel cards with so much better rewards. I have three the AAdvantage, venture, and a reward card from my bank. These three work excellent for me and my bags fly free with American airlines plus 4 more people that travels with me. Plus free acess to certain lounges in airports. I get discounts on rentals plus hotels. I just can’t seem to understand spirit credit card or how I can save money with the $9 fare club.

          5. I completely understand. I hope people know I only encourage the $9 Fare Club if you think it will work for your situation. For example I may cancel our membership this year and only re-up it if I see our travel plans include flying on Spirit enough times to make it worth it to us. If we check one bag on three round-trip flights it saves us $66 if we’re $9 club fare members. I have to anticipate flying (and checking bags) at least three times over the next 12 months for me to consider being a member for that year.

            I don’t have the Spirit Airlines credit card either. The main benefit I see from that credit card is it costs less “miles” for tickets if you have the card vs. not.

  97. After searching everywhere for a travel bag with dimensions that maximize the free “personal item” restrictions, I actually found a cubicly-shaped bowling ball bag (Ebonite model 124BKBK) that is 15.5 x 14 x 8 (8 being the revised height restriction on Spirit starting March 1st), for under $25. Got mine at Dunham’s but I suppose any sporting goods store that sells that Ebonite brand will have this bag.

  98. The tip says to buy your tickets at the airport. I’m guessing you don’t mean the day of the flight, right? More like drive there and buy them for a later date to fly?

  99. Going on my honeymoon from DFW to Cabo in May and would sure like to sit with new hubby. If our randomly assigned seats are not together after checking in is it too late to purchase assigned seats? Thanks a bunch!

    1. They usually set u with your party as long as u are on the same intenary. But I would call and make sure. When I fly them with my wife we were always seated together.

      1. Antonio is correct. As long as you’re on the same reservation you will be fine. We’ve never not been seated with the other people in our party; even when we were traveling with all adults and did not pay for assigned seats ahead of time.

  100. We are wanting to fly Houston to Cabo for spring break 2017. When do Spirit typically release their fares? They would not tell me when I called.

    1. Hmmm… right now you can purchase flights through March 31, 2017. Per their own timetable as of May 5, 2016:

      that flight is supposed to be available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. I can’t find availability for that flight on their website for any month between now and March. That may require actually talking to a person to figure out why it’s not showing up. Maybe they only offer that route in some sort of package deal? Definitely weird.

  101. Spirit is the worst airline experience I’ve ever encountered…..I never even got out of the airport on one of their planes. They are selling a flight in paper only that likely never intended to actually fly. I would never book on Spirit again and cannot imagine why anyone would risk doing so. All of Tiff’s astute advice assumes Spirit will ever put you in the air en route to your destination….don’t count on it!

    1. Check this chaz if u don’t like it,then u don’t have to fly it. I have flown every America flight there is Delta,american,united,southwest,alaskan and here to tell you none of them are no better than three stars. And they all have problems. I go stranded in Denver CO from Delta twice. Stranded in Atlanta from American for a day and that’s just to mention a few. I have also flown spirit airlines on several occasions and I have had only one issue with them. They cancelled my flight back home due to weather issues and half of LaGuardia cancelled flights due to weather. Other than that spirit has been great to me. I’m on vacation in Miami FL right now and guess what airline in on SPIRIT!! They got me here 30 minutes early and I will be leaving tonight out of fort Lauderdale FL. And Tiffany is on here for advice and help people so if u don’t like it how about remove yourself from this blog

    2. It’s okay, I get it. In my experience, I’ve had mostly positive experiences with Spirit Airlines. I fly on them about 3-4 times a year and I’ve only had one flight significantly delayed (a couple of hours) due to a mechanical issue. The majority of the flights I’ve been on have been on time, if not early.

      That being said, some people have bad luck on certain airlines. Some of that also depends on when and where you’re flying out of as well. I had bad luck on Ryanair 2 out of 2 times flying on them. Once in 2007 and again last year. The bad luck ended up costing us as much (if not more) than if we had bought tickets on a traditional airline to begin with. Though I know a lot of people who fly on them frequently and have no problems, I’m in the “never again” camp for Ryanair.

      I’m not here to convince someone who’s had bad luck to try them again; but I do want to help those who want to fly on Spirit and aren’t used to the ultra-low-cost carrier game be able to use it to their advantage so they can make it work for them.

  102. Can you tell me why it isn’t a good idea to buy Spirit tickets through a 3rd party, like Kayak? We live over 3 hours from the airport, so a trip there to buy tickets doesn’t make sense. Right now we can get our round trip tickets for $138.

    1. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be a good idea it sounds great to me. Unless u can get if cheaper somewhere else I would get them through kayak. I would make sure I would get a refund just in case something arises tho.

    2. Usually Kayak isn’t cheaper than Spirit’s website, so if it’s a choice between those two, check Spirit’s site and see if it’s the same price (or possibly less). Spirit now has a discount if you purchase your bags at the same time you reserve your ticket online (via their own website). So if you have to buy a ticket online because getting to the airport doesn’t work for you; I highly recommend purchasing your bags at the same time you reserve your ticket. If you wait to do it until later it’ll be an extra $5 per bag each way. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but depending on the number bags you have it can really add up. Plus you’re still saving at least $10 even if you only have one bag each way. Hope this helps!

  103. I have a reservation credit, I have tried reaching out to them to answer but no success. Can I use NY credit at the airport and could I even book the hotel at the airport to use the credit? I know I can’t use my credit just for the hotel it has to be booked together. So confused.

    1. Sorry, I’m just seeing this now. I’m sorry to say I’m not sure. My suggestion when dealing with any company is to keep going up the chain (ask to talk to their boss/manager) until you get someone on the phone, or in person, who can help you with your issue. Good luck!

  104. This all sounds like a nightmare to me – traveling on Spirit- why go through all of the fuss with boarding passes, luggage, ect? I would much rather fly a major carrier. You get what you pay for.

    1. That’s why I’m so glad to live in a free country where you’re welcome to fly on whichever airline you want to. 😉 I get some people don’t think Spirit is worth the time and trouble, that’s fine, that’s your choice. Some people don’t have unlimited disposable income to spend $300 (or more) per airline ticket.

      I can usually get round-trip tickets to FL for $70 – $90 per person, and recently we got round-trip tickets to CA for $110 per person. I can’t afford to pay regular priced fares for four people and then be able to travel as much as we’d like to. If my choice is to fly Spirit so I can afford that extra trip, I am more than willing to do that.

      My goal is to help people who want/need to save money not to end up spending a bunch of money with these extra fees. Usually people are flying on Spirit to save money. If you’re not doing that, you’re right, you might as well be flying on a traditional carrier. Which is why I wrote this, I wanted to try and put the information in one place to help people not get suckered in by extra fees they’re not used to.

      1. No need to explain yourself to jerks on here like him Tiffany. You are a great help to lots of people that enjoy flying spirit airlines. Just ignore the idiots on here that think they know what they are talking about.

        1. Thanks. =) Honestly I don’t mind replying because there could always be someone new to flying on Spirit who could use the information again.

          With all the “traditional” airlines now charging extra for picking your seat and carry-on bags I don’t know why everyone is still hating on Spirit.

  105. Hi, I am wondering more about the seat assignment and kids. Are you saying that if you are traveling with children they will seat you together without having to pay additional fees? Do you know if there is an age limit to being considered a child? Thanks…

    1. I’ve always been seated with my kids without paying and the oldest is 12. Even when I’m traveling with only adults they still seat us together without us paying extra for seats together. I also recommend not checking in online right away. It seems like they fill the back of the plane first and the later you check in you’ll be closer to the front of the plane. I wouldn’t cut it too close, but 3-4 hours before your flight seems to get us better seats than 24 hours before. Good luck! =)

  106. Is anyone familiar with Spirit’s “shortcut security” option, and how it actually works? (It’s NOT the TSA-pre option. This is different.) I just booked a flight through La Guardia, and I paid the extra $6 for that option. It’s apparently only offered at a handful of airports, and all the website says is it “gives access to the quickest possible lane to get through the security screening experience.” So now I’m wondering if I just paid $6 for an attendant to point to the shortest line.

    1. I saw that for the first time too this past week. I honestly have no idea; if someone else knows please enlighten the rest of us.

  107. I want to book a round trip flight for next Aug. The flight to get there is at $48 now…but the return flight is at $106. Would it be wise to book the flight as 2 one way tickets and book the going flight now and wait for a sale price for the return date later, hoping for a cheaper price

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