Spirit Airlines

How to Purchase Tickets on Spirit Airlines

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How to Purchase Tickets on Spirit Airlines

spiritairlinesWhen purchasing tickets on Spirit I usually recommend buying your tickets at Spirit’s ticket counter at the airport. This saves you $33.98 per round-trip ticket (a $16.99 passenger usage fee each way) compared to buying tickets online. There are times when I recommend NOT to do this as well.

If going to the airport to purchase a ticket would cost you MORE than buying them online.

I understand that not everyone lives near a major airport and the cost of going to the airport to purchase tickets may be more cost-prohibitive than buying your tickets online. However, Spirit often has sales, so I would recommend keeping your eye out for times when you can save money by buying tickets online.

$24 OFF Sales.

spiritairlinesSpirit often has sales where you can save $24 off any round trip ticket. This brings your cost down to only $10 more per round-trip ticket if you purchase them online vs. going to the airport. Occasionally they’ll have a $35 off sale where I DEFINITELY recommend buying online because that’s more savings than you’d get purchasing your tickets at the airport.

Typically these promotions only run for certain dates (read: non-holiday seasons) and are good for flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays. For example, the last $35 off sale I saw was for early September (after Labor Day weekend) through early October (before Columbus Day weekend). The last $24 off sale I saw was for dates after Labor Day weekend through mid-November.

$9 Club Fares

If you see a good $9 Club Fare it may be worth it to purchase a membership to take advantage of these deals (plus you get a discount on baggage fees). $9 Fare club rates are only available if you purchase tickets online. You cannot get these rates for buying tickets at the airport or over the phone. Usually the savings range from $10 – $20 each way, but I have seen savings as much as $50 for flights to Mexico for example, so it’s always worth checking into. And only one person on the reservation has to be a $9 club fare member, you can purchase the same ticket rate for up to 8 people on your reservation, and the baggage fee discounts apply to them as well.

When to buy your ticket

spiritairlinesIf you decide to buy your tickets at the airport, you need to make sure the Spirit counters are open at the time you plan on going. At DFW it’s easy since it’s one of Spirit’s hubs and they are open approximately 22 hours a day, 7 days a week. If they have less frequent flights where you live a good rule-of-thumb is 2 1/2 hours before the first flight of the day until the last flight of the day takes off.

If Spirit has a group of morning flights, then a group of evening flights they may close in the middle of the afternoon, that’s typical for any airline that has blocks of time with no flights going out.
They will have two lines for the ticket counters; one is the “Fast Bag Drop” line and the other is the “Full Service” line. If you’re going to buy tickets you need to get in the “Full Service” line. It also makes it easier if you look online ahead of time and know what days and times you want to fly out on.


If you end up purchasing your tickets online DO NOT buy your bags at the airport. The baggage fees are more expensive at the airport even if you’re purchasing your bags months in advance. Wait and buy them online later, that will save you either $5 or $15 a bag for non $9 fare-club members, and between $14-$26 a bag if you’re a $9 fare club member.

Like anything, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to buying tickets on Spirit. What works best for me, may not work for you in your situation. Even though I usually buy my tickets at the airport, there have been times when it made more sense to buy them online. There’s a famous quote “flexibility is the key to air power”, well I would change it to “flexibility is the key to getting the best deal on Spirit Airlines”.

For more on Spirit Airlines, check out Tiff’s comprehensive guide!

Everything You Need to Know About Spirit Airlines



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Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.


  1. Walt

    October 2, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Hi, long time lurker of your blog. Do you know if you can go to an airport and buy a ticket for an itinerary that does not include the airport that you just physically went to? Thanks!!!

    • Tiff

      October 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      I think you should be able to with no problem.

      The first time I bought tickets on Spirit at DFW I bought tickets from DFW – DTW, DTW to MCO and then MCO to DFW. It was three separate one-way legs, and even though one wasn’t to/from the airport I was purchasing the tickets at, there was no problem with buying that ticket vs the others. Good luck!

      • jackie

        July 16, 2015 at 9:18 pm

        So if the ticket is only $34 online each way and it currently says in the end that the usage fee is $35.98 you would still save that $35.98 at the airport? I called and the guy on the phone sounded iffy on what he knew. He told me that it is the same price online and at the airport and that on the phone there is a service charge. If so then the flight would only be like $34 round trip? That is awesome if so!

  2. Chrissy

    December 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Tiff,

    You have a great knowledge of Spirit airlines. I have been flying them multiple times a year since 2008 as they are the only nonstop provider between LGA and MYR and I have family there and went to college there. I have booked a reservation for myself for January, and it came up that I could bring my nephew with me to visit his grandfather. Is there a way (via phone I assume?) to add him to my existing reservation? I could not do it online nor could I find any answers. I cannot book a separate reservation as they will then charge a $100 unaccompanied minor charge each way. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks so much.

    • Monira

      May 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Hello Chrissy,

      I am exactly in your situation i.e. I have already booked reserved for myself, but now my minor niece wants to travel with me.

      So finally were you able to solve the matter ? If yes could you please tell me how.

      Thanks a lot.

  3. Sheena Collado

    June 19, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    My boyfriend bought a spirit airlines ticket online.. What to do now? Should he print something like some boarding pass? His flighy is tomorrow. Thank you so much!

    • Tiff

      June 20, 2015 at 3:58 am

      Yup, you can login and print your boarding pass between 1 and 24 hours before your flight. Good luck! =)

      • jackie

        July 16, 2015 at 9:47 pm

        Are you sure that the usage charge is dropped at the airport currently? I called Spirit and the guy was a little unsure and said that booking online or at the airport would be the same charge but booking over the phone will have an additional charge added. Does this still work for $34 flights? if so then a roundtrip flight would only be around $34 total before bags?

        • Aaron strelnikoff

          September 5, 2015 at 4:03 am

          I just went to LAX and bought a round trip tickets from lax to iah for only 84 bucks which was 37 dollars cheaper then it said online. I was so stoked I bought two roundtrip tickets saving me like 80 bucks. No joke going to the airport saves you lots of money. I’m just bringing a backpack with me so I am so happy to take full advantage of spirit

  4. Matt

    August 5, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Tiff,

    We’re in Dallas too. Where is the ticket counter in terminal E? When you go just to buy tickets, where do you park to minimize charges? It’s $1 just to get into DFW, which is annoying, but then the parking close to the terminals is all paid too I think. I’d love to cut $30 or so from my ticket price, but I worry about how much will be eaten by DFW parking and entry fees.

    • Bryan

      August 17, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      GATE E18 is ticketing.

  5. Eva

    May 12, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Will they give deals for a one way ticket if I buy the ticket at the airport??

    • Tiff

      May 16, 2016 at 1:02 am

      You cannot get the $9 fare club deals at the airport. Those prices are only available online.

      BUT each one-way ticket is $17.99 cheaper at the airport because they charge a $17.99 “passenger usage fee” per ticket per leg online. If you’re only buying a single one-way ticket at the airport, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth saving $17.99 or not. Obviously the more tickets you buy, the more you save. If I buy two round-trip tickets at the airport it’s a total savings of $71.96, $17.99 per person, each way. Hope this helps!

  6. Jeremy

    August 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Can you add hotel reservations at the ticket counter?

  7. Jennifer

    May 21, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Hello I usually purchase tickets at the airport, I was wondering if the ticket counters accept promo codes? Or is it just online? Thank You

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