When A Bargain Fare Isn’t A Bargain (Or, Why The Flight Deal Does Not Feature Deals from Spirit or Frontier etc)

We banter on Twitter a lot, usually when we are bored and should be working on release 3.0 of The Flight Deal. One of the personalities we go back and forth with is Michael aka @real_jetsetr. He made a bet with us that resulted in him flying with Spirit. More about the bet and his trip report below—and why we don’t feature deals from Spirit or Frontier. Thanks Michael for the writeup.


If you are reading this blog post, then you are either: a) already a huge fan of The Flight Deal (as I am), and appreciative of the team’s efforts to present daily deals to destinations that cost six cents per mile or less, and/or b) you are wondering why The Flight Deal never post fares from ultra-low cost carriers (“ULCCs,” such as Frontier or Spirit), even though they seemingly offer lower total costs of travel than the major air carriers.

Note that the operative words and phrases in that last sentence are “seemingly,” and “total costs of travel” (as opposed to just simply “lower fares’).

To truly understand and appreciate this post, you need to know a little more about both me and The Flight Deal in terms of our travel patterns and habits.

I am a United MileagePlus Lifetime Premier 1K member, and also an American Airlines Executive Platinum member.  For the last several years, I have flown about 250,000 miles a year, with many of those miles and flights ENABLED FACILITATED by airfares The Flight Deal has posted.

The Flight Deal team is a huge fan of Cathay Pacific and their premium cabin service from NYC (TFD note: specifically CX841 seat 11A in biz or 1A in First) to HKG.  Earning AAdvantage miles on American Airlines, Cathay’s Oneworld partner, is a great way to parlay premium cabin trips on Cathay.

The Bet

Through a series of lighthearted Twitter exchanges that I had with Team TFD this past summer, I playfully initiated and accepted a bet (a.k.a. ”stupid human challenge”) that would inadvertently and unintentionally answer the question as to why TFD doesn’t promote LCC/ULCC fares.  Specifically, I challenged The Flight Deal to fly American Airlines from NYC to HKG in Main Cabin Extra.  They responded that they would do so if the fare dropped below $700…but only if I accepted a challenge to fly Spirit Airlines in a non-“Big Front Seat” on a flight that was four hours or longer.   CHALLENGE. ACCEPTED.

Fares on AA between NYC and HKG would get teasingly close to sub-$700 (TFD note: $700ish to Hong Kong from New York on AA/DL/UA is pretty common. Under $700 not so much),  but they never would quite cross the threshold…until one day, they actually did, and TFD made sure to let me know!

The Booking

So, GAME ON.  I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, but was scheduled to be in NYC for a week.  For my return to the Bay Area, I routed myself on American Airlines from LaGuardia (LGA) to Chicago O’Hare (ORD), and then from ORD, I booked a one way Spirit flight to Oakland (OAK) that clocked in at 4 hours and 32 minutes.   There was a method to this madness, and another reason that I chose to fly American from LGA to ORD to catch my Spirit ORD-OAK flight:  While Spirit doesn’t participate in the TSA PreCheck program, American does, and indeed, I did have PreCheck for my LGA-ORD flight.  In addition, American and Spirit both operate out of ORD’s Terminal 3, so I could be assured that upon landing at ORD, that I could stay airside and not have to pass through security again.

I scheduled my American flight so that I would arrive at ORD nearly 4 hours before my Spirit flight, in case there were any delays on American or at LGA such that I would still have enough of a buffer to make my ORD-OAK flight.

The Pre-Flight

Tail number N604NK, my ride from Chicago to Oakland…or at least it was supposed to be

The Spirit Plane - Photo: real_jetsetr

The Spirit Plane – Photo: real_jetsetr

Now, this being Spirit Airlines, I was fully aware of the fact that extra charges and ancillary fees are very much a part of their (profitable) business model.  For example, while a single, personal item can be brought on board at no extra charge, a standard-sized carryon bag that can be brought on board other major airlines at no extra charge, would incur a fee on Spirit.   Moreover, if I didn’t prepay $35 for the privilege of bringing a bag that would fit in the overhead bin, I would be hit with an exorbitant $100 fee at the airport.

Bag sizer - Photo: real_jetsetr

Bag sizer – Photo: real_jetsetr

Spirit Airlines bag sizer – GULP, watch out for strict size limitations & fees!

Fortunately, my Rimowa Salsa Deluxe easily fit in the carry-on sizer - Photo: real_jetsetr

Fortunately, my Rimowa Salsa Deluxe easily fit in the carry-on sizer – Photo: real_jetsetr

The Flight, er, Maybe Not.

I also decided that I would prepay $25 for an exit row aisle seat assignment.  Though I was not allowed to sit in a Big Front Seat per the terms of my agreement with The Flight Deal, nothing precluded sitting in an Exit Row seat, which in reality, actually has more legroom than a Big Front Seat (but the exit row is still a “3-3” seating configuration, while the Big Front Seat is a “2-2” configuration).  Also, the Exit Row seat (as with all of Spirit’s economy seats) are “pre-reclined,” which is to say, they don’t recline.  And the seat “cushion” was as thin and hard as I had ever sat on on a commercial flight.

This man was kind enough to let me take a picture of his 28” seat pitch, “So that others will learn a lesson not to fly this airline again.” - Photo: real_jetsetr

Photo: real_jetsetr

This man was kind enough to let me take a picture of his 28” seat pitch, “So that others will learn a lesson not to fly this airline again.”

By comparison, I had seemingly limitless legroom in the exit row, but the seat “cushion” was thin, sank about two inches when I sat down, and my seat did not recline

The one way Spirit ticket cost (with taxes, but without ancillary fees) was $213.09.  To be certain, this was a much lower price than any of the major (and minor) carriers were offering on nonstop, midweek flights between ORD and the three major Bay Area airports (SFO/SJC/OAK).  However, on top of the $213.09, I already paid an additional $60, and if I had neglected to remember to preprint my boarding pass before arriving at the airport (NO, Spirit does not have an app, nor does it offer mobile boarding passes), I would have to pay up to an additional $10 to have a physical boarding pass printed at the airport.  Even if I had forgotten to print my boarding pass, my total costs would have been $283.09, and this would still have been cheaper than any other carrier’s fare on my date of travel.

But assume for the moment that I was an infrequent traveler who was not aware of all of the landmines, pitfalls, and quicksand that Spirit transparently advertises because I hadn’t paid attention (and for the moment, I am assuming that many Spirit flyers fail to pay attention to all of the critical details – such as bag size limitations).  The “bargain airfare” that Spirit sells doesn’t really begin to feel like a bargain when hit with a $100 carry-on (or checked bag) fee, a $10 boarding pass fee at the airport, and given a seat that doesn’t recline AND has only 28 inches of seat pitch.

The day of the flight I had feelings of nervousness, yet I was also a bit masochistically excited at the challenge (for who knows what reason).  I have done my fair share of flights in “economy minus,” so what was one more 4+ hour flight in the name of “experimentation”?  But I knew what I was getting into; others who clearly did not fly very often, and may not have flown in a very long time, were not in such good Spirits (pun intended) upon boarding the plane.

We hadn’t even finished boarding the plane, and this exasperated woman at the window put her head against the seat in front of her and said out loud, “I am never flying this airline again!  This is my first AND my last. You pay for everything on this plane! This is ridiculous!

I, on the other hand, had a game plan to make my Spirit flight experience go a bit smoother

All seemed well, the flight attendants actually seemed reasonably happy, and even the Captain sounded quite chipper when making his pre-flight announcement over the PA system.  We pushed back from our gate to taxi and get in line to takeoff, but shortly after taxiing, a storm system that was west of Chicago had made its way to O’Hare.

And then, the rains came…and that’s when all plans went down the drain

Things Go Sideways

Initially, the Captain said that, “All westbound aircraft are delayed because of weather systems.”  Shortly thereafter, the Captain announces, “There is congestion in the alleyway. We’re ‘most likely’ moving in 10 minutes…”  This was soon followed by an announcement that, “There is an Air Traffic Control ‘ground stop’ at ORD until the system passes,” but that “if you want to take your phones out, you can call folks and tell them that we’ll probably at most be delayed one hour into Oakland.”  And then, about 20 minutes after that last announcement:

“We have been instructed by headquarters to head back to the gate.  At this point, the flight is CANCELLED because of weather.”

Annnnnd…so much for that experiment


As if a cancellation wasn’t bad enough, the Captain then said that passengers would have to go to luggage claim to retrieve their bags, and then they would have to go to the ticket counter to be rebooked on another Spirit flight TOMORROW.  I’m not kidding when I say that the entire planeful of passengers groaned/shrieked/screamed/gasped.  [N.B. This is but one reason to avoid checking luggage on any airline, if at all possible.]

Always Have a Backup Plan

This is when I went into “frequent traveler ‘BEAST’ mode.”  The first thing I did was call the Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Elite line, and asked if they could book a hotel room for me at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, BUT I also asked that if I needed to cancel because I could somehow get on another flight, if they would waive the cancel policy.  Thankfully, they said that they would be able to do that for me.

Next, I looked at the United and American apps on my phone and searched for one way saver award seats to SFO (fortunately, I was prescient enough to take BART – the Bay Area Rapid Transit system – to OAK for my outbound flight to NYC, and I had parked my car at a BART station, so flying into SFO instead of OAK would not leave me with a “car problem”).

American had no saver awards to SFO/SJC (they no longer fly to OAK); United did have one saver option to SFO, but it would require me to first fly to Pittsburgh on a regional jet, and then wait six hours overnight for a flight to SFO.  Um, no thank you, I’m better off staying at the ORD hub.  Both carriers had plenty of saver space available the following day.  Under non-urgent circumstances, I would have opted to overnight at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, but I really needed to be back in San Francisco the following day to pick up my young children who were coming back from a trip to Peru, and if the only difference in making that happen was a standard award at 25,000 miles vs. a saver award at 12,500 miles, in this case, I would absolutely opt for the standard award.

Just as I was about to book the United standard award, I decided to see how much the one way ticket price was for the flight on which I was going to make an award booking.  As it turns out, it was “only” about $500 – not bad for a last-minute purchase.  And considering that I fully expected to get a ~$280 refund from Spirit (which I did, but which I had to call in to request), I looked at the $500 purchase as really an incremental $220 to ensure that I would be back in time for my kids.

I booked the United flight for ~$500, and it ticketed immediately.  All was going to be work out, albeit with delays…except when I received the notification that the flight I had just booked cancelled as well.  You cannot make this stuff up.

I headed straight for the nearest United Club while simultaneously looking at the United app to search for alternate flights on which to be protected and which I could “feed” to the agent at the Club.  As a Premier 1K member, I was protected on two different flights, both of which, due to the airport delays, were scheduled to depart around the same time but from gates that were not near each other.  Long story short, I went back and forth between two United gates to gauge from the gate agents as to whether or not the flights would have any crew timeout issues (meaning they would not be legal to fly) and also to get a better sense of realistic departure times.  Satisfied that at least one of the flights was going to take off, I (politely) hung around the gate until the agent started clearing standbys as fast as possible, in order to get the flight pushed back from the gate.  As a Premier 1K, I was leapfrogged to the top of the list and was given a confirmed boarding pass.

Not until my United flight was wheels up from ORD did I breathe a sigh of relief.  But what of my fellow Spirit passengers who most likely were still at ORD dealing with reclaiming luggage and waiting to speak to an agent to get rebooked the following day? I don’t even want to imagine the looks on those passengers’ faces when they were inevitably told that Spirit does not provide for overnight hotel accommodations when they cancel flights.  As grateful as I was for having multiple top-tier airline elite statuses that helped give me options to get to where I needed to go, I felt badly for the passengers on my Spirit flight who did not have the options and resources available to them that I had.

While I now can look back and (sort of) laugh at the absurdity of the situation from which I was able to rescue myself, it highlights an important lesson:  When things go sideways with an airline reservation, it helps to have a variety of alternative solutions.

While not everyone will be able to have (nor will want to fly as much to earn) top tier status with an airline (let alone achieve two top tier statuses), generally speaking, the Americans/Deltas/Uniteds of the aviation world will be able to come up with options that will not leave you stranded in the way the LCCs and ULCCs, like Spirit, will.  While AA/DL/UA might not have been able to get me home that same night had I not been an elite frequent flyer, the fact that Spirit operates relatively few flights means that re-accommodating all of the displaced passengers from the cancelled ORD-OAK flight was not trivial task; with planes as full as they are today, it wouldn’t surprise me if some Spirit passengers were re-routed on multiple flights and/or waited more than a day to get confirmed on a flight to OAK.   And given those ugly alternatives, some may have indeed decided to just purchase a last-minute walk-up fare on another airline in order to get home.  When factoring in those costs, LCCs and ULCCs are not nearly the bargain that they first appear to be.

Bottom line:  Low airfares are not the sole determining factor that goes into calculating if something is a good deal.  


  • Michael made a bet with us. We fly AA in Main Cabin Extra to Hong Kong if it’s under $700 from NY while he flies on Spirit for more than 4 hours
  • Spirit has a lot of fees. Be mindful of them since they will add up.
  • When things go sideways — and inevitably they will, Spirit will take a lot longer to catch up.  Because they don’t have a big network to route you, you might find yourself stuck.
  • Always have a backup plan — this is true regardless of who you fly.

Thanks again, Michael for the guest post.


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The Flight Deal does not sell travel products or services. We provide you with information about third-party travel suppliers’ offers, and link you to their sites. The information posted by The Flight Deal is valid at the time of publication. However, we have no control over the suppliers, and we therefore do not warrant or guarantee that their offers will not change or become unavailable. Nor are we responsible for their products, services or site content. Please see their sites for their most up-to-date offer information and all applicable terms and conditions.


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Comments (26)

  • Eric M 9 years ago Reply

    Yeah, this sounds like the Rubiano I know 😉

  • charles alan 9 years ago Reply

    Not to mention I’d rather have the 1500 AA miles or whatever than 1500 spirit points…I can always justify 100-150 more depending on the baggage to fly a real airline.

  • Olin 9 years ago Reply

    Re: Spirit/Frontier/EasyJet/LCC et.al

    So I have mixed feelings about the “horror story” of Spirit. I used to work for one of the major carriers for many years. I am all to familiar with LCC horror. However, main line (AA,UA,DL) carriers have plenty of stories as well; your odds are just better. Still, now that I buy tickets, I often fly Spirit and Frontier. The key is obvious: you know the rules and fly with little to no luggage (if you’ve flown NRSA (employee standby) for years, this is a no-brainer). Spirit has an unusual way of fare calculation. If you can purchase your ticket at an airport ticket counter it will save you $36+ round trip. I won’t fly Spirit if I have to connect as one’s odds of problems increases exponentially. This said, I have flown MCI – LAS for $68 r/t. I think that flightdeal could include LCC deals maybe if they did it under another heading specifically for LCC?

    The Flight Deal 9 years ago Reply

    @Olin – every airline will disappoint over time. The likelihood of an ULCC like Spirit, Frontier etc to disappoint is significantly higher than the majors.

  • Frontier FAIL 9 years ago Reply

    Even if the gates are still open to the plane on Frontier. They may close their own security gate and claim you no longer have access to the plane even though you can use the other security gates. Also they can close their desk at the airport at the same time they close the security gate aka 45 minutes before the flight so if you need a boarding pass you will be screwed and have to pay the $99 change flight fee for a later flight typically the next day. So $99 + accomodation = not a cheap flight at all. To top it all off some of the staff are not trained at customer relations. So when they see you running to their security gate only for it to be closed and you come back asking for help don’t be suprised if they are laughing hysterically like hyenas.

  • Frontier FAIL 9 years ago Reply

    I had this experience this summer first hand.

  • GlobalNative 9 years ago Reply

    I appreciate this post, but just want to make a few comments.
    I am a budget traveler and I often share your flight deals with friends and people that follow my facebook and instagram. Of the people that end up using the deals I share from you, almost all (if not 100%) travel maybe once a year. With that being said most of us will never have the perks you get from the different airline clubs/memberships/cc’s.
    I started sharing deals because I noticed most of my friends think travel is unattainable because of the high cost. I recently did the flighty deal you shared JFK-CAI for $470 and proved to a lot of people that affordable travel is out there. I also just got back from MIA on a $30 round trip flight on Froneir, I took this flight with minimal disturbances and paid no extra fees.
    I’m just wondering, are you encouraging people to travel or to only travel on the big airlines you use? There are ways to make these low cost airlines worthwhile, I feel like that would be a great post to share. For example most people don’t even know they’re allowed one personal item on spirit or frontier. Sharing that info to help get people exploring our amazing world sounds better than discouraging them. But maybe I’m wrong and that’s not what your sites about. Either way, thanks for some of the great deals, I’ll keep sharing them and encouraging everyone I meet to travel and do it affordably.
    Global Native

    The Flight Deal 9 years ago Reply

    @GlobalNative – we are all about exploring more. We just don’t think LCCs like Spirit and Frontier is the best way to go about it. We want our readers to be selective with who they fly with and be mindful of the fees that exist but also have a plan when things do go wrong. So yes, $30 roundtrip to Miami is a great deal but if you have a normal size 22″ carry-on, it will cost you $100 all in ($30 each way for that). If you can travel with just a backpack or something that fits under the seats, then yes, its $30 if you dont mind seat assignment at checkin. And for infrequent fliers, who are the core audience for Spirit and Frontier, most are not prepared for all their fees. And definitely not prepared when there’s irregular operations like flight getting canceled etc.

  • Possum J Krebbs 9 years ago Reply

    Nay do it !!!

  • D 9 years ago Reply

    This article really doesn’t prove much in terms of a “typical” experience when riding an ULCC/LCC.

    First, almost all airlines (even the “big network” airlines) have policies that it will not provide overnight accommodations for flights that are cancelled due to weather and/or “acts of god”. So even if Michael had been flying on UU or AU, they likely wouldn’t have provided him with overnight accommodations.

    Second, even he acknowledged that most of the same-day flights on UA and UU were pretty full, so an every-day (e.g., non Premier 1K) passenger wouldn’t have been “leapfrogged” to the front of the stand-by queue and likely would’ve had to fly out on a the flight the following day.

    Third, the last 2-3 paragraphs are pure speculation about “worst-case” scenarios for the other Spirit passengers. All the points he made in the last few paragraphs are universally applicable to every Airline operating today (you can go out and find 1000’s of passengers that have horrendous horror stories about flying with UA/AA/DL/etc…).

    Fourth, even with ALL of the additional fees tallied up, the author acknowledged that the “total price” for Spirit was still less than the fares on the other airlines. So at this point, the “additional fees” are less of an issue. The additional fees are, for the most part, “optional”, so a savvy passenger can save considerable amounts of money if they pay attention and plan accordingly.

    Fifth, the author notes the 28″ legroom for Spirit, but if you check out the leg room provided by the other major airlines, they only offer 30-31″ of leg room (merely 2-3″ more). While that 2-3″ may be important for some, i doubt it’s really worth 100’s of dollars more in costs for most passengers.

    Sixth, the author is a proclaimed “loyalty” passenger for multiple airlines, so his experience is inherently going to be different than “non-loyalty” passengers, and will undoubtedly be biased.

    All-in-all, this “article” provides no clear reason as to why one shouldn’t fly Spirit Airlines versus the “big network” airlines. It also, in my opinion, does provide sufficient justification/insight for why The Flight Deal doesn’t include ULCCs/LCCs in its publication (other than bias). This author’s experience is one that millions of other people experience with just about every other airline out there on an everyday basis.

    D 9 years ago Reply

    Correction: 2nd to last sentence was supposed to say “…doesn’t provide sufficient justification…”

    The Flight Deal 9 years ago

    @D – we are not trying to be everything to everyone — we are a curated travel site and at the end of the day, we curated for deals on majors that earn useful miles. when we post a deal that spirit/frontier or other ULCC are cheaper, we will tell you that they are. giving our readers the option to fly them if they choose.

  • Tiff 9 years ago Reply

    If you ever read any of my blog posts you would know how to work the system on Spirit Airlines and whether or not the sales are worth it to you. 😉 When my kids and I can fly $32 per person on a non-stop round-trip from DFW to ATL ($50 pp when you include our bag fee if we decide to check a bag) the savings are worth it. Even AA’s cheapest sales on that route are $80 pp. But if I was a single person flying the savings wouldn’t add up the same as it does flying with a family so I completely understand why singles (or even couples) don’t get the same value out of Spirit that we do.

  • Maria 9 years ago Reply

    I know people bash on Spirit all the time but I love flying Spirit. I take my kids on about half a dozen trips a year and we have never experienced any problems or had any major delays. We always pack up a single backpack to avoid any extra fees and we grab some Starbucks free cups of water before boarding. The crew is always cheerful and the planes are not that more uncomfortable than any other airline I have flown.

    If anything, I have had much worse luck with Delta. One year I went to visit my sister in Miami but got stuck in Memphis due to bad weather and they did not pay for the hotel. Crazily enough, on the way home the plane had some mechanical problem and I was forced to spend the night in Atlanta. That same year, my husband flew to Argentina on Delta to meet up with with me. He was supposed to leave Friday, but didn’t take off due to the weather. He was bumped to a Saturday flight and asked for the earliest flight possible to make sure he would make his connection through Atlanta. They told him not to worry and gave him a connection with about an hour between planes. Then, on Saturday his flight was delayed due to weather and he missed the connecting flight to Argentina. He had to spend the night in Atlanta and was forced to pay for his hotel. They told him they had no flights on Sunday to Argentina and that he would have to wait until Monday night for the next flight. He was only going to stay in Argentina for one week, so this was horrible. Have the trip gone. To make matters even worse, once he arrived in Argentina they lost his luggage and he had to wear the same clothes (I did buy him some new underwear) until pretty much his last day there when they finally delivered his luggage.

    Thus, Spirit ranks much higher on my list than the major carriers.

  • Danny 9 years ago Reply

    Who would have thought that the most useful thing I’d get from this article was the preference for seat 11A on CX 841. I have that flight booked (first time ever) in business for next year. Just checked seat assignments and all of row 11 is gone. Boo.

  • Dan Sandberg 9 years ago Reply

    I for one would appreciate seeing the fairs of budget airlines. There’s no harm in including a link to the deals and then providing a very big warning about the dangers and pitfalls of flying with them.

    There’s no reason not to post a good deal just because some consumers are ignorant of the tricks the cheapo airlines play — just warn us!

    The Flight Deal 9 years ago Reply

    @Dan – we can’t add much value to ULCC fares like Spirit or Frontier. All their sales are announced – if you want to see them, signup for their newsletter.

  • mayline 9 years ago Reply

    I have to say this simple….Spirit sucks. I had to make a trip.with a friend from San Juan to LA and spirit was the only one available for the dates that we needed it and the price range. To say more…next time I rather pay to United $200 more than spirit. With all the fees, excesive restrictions with luggage and delays the only bad part of our trip was getting into the plane. I even scrapped my legs badly due to the limited space and the flight attendants declined a change of seat even though the plane was literally empty. Never flying with them ever again.

  • xajn 9 years ago Reply

    AA (US) still does OAK -PHX, FYI

  • Sasha 9 years ago Reply

    This is a pretty interesting article. While I’m someone who never sticks to one airline, I have to say that I do enjoy flying Spirit for how inexpensive the flights are.

    I’m not someone that has to have food and snacks, a large amount of space while traveling. It would be nice to have WiFi, but that’s besides the point. Just like the bigger airlines aren’t for everyone neither is Spirit.

  • Jonathan 9 years ago Reply

    Flights don’t get cancelled with other airlines?

    Besides, Spirit gave you a refund…maybe you should just try the John Madden approach to travel.

  • Jay 9 years ago Reply

    To be honest, I have never flown Spirit, however, I am willing to give them a shot. I signed up for their CC which gives access from FLL to the Caribbean for JUST 2,500 miles which is a GREAT deal if you ask me. A short haul using Avios would cost you 7.5k+ depending on destination.

  • Tisha 9 years ago Reply

    This article was full of half-truths and situations that you will encounter if you don’t do what you need to do to save money and have a better experience. For instance, you aren’t charged $100 if you show up to the airport with a bag. At the counter, you pay $15 more than you would have online. If you choose to go to the gate with a bag you know you should have paid for and you are trying to get it on for free and the plane is boarding, you will get charged $100. So don’t do that. Better yet, pay online. Also, if you don’t pre-print your boarding pass (and why wouldn’t you), there are kiosks right near the counters where you can print it. There is an employee flagging people to go to the kiosk. If you go to the counter, they will suggest that you walk the 10 feet behind you and print it. If you are in a hurry, and that is how you are running your day, pay them to print it. I flew a lot over the past 4 years and have a crazy story for a few airlines (like when U.S. Airways told a plane full of passengers they would have to fly lower and slower from DC to Vegas and 15 min later said THIRTY people had to volunteer to get off before they could fly. We got off.)

    Spirit has some issues and is not for everyone, but it came through for me. My son played football for 4 years at a college on the East Coast. I would leave Friday on a late NON-STOP flight from Las Vegas to PHL arriving early Saturday morning and leave out late Sunday night for less than $200 round trip. No checked bag, pre-printed boarding pass, ate and drank before I got on. His senior year, I flew 8 out of 10 weeks! One stretch was 5 weeks in a row. If you can avoid the extra fees, you get the best deal. If not, don’t fly Spirit. Sometimes paying some of the fees is still a better deal when the flight is $69 NON-STOP one-way.

    I’m looking forward to catching some great deals with this site, and I will follow the rules of the deal.

  • Hunter Wesson 9 years ago Reply

    I just flew round trip from Austin to Chicago for 30 USD on Frontier. It seemed fine to me, of course I’m used to hitching rides on cabbage trucks and squeezed in among livestock in the third world, so perhaps my standards are a little more realistic than some jetsetting snivelers.

  • Erick 8 years ago Reply

    I just used Frontier for a Miami-Las Vegas trip with my wife, I saw a good deal online, $95 round trip. I was skeptic so I read the small print and details, I knew about paying for carry-on and checked in luggage so no biggie there. I ended up checking in a bag (we put all our stuff in just one) $30 each way, so $60 all together, Which makes each ticket about $125. Not bad at all. We departed and landed safely at scheduled time. I agree, seats are small but , hey, I did not pay for anything else at all, and for $125 round trip Miami-Las Vegas I would never complain. Will use Frontier again!

  • John 8 years ago Reply

    Thanks for that post! It was a good read and I chuckled throughout, comparing to my own ULCC experiences (I’ve had way too many). I also appreciate this site, and have been sharing your great finds on my Travel Site’s Facebook page ( fb.com/wandrlustr ). I’ve learned my lesson flying those airliners, especially in the event of cancelled flights, where the fee to make an adjustment is outrageous. I’ve come to learn the value in flight deals cannot be based on dollar-amount alone. Thanks again, and check out The Wandr Blog sometime! Cheers 🙂

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