As we head into Thanksgiving, I thought I would share a kind word about Spirit Airlines. Spirit is the most maligned US carrier, with people frequently complaining about their service, their gruff CEO, their lack of customer care, their baggage fees, their planes, their routes, their this, their that. Boo hoo, I say.
I flew Spirit 2 days ago (a $21 ticket in their “Big Front Seat” section), and let me say this: Spirit puts out a perfectly fine product. The Big Front Seat is a bargain in most cases (and oddly enough, is sometimes cheaper than their coach product). Roughly the width and pitch of domestic business class on every other airline, it’s cheaper than just about every other airline – a round trip ticket from New York to Ft. Lauderdale will set you back about $500. Continental charges about $900 for roughly the same thing. No, you won’t get food on the flight. But I’ve never understood why people whined incessantly when there was food, and now complain when there isn’t.
Three times a week they offer ridiculous sale fares, with flights frequently around $50 round trip. Yes, availability is limited (what do you expect for $50?), but I check all the time and I almost always manage to find those cheap fares available. Sure, you have to pay $3 for water. Big deal, considering it cost you more to take a taxi to the airport than it did to fly to Nassau.
When I flew Ryanair I found the same situation: people’s complaints never ended, but the reality was this: it was 95% the same as every other flight I’ve ever taken. Except it was about 1/10th the price, and I had to buy a soda.
Spirit flies new planes to a bunch of warm weather destinations for very little money (if you catch a sale). I think it’s time we all stopped complaining about it and take a moment at Thanksgiving to be thankful that I can fly from Detroit to Los Angeles for $29. Save your complaining for every other airline that charges $279 for that route and makes you pay for your meal.