Travel Tips

5 Spirit Airlines Hacks That Will Save You Money

I didn’t think Spirit Airlines hacks existed. 

Yes, I know the airlines is cheap. After all, “bare fares” are their claim to fame. But can the prices actually get cheaper?

At first, I didn’t think so either. In fact, I’ve definitely overpaid one too many times before shaping and changing my game (cue extreme budget traveller mode).

While the airline company’s prices may seem gallant, Spirit is absolutely a for-profit business, which means that with cheap flights comes a catch. No free food. You have to pay for carry-on (unless it’s a personal item but more on that later). You have to pay for reserved seating.

While that may seem like a lot of negatives, I still love flying Spirit because you can actually save a lot of money if you “fly right”. You get much, much more than what you pay for. So, without further ado, here are the top five Spirit Airlines hacks that you need to know. 

You Don’t Need To Pack As Much As You Think You Need To

Spirit allows you to have a free personal item. A personal item is essentially a small-scale carry-on. Picture laptop bags and purses.

In other words, you can bring one FREE laptop bag or purse! 

Yay! Reaction gif.

Unfortunately, an actual carry-on costs extra – a $100. But don’t panic, the dimensions for a personal item are “18 by 14 by 8” (current as of August 2018 but check their website for updates), which, when you think about it, is a Goliath-sized purse or laptop bag.

Right before boarding, I typically put my purse into my laptop bag so that it counts as “one item”

That’s not cheating? Right?

Ahem.

So what can you fit? Let’s say, I have a medium sized purse. In this purse, I can fit the following (assuming I roll my clothes):

  • three tank tops
  • two pairs of shorts
  • three dresses (one formal, two casual)
  • a t-shirt
  • undergarments
  • passports, cards, money, bath products, etc.

This much clothing lasts about a week, which is perfect for vacations or shorter business trips. All my electronics (phone, laptop, charger, laptop case, etc) then go into my laptop bag.

“But Anshula, this is ideal if you are jet-setting off to a warm weather place,” you say. 

I understand. If you are traveling to a place with colder weather, jeans and sweaters take up a lot of room. In that situation, I use my “carry-on not carry-on”. 

If you are planning on flying Spirit often, I highly recommend purchasing a “carry-on” that is as close to the max dimensions of a personal item as possible (so you can pack the most for the least). 

Don’t Reserve Seats Until The Last Minute

When you were in school, your teachers drilled into your head the idea that procrastination was about as bad as the apocalypse.

Scratch that thought. Spirit Airlines rewards procrastinators.
Hacking Spirit Airlines - the key is procrastination.

Seriously, it’s okay to procrastinate (in this case). If you reserve your seats far, far, in advance then you have to pay a penalty (starting at $5.00). If you don’t, Spirit randomly picks seats for you. Most of the time, you can change your seating 24 hours (best window) to thirty minutes before your flight for FREE.

You aren’t guaranteed to be sitting next to your spouse or kids, but the extra money can go towards your actual vacation.

This is one of my ultimate Spirit Airlines hacks. In fact, it’s how I’ve almost always managed to snag the window or aisle seat.

Don’t Buy Their Food

It sounds tempting, I know. Airlines are tiring and sometimes, I just want a cold, refreshing beverage and food. But am I willing to pay $3 for a Cup of Noodles? $3 for Water? Seriously?

Hacking Spirit Airlines - Say No to Overpriced Food

Yeah, no thank you.

Try to eat a large, healthy meal and gulp a good dose of water before you leave and after you arrive. Airplane food tastes horrible anyways so you probably won’t be missing out on much. But if you really, really want that packet of Pringles…$2 isn’t too much.

Don’t Check In At The Counter But Buy Tickets At The Counter

When I first flew Spirit Airlines, the lady at the check-in counter was nice enough to tell me to use the kiosk. Getting my boarding pass from her would have cost more money than my millennial wallet could afford. 

Using the kiosk for self check-in is FREE. 

Hacking Spirit Airlines - Avoid the Passenger Handling Fee by purchasing tickets from the counter

Also, it is important to note that purchasing tickets at the counter is much cheaper. Why? Spirit charges a Passenger Usage Fee for booking online (which, for the most part, is hidden unless you decide to expand all the details of your purchase).

Bonus Flyer Tip: If you purchase the ticket from the airport counter, you can sometimes score free airport parking.

Don’t Forget To Enjoy The Flight

Hacking Spirit Airlines - Don't forget to Enjoy the flight!

Spirit Airlines is fairly roomy for me.

But for most people, I can say this: your legs will be cramped. The seats aren’t the most comfortable in the world (ah, the struggle is real). You will try to get some work in on your laptop, only to realize that there really isn’t enough room to properly type. Your flight WILL most likely be delayed. I’m pretty sure Spirit has a 99.99% not-on-time rate.

Bonus Flyer Tip: If you are worried about being late for your flight. Don’t panic and rush. Every flight I’ve taken has been delayed at least 30 minutes. 

But the air hosts are some of the funniest I’ve ever seen. Flight attendants are normally really stiff but not Spirit’s. At least for the flights I’ve been on. These folks need a ticket to the Ellen Show.

Though, luck might be a factor. 

But I have to say, when an airline ticket costs less than accommodations, that is something worth talking (or rather, typing) about. So would I fly Spirit all the time (if I could)? For their prices…

Hacking Spirit Airlines - Would I fly Spirit Airlines Again?

P.S. All media is courtesy of reactiongifs.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. I just really love flying Spirit and want to share the love and some hacks. Ever flown Spirit or another budget airlines? Share your tips and tricks and experiences below.

Did you enjoy these Spirit Airlines hacks? Would you fly Spirit Airlines? Did any of these hacks help? Do you have more to suggest? Let me know in the comments below. 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Monidipa
    July 30, 2018 at 11:55 AM

    I keep travelling/flying a lot. So I follow all these. I hardly pack many things. Tickets are always last minutes for me. And I have Anorexia so eating food that too on the flight is a strict no for me… This post will surely help many people..

  • Reply
    Eboni Dixon
    July 30, 2018 at 3:10 PM

    These are some really great hacks! I’m all about saving money where possible so this was perfect!

  • Reply
    Puneet Kaur
    July 31, 2018 at 1:36 AM

    Well, I don’t travel much in the airlines as do not find them to be comfortable. It was really nice going through the hacks though!

  • Reply
    Nidhi Fouzdar
    July 31, 2018 at 3:15 AM

    These are great hacks to save some money. I am frequent flyer i need to ensure to keep in mind this points on my next trip

  • Reply
    Saurav Purkayastha
    July 31, 2018 at 4:52 AM

    Wow, you have compiled a great list, these hacks are super useful to me as I fly a lot. Thanks for sharing these with us.

  • Reply
    sabrina barbante
    July 31, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    They are exactly the same tips I can apply the I travel with ryanair and easy jet that are the most famous and used low cost airlines in Europe. Is there a day of the week when flights cost less, also for Spirit?

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      August 3, 2018 at 1:45 PM

      Supposedly Tuesdays but I’ll be honest, I haven’t noticed a difference. xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Fashion and Style Police
    July 31, 2018 at 3:01 PM

    Love the tips here. Their food is always so expensive. I hate buying them but I do have to sometimes.

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      August 3, 2018 at 1:46 PM

      I can so relate. I never want to buy it. But if I’m in the middle seat and the people next to me purchase a snack, I sometimes can’t resist…. xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Lauren
    July 31, 2018 at 6:28 PM

    I love to travel and have been on Spirit before. I wish I would have known these hacks for those trips!

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      August 3, 2018 at 1:46 PM

      Hope these help with your next trip, Lauren! xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Allie ~ Let's Do Lattes
    July 31, 2018 at 8:01 PM

    These are great tips. I did not know some of these fees existed! I do have a question about getting free parking! How does that work? Thanks for the tips!

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      August 3, 2018 at 1:47 PM

      Oh, if you purchase tickets from the airport, the airport (sometimes – depending on availability) will give complimentary free airport parking for that day! It’s really nice. xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place
    July 31, 2018 at 10:24 PM

    Never ben on a budget or Spirit airline before. Thanks for the helpful tips.

  • Reply
    Sreekar
    August 1, 2018 at 12:48 AM

    Haha. Nice tips. These are the ones that I and my wife usually argue about. Especially hate the airline food. Can’t get any stale than those packed food. we usually carry some of our own!

  • Reply
    Jade Braham
    August 1, 2018 at 2:38 AM

    I’m about to embark on a solo travel around Europe and these are great tips that I’m going to take with me! I had never heard of Spirit but I’m going to have to look into them before I leave! Thanks for sharing:)

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      August 3, 2018 at 1:50 PM

      Hey Jade, they don’t normally fly in Europe (I think the only place they fly to in Europe is Iceland). Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Khushboo
    August 1, 2018 at 7:39 AM

    These are some great tips I will surely try it out. Thanks for sharing I had no idea about this.

  • Reply
    Mary
    August 1, 2018 at 8:53 AM

    I have never flown spirit. I don’t think we have one near me. But thank you for the hacks in case I do!

  • Reply
    Kate
    August 1, 2018 at 12:22 PM

    I’ve never heard about Spirit Airlines, it’s probably American but we every area in the world has their own cheap airline and you always need to be a bit tricky with managing the flight!

  • Reply
    Becca Talbot
    August 1, 2018 at 3:26 PM

    I’ve never flown with Spirit Airlines before – I don’t think they operate in the UK. But these hacks are good to know if I ever do make a trip with them (and it could happen, as I am a travel blogger too!) x

  • Reply
    David Elliott
    August 2, 2018 at 12:52 AM

    i didn’t realize they sold food while on the airlines. Maybe I haven’t been on them recently enough to see it. I knew things were changing but that’s kind of crazy. I definitely wouldn’t be spending the 3 dollars for a cup of noodles.

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