How to Fly With Spirit Airlines

I’ll explain their luggage & check-in rules,
credit card & miles program, $9 fare program,
as w
ell as tips & tricks to hacking Spirit.

Spirit airlines is a super young budget airline in the U.S.A. Often, you can score tickets for around a $100. These cheap flights mean that you can invest the money that you’ve saved on more trips!

Flying with Spirit Airlines is a tricky yet rewarding venture. They have a ton of great deals and incredibly low price plane tickets. If you’re not well-educated on their policies, these inexpensive fares come at a price. You have to carefully follow their rules to ensure the cheapest fare possible. I have flown with Spirit on 15+ trips. If you’re looking to fly with Spirit. You’ve come to the right place. If you’re already nervous to fly with Spirit Airlines, don’t be. I consider myself a Spirit wiz and will explain in-detail everything that you need to know.

Flying over Costa Rica with Spirit Airlines

Why is Spirit so Cheap?

They have their “Bare Fare” meaning that their service is an ale cart. You pay for baggage, carry-ons, drinks & food, and seats with more leg room.

Spirit airlines is upfront about their policies and rules… If you don’t follow their rules, you pay more. They will also try to up-sell you to make a profit.

This means that you need to read and be vigilant when preparing for your flight. Throughout your booking process, read every pop-up before you “agree”. They will try to sell you bundles including things like hotels, rental cars, & insurance. Pay attention to what you’re clicking. If you choose your seat, that costs money. If you decide to “Go Green” there goes $5. Before you depart for the airport, make sure you’ve checked in and have proper baggage sizes. These two innocent mistakes could also cost you money.

My Experience with Spirit Airlines:

I have had a lot of great experiences and not-so-great experiences with Spirit.
Let’s start with the not-so-great experiences. Many of my flights have been delayed. In fact, almost all of them have been delayed. HOWEVER, I have noticed that my most recent flights have been on-time. Connecting with their customer service over the phone is a hassle. You have to fight with a computer for a great deal of time before they connect you to a real person.
Now the good: I love their fares and it’s allowed me to travel a great deal. I’ve flown with them all over the United States, Central America, and South America. I’ve also used them to get me to Europe & China for less money. Side note: I’ve done this by flying Spirit to L.A. or Florida & then flew to Europe & China with another airline. They also have excellent credit card bonus’. These bonus’ have rewarded me with many free flights… I know credit cards are an exciting yet confusing beast, I will describe their credit cards later on. I love that the flight attendants tend to be quirky, fun, & helpful. They make tons of jokes and seem to be having a great time. One time when my fiancé was sick on a flight, one of the flight attendants was also a health professional. This flight attendant was attentive to helping my fiance feel better. And yes, he gave my fiancé water and food, at no cost to us, in an attempt to help.
To conclude, to this Exploring Yogini, all that matters is getting from Point A to Point B. This girl prefers Spirit over companies that are known for “free” drinks and cater to business professionals. I fly, a lot. In 2016 I flew on 27 different airplanes. If I hadn’t utilized budget airlines, like Spirit, I wouldn’t have been able to travel as often as I did. I personally feel to each their own.
[pullquote align=center] If you didn’t enjoy your experience with Spirit, that’s totally fine. But don’t let your bad experience stop someone else from experiencing travel.[/pullquote]

Where Spirit Airlines Flies:

Spirit Airlines flies throughout the United States, it’s territories, the Caribbean, Central America, and select cities in South America.
Spirit flies all over the U.S.

Their Luggage Policies:

Personal Item:

You get a free personal item. This bag is supposed to be stored underneath your seat. A personal item can be a backpack, purse, tote, and other similar bags that meet the size requirements. The size requirements are 4/3/2017, max dimensions are 18″x14″x8″. As found on If you’re concerned about your bag size and live near an airport that Spirit flies out of, stop by the airport and see if your bag will fit.

Please note, some boarding agents are lenient and others are strict with the rules. If you’re carrying multiple bags (such as a purse & backpack) be careful when boarding your flight. If you get a strict agent, they will consider your bags as a personal item (free) and a carry-on (not free). Then you’ll have to pay for the carry-on.
Spirit Hack: Here is what you do… When boarding your flight, stuff your purse in your backpack. Then once you’re on the plane, take your purse out of your backpack. Woolah.


They will charge you for a carry-on. Carry-on’s are the bags that you stuff in the over-head bin. If you’re planning on bringing a carry-on, buy it when you book your flight. The price goes up the longer you wait.

Checked Bag:

If you’re checking a bag, buy it when you book your flight (or before you get to the airport). The checked bag fee is cheapest when you book your flight. The checked bag will cost the most at the airport. Here is what to expect for baggage fees. To learn visit the Optional Services webpage on the Spirit website.


This is their frequent flier program that allows you to earn miles & redeem them for future flights. If you’re not a FREE SPIRIT member, sign up before you purchase your flight or before you arrive at the airport. If you weren’t a member when you booked your flight, make sure you give your number to the attendant checking you into your flight! 
Here is where you sign up. Following a Spirit flight, if you’re NOT a member you have up to 30 days to sign up as a FREE Spirit member & request your miles be rewarded.
To learn more about this, please visit FREE SPIRIT customer support.

Avoid Check-In Fees:

Spirit will send you an email 24 hours before your departure reminding you to check-in. If possible, check in at home.
Check in at home is free and to check in at the gate will cost $10. Spirit doesn’t normally charge to check in at the airport, but they advertise that they do… It’s better safe than sorry.
China > Minnesota is a long flight.

Drinks & Food While Flying:

Spirit Airlines doesn’t serve complimentary water or snacks. Here are their drink prices as of January 2017…Non-alcoholic drinks range from $2-7. Drinks with alcohol cost $7-8.
Spirit Hack: Bring an empty water bottle with you and fill it up before you Board the airplane.
As of January 2017, snacks cost $2.50-$6.50. Snacks are pringles, pretzels, M&Ms, ramen noodles, & other related foods.
Spirit Hack: Always pack snacks.

Spirit Mastercard & Flying with Miles:

Their are a few ways to earn miles with Spirit.
  • Pay for a flight with your own money, gain miles.
  • Become a Spirit Mastercard member & make (any) purchases on your card.
  • Purchase miles (not a good deal so we won’t discuss it further.)
**Please note that you will not earn miles for flights that are booked with miles. You can only earn miles for flights paid for with money.
If you’re in the market for a credit card and plan on flying Spirit Airlines often, consider the Spirit Mastercard. You earn two miles for every $1 you spend. You can cash in your points whenever you want, however, try to only use them during the off-season. Off season scores you a better deal. The card is free your first year & then costs $59/year afterwards. After your first purchase, you receive a reward of 15,000 bonus miles. This bonus could score you 3 round-trip flights during the off-peak season. See the picture & link below describing off season & flying in regions.
Information on the Spirit Credit card was found here.
***I had my Spirit Mastercard for 1 year & then cancelled it when it was time to pay the annual fee. Regions are determined by the distance that you are flying. Region 1 is the least amount of distance needed to fly followed by 3 more regions. The fourth region is the longest distance. The region then determines how many miles you need. For Example: Minneapolis to Chicago is Region 1. Minneapolis to Los Cabos is Region 3. Minneapolis to Lima, Peru is Region 4.
The breakdown of Spirit Airline miles.
To Read more about Regions & their tiers please go here.
***Of course, never sign up for a credit card if it isn’t right for your life situation or if you don’t feel comfortable!

$9 Fare Club:

The $9 Fare Club sounds like a great offer… And it is, if you’re the right customer. Here is it’s perks…If you travel with the $9 fare club AND check luggage it’s a great deal. The club gives you the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets throughout the year. It also offers $10 off of each checked luggage. When traveling with another person, both of you can book underneath the $9 Fare club (even though only one person is a member).

Here is what you should consider…

  • Take into consideration how often you will be able to book these flights. These flights tend to be during the week. Meaning if you don’t want to take off of work, it’ll be more difficult to utilize the club’s perks.
  • You need to fly at least twice a year with checked luggage for it to be worth the monthly $9 fee.
  • Also, consider that you will not be able to gift your miles to other people as a member of the program.

Extra Tips for Spirit Airlines:

  •  Sign up for the newsletter to get alerts on sales & deals.
  • Wifi, outlets, or TVs are not available on the plane. Pre-download podcasts, videos, & games on your phone. Charge your external battery ahead of time.
  • If you’re flying with a significant other or friend, book your flights under the same transaction. This will ensure your seats are next to one another.
  • If you’re flying out of the country, Spirit Airlines requires that you have a ticket back home. If it’s with Spirit they can look it up, however, if it’s with another airline, bring proof with you.
& this isn't even all of them!
Whew! nearly 2,000 words later, their is absolutely everything that you need to know about flying with the budget airline, Spirit.
Full of great & actionable ideas!

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