Last year, a friend invited me to join him for a weekend in Fort Lauderdale. He reserved my room and booked my flight. That’s where the problem began.
The flight was on Spirit Airlines, and the original cost was apparently unbelievably low.
He accidentally misspelled my last name and booked the wrong return time. What a difference an O makes.
Anyway, because the reservation was in my name, I had to contact the airline to get it fixed. Changing the time for the return flight resulted in a cheaper fee, and the reservationist asked if I wanted to apply the difference to my checked bag fee or my overhead bin fee.
I generally pack so that I can take one bag on board, which I told the agent.
“So, you want to apply the refund to the overhead bin fee?”
That question dumbfounded me.
She was telling me that regardless of whether I wanted to check my bag or carry it on, I still had to pay a fee if I wanted to put the bag in the overhead bin.
Almost nothing is free on Spirit airlines.
To carry my own bag on a plane and hoist it overhead.
Of course, she explained, I could put a bag under the seat for free.
I applied what I believe was a $35 fee to the overhead bin use fee. Mind you, it was $35 because I booked early, but even that was $5 more than if I had booked it online myself.
I guess luggage designers will soon start making suitcases that fit under the seat. Just when we finally got luggage that not only rolls without toppling over but fits in the overhead bins.
Now, I’ve heard that beginning in November, Spirit will start charging $100 for carry-on bags.
One … hundred … dollars.
On top of your ticket fee.
And the airline gate folks don’t play.
If you attempt to walk on the plane with two bags – including shopping bags, purses, backpacks – the gate attendants will check your ticket. If you haven’t paid for the extra bag, you will before you board. Then, you would have had to pay $40 to use the overhead bin.
Oh, and on Spirit, you have to pay to choose your seat. Chances are you’ll get a middle seat if you don’t pay the extra money.
Water? That will cost you, too, unless you have to take some medication.
Before you’re enticed by the airline’s low airfare, be sure to check out its baggage fee page. The company calls them “optional fees.” Ah, so nice … and deceptive.
I think the airline got its name because you’ll be dead-broke by the time you complete your flight.
I was booked by a resort on Spirit for my fall vacation to Jamaica. I experienced many of the same frustrations. I will say this: If the CEO of Spirit Airlines called me today and offered me unlimited lifetime flights, I would decline. The entire experience left me angered and miserable. When it comes to spirit … they have none at all.