Content of the material
- Bottom line
- Spirit Airlines pet policy fee
- How Much Does the Big Front Seat Cost
- Inflight Food and Drink Prices on Spirit Airlines
- Comparing Spirit Airlines Fees to Other Airlines
- Booking a Big Front Seat between Fort Lauderdale and New York
- Spirit Airlines Carry-On Allowance 2022 Back to Top
- Carry-On Summary
- Ways to Save
- Set Your Expectations Accordingly
- Spirit seat selection fees
You may not always need a larger seat to get where you’re going with Spirit. Sometimes, the cheapest available ticket is the best one for the situation. However, if your budget can accommodate the added cost of a Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat, your back — and perhaps your mood — will probably thank you for the extra investment in the journey.
If I’m flying with my two kids, it sometimes makes more sense for us to sit three across in less expensive seats than spend several hundred dollars more on the Big Front Seats. But on the flip side, if I’m flying by myself or just with my husband, who really appreciates the extra space, then paying for Big Front Seats can make sense.
Featured image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.
Spirit Airlines pet policy fee
Spirit Airlines will charge you $125 each way (compared to the $99 per way charged by Frontier).
On domestic flights, Spirit will only accept domestic dogs, cats and in some cities small household birds including parrots, finches, canaries and parakeets.
Birds that are not considered household birds are farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, birds of prey, or flightless birds.
Birds are not accepted to and from cities in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas U.S.V.I.
Note that Spirit Airlines does NOT accept pets in cabin for travel on international flights except in the case of service animals, emotional support animals or psychiatric animals.
Also, Spirit Airlines does NOT accept animals as cargo or as checked baggage.
How Much Does the Big Front Seat Cost
The price of a Big Front Seat upgrade varies. While you can see the number of available Big Front Seats when pricing out Spirit flights, you don’t see the actual upgrade price until much further in the booking process. In test searches, I’ve seen these upgrades start at around $20 per person on shorter flights and go as high as around $70 per person on longer flights.
Here’s a real life example.
A month from now, to fly from Houston to Las Vegas on a Friday night, Spirit Airlines wants $69 to fly in a small seat without a specific advance seat assignment (so you could land in a middle seat at check-in). Going for an assigned Big Front Seat would add $54, for a total of $124 for a pretty comfy ride to Vegas. (Be sure and use the best credit card for airfare when making your purchase.)
United wants $211 for the same route at about the same time on a Basic Economy fare that also wouldn’t come with an advance seat assignment. A regular economy ticket with a seat assignment on United costs $246 (twice the cost of a Spirit Big Front seat ticket). United’s domestic first class seat, which are basically the same as Spirit’s Big Front Seat, ring in on that flight at $435 — 3.5 times the cost of Spirit’s similar seat.
What does all of that tell me? It tells me that you can save real money over traditional air carriers’ cheapest economy tickets while still sitting in a much larger Spirit Big Front Seat. Of course, there are other trade-offs to factor into the equation when deciding to fly Spirit. (Though for what it is worth, Spirit’s current operational reliability is much better than it used to be.)
Inflight Food and Drink Prices on Spirit Airlines
Spirit offers a variety of refreshments onboard its planes, but you will need to pay Spirit Airlines fees for anything you consume in the air. Soft drinks range in price from $2-3, while beer, wine and spirits cost between $7-8 and snacks can run you anywhere from $3 for a can of Pringles to $7 for a cheese tray. Spirit offers “Perfect Pairings” of food and drinks that price out at anywhere from $12-18 each.
Somewhat inconveniently, you aren’t currently able to pre-book food and drink on Spirit Airlines, though if other ultra-low cost carriers are anything to go by, this feature should become available in the future. Regardless of what you choose to buy on board your Spirit Airlines flight, remember that only credit and debit card payments are accepted.
Comparing Spirit Airlines Fees to Other Airlines
In the past, you could very easily argue that some Spirit Airlines fees were a rip off, since when you’d add baggage and seat fees to them they’d compare to legacy airline prices. For example, a $39 IAH-LAX flight on Spirit with $50 worth of baggage, a $10 seat fee and $18 worth of food and beverage actually costs you $117, which is similar to American’s or United’s promotional fares from Houston.
However, as full-service airlines adopt what might be called the “Spirit Model,” and charge for extras that were formerly free (some have even introduced a new bare-bones “Basic Economy” fare class), the difference between flying Spirit and, say, Delta comes down to a more versatile frequent flyer program and less garish planes. Search the latest Spirit Airlines prices on Skyscanner.
It’s important to note that most airlines have set schedules, usually sticking to specific cities on certain days. Major cities will almost always have good availability, but more obscure cities and international flights might be harder to come by. If you’re looking to travel spontaneously, it’s helpful to know which airlines are most accessible.
Spirit has 157 aircrafts in it’s current fleet, shuttling travelers on over 500 flights daily.
JetBlue sends flyers on over 1000 flights daily and has 267 aircrafts in it’s current fleet.
Spirit focuses mainly on the Eastern United States. In our previous example, traveling from Florida to New York City, plenty of flights were available when booking ahead of time for the busy summer months. Spirit runs a point-to-point network system and doesn’t have a hub like other airlines. They also don’t have deals with other airlines, so it may be difficult to reschedule your flight if the flight is cancelled or delayed.
JetBlue also has a focus on the Eastern US, with hubs in New York City, Boston, Washington, DC and Fort Lauderdale. Using the same example traveling from Florida to New York City, flights seemed to be readily available in the summer months. Booking, cancellations and changes do not seem to be a big issue with JetBlue.
Spirit currently shuttles passengers as far as Lima, Peru. The countries on their international list primarily focus on Central & South America, reaching two destinations in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.
They also reach islands in the Caribbean, including Aruba, Saint Maarten, Saint Croix, Saint Thomas, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
JetBlue has significantly more destinations available in the United States, it’s provinces and in countries around the world. The farthest country available is Bangkok, Thailand. It serves Toronto, Canada, Puerto Rice and the US Virgin Islands.
Other destinations include Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, most countries in Europe, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and South Africa.
Booking a Big Front Seat between Fort Lauderdale and New York
There is no shortage of saver-level award seats on this route during off-peak season.
The taxes and fees on the award ticket come to $11.20. Spirit will keep upselling you add-ons such as baggage fees, but once you get past that you’ll get to the screen asking you to choose a seat. This is when it’s time to act.
Upgrades to the Big Front Seat are offered for $35 each way, so your total will be 5,000 and $81.
A comparable first or business class flight on a major U.S. airline would cost you 50,000 miles.
Spirit Airlines Carry-On Allowance 2022 Back to Top
NOTE: Spirit Airlines does NOT allow a free carry-on bag!
There is a free allowance of a single “Personal Item”, with maximum dimensions of 18 x 14 x 8 inches, but anything larger than that you will have to pay to bring as a carry-on.
Like with most airlines, it is cheapest to plan ahead and to purchase your carry-on allowance while purchasing your Spirit Airlines flight ticket, otherwise you will be charged ridiculous amounts for your carry-on if paying at the airport. Prices vary by destination.
Again, please pay attention to the size of your personal item! If you exceed the allowed dimensions, you may be charged up to $100 at the gate if your personal item is too big and is considered a “carry-on” item.+ Show Full Policy
Ways to Save
Spirit has a page on their site dedicated to getting you the best deal possible. Search under the “Deals” tab and find a range of round trip and one way flights to mainly US destinations for sometimes as low as $25. They also have coupon codes and other discounts available when applicable. You’ll find more of these during slower seasons, so this is a great way to save on a spontaneous trip – if you don’t mind the additional fees for baggage and odd flight times.
Spirit also has the $9 Fare Club which gets you exclusive discounts on flights and fees. The annual cost is $69.95, but could end up saving you money if you fly several times a year with Spirit Airlines, specifically.
JetBlue has a Best Fare Finder option when booking to help you find the cheapest option available for your flight. It’ll pull up a calendar of options in order for you to select the one that fits you best. Their TrueBlue program is a points system that gives you benefits for flying with them. You can earn points by flying and using their credit card partners, and can spend them on trips for yourself or others.
Set Your Expectations Accordingly
No matter how you look at it, though, the general idea is that a ULCC takes away perks that are included on full-service airlines and then you buy those perks back one by one or in a bundle.
Also like ULCCs all over the world, Spirit has a reputation for poor customer service and cramming as many passengers onto an airplane as possible.
ULCCs can be frustrating because their bundle and a la carte approach to perks like seat assignments, carry on baggage and other things legacy carriers include in the ticket price makes it hard to comparison shop all-in flight prices. Then again, even legacy carriers have gone fee-crazy these days charging for bags, certain seats, etc.
But Spirit offers very cheap base prices, so even factoring in add-ons like Big Front Seats you can get a bargain flying on Spirit compared to United, Delta, American or even Southwest!
So despite the hassles we do end up flying on Spirit Big Front Seats as an affordable luxury travel hack. You just need to set your expectations pretty low and you won’t be disappointed!
Wondering how we find cheap coach and business class flights? Check out our Cheap Fare Guides:
Spirit seat selection fees
Spirit will assign you a seat for free but if you want to choose a specific seat, you’ll have to pay for that.
The prices vary for seat selection and below are the ranges you can expect to find:
- Spirit Assigned Seating at Check In: Free
- Customer-Requested Seat Assignments / Regular Seats: $1 to $50
- Big Front Seats (in advance): $12 to $250
- Big Front Seats (onboard upgrades—depending on flight length): $25 to $250