It was November 2019, and I hadn’t been on a plane since I was a kid, so it had been about 20 years. But when a family emergency arose, I needed a last-minute flight from Charlotte to Houston. Being the frugal (cheap) spender that I am, the bright yellow and affordable Spirit flight grabbed my wallet’s attention and kept it.
Flying American or Delta would’ve been at last $100-$200 more, and I had other costs to consider. Sure, I’d heard about the… concerns… regarding flying Spirit. Still, I told myself people were likely just overreacting, and I wanted to form my own opinion. It couldn’t possibly be that bad, right?
And again—the flight was stupid cheap.
But, as I soon discovered, so was the entire experience.
Since Spirit was creating the standard for my adult flying experience, I didn’t have many expectations. But I figured a safe, comfortable flight was well within the realm of acceptable. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed.
Let’s get into the official review:
AIRPORT SERVICES: 2.5/5
Checking in wasn’t too bad, but I will say that in hindsight, the experience was very subpar now that I have also flown American and Delta. Let’s put it like this: when it comes to customer service, if Delta is Chick-fil-A, Spirit is certainly McDonald’s.
ONBOARD EXPERIENCE: 1/5
After getting through TSA and boarding the plane, I was in for a rude awakening. The plane had a distinct, undesirable smell that made me feel like it hadn’t been cleaned in ages. A lot of the seats were worn out. Many of the seatbelts were tattered and holding on for dear life.
I wouldn’t consider myself “high maintenance,” but again—Spirit didn’t mean my bare minimum expectations of comfort and safety. I prayed before, during, and after takeoff but didn’t dare fall asleep on the flight because I was on high alert the entire time. And I’m not afraid of flying. In fact, I get a thrill out of taking off. And the mere thought of being that high up somehow both excites and relaxes me. But knowing I was that high up in a plane that didn’t feel as though it should’ve passed inspection was jarring, to say the least.
The whole experience was very I Know What You Did Last Summer. It was a good deal. But it wasn’t a good time.
CABIN STAFF SERVICE: 2/5
Similar to the airport services, the flight attendants were very nonchalant. They weren’t rude but certainly not overly kind. It seemed like they just didn’t really care to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for everyone. Aside from the required demonstrations, they were out of sight and out of mind. And, of course, the airline did not provide any snacks.
OVERALL EXPERIENCE: 1.8/5
It was quite disheartening to discover that all of the jokes about Spirit were, in fact, true. And anyone telling you to fly Spirit is probably a paid representative.
When I touched down, I couldn’t thank God enough that I made it safely. And I vowed never to fly Spirit again.
That’s when I realized that my minimum flight requirement isn’t just comfort and safety. It’s peace. And my peace is worth the extra price.
Even if the flight is safe, feeling unsafe due to the experience, environment, and overall flying conditions is unacceptable (for me). Flying is a big deal. So from start to finish, I need to rest assured that I’m in good hands.
Never Flying Spirit Again
Christian | Writer | HS English Teacher