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Cons of flights on low-cost airlines, or How I flew from Miami to New York on Spirit Airlines


Lyudmila Balabay

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Journalist Hannah Touey flew from Miami to New York on a Spirit Airlines flight. It was cheap. Unfortunately, the price is the only thing Hanna liked about the trip. In the column for Business Insider the girl named six significant disadvantages of flights by budget airlines.

Here is her first-person account.

I am an undemanding traveller. With a height of just under 160 cm, I usually have enough legroom on an airplane. I don’t take a lot of things with me - to have fun, a good book or talkative fellow travelers are enough for me.

But my first flight with Spirit Airlines was a challenge. Here are six things I wish I knew before I boarded the three-hour flight from Miami to New York. They are also advice to all travelers on low-cost airlines.

1. Charge your devices

Spirit Airlines aircraft do not have charging ports. I charged my phone at one of the charging stations 15 minutes before landing, but by the end of the flight I had only 10% of the charge left. Next time before flying, I will definitely fully charge my phone, power bank and laptop.

2. If your bag does not meet the required dimensions, you will have to pay $99

My tightly packed rucksack barely fit into the dimensions of the personal item to take on board. If it had exceeded them, I would have had to pay $99 to check in hand luggage at the gate.

Payment for hand luggage before or during online check-in for a flight is cheaper by 30-40 dollars.

On the subject: Booking flights through Google Flights has become more profitable: the service will refund your money if plane tickets become cheaper

3. There are no free snacks and drinks on board (not even water)

I didn't expect too much from my first Spirit Airlines trip, but I still hoped for a free glass of water. But it wasn’t there, the flight attendants explained that there was no free water, and I could buy a bottle for $ 4.

There are no free drinks and snacks on Spirit flights at all. According to the airline's website, this system makes it possible to sell airline tickets at ultra-low prices.

4. Download the movie in advance

There are no televisions or in-flight entertainment on Spirit flights. The airline's website says the $5,99 in-flight Wi-Fi is fast enough to stream movies online, but it's still best to download movies and shows ahead of time.

5. Don't expect Wi-Fi to work even if you paid for it

Wifi didn't work throughout the entire flight. Passengers who paid for the service ($2,99 ​​to $5,99 depending on speed) were asked to email the airline asking for a refund.

6. Incredibly uncomfortable chairs

I decided not to select a seat during check-in to save the $20-$50 the airline charges for this service. I was lucky, and they put me at the aisle in the 17th row. This is the middle of the plane, a good place.

But the seat was rock hard and very narrow. The lack of legroom made even me (a shorter than average person) feel cramped. Luckily there was enough room for my backpack to fit in the overhead bin.

I would fly the Spirit again if the ticket was cheaper than $50

My one-way ticket from Miami to New York cost $180 because I bought it just a week before departure. But usually this flight costs only 32 dollars, and this is the price below which you will not find.

Most importantly, I arrived safely and almost on time (there was a slight delay due to a problem with air traffic control during landing). So I would fly the Spirit again, but only on the condition of a very cheap ticket.

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