Traveling the Spirit way

Those ads for airfare as little $10 each way look tempting, don’t they? DON’T DO IT!

Trin and I were shorter on cash this year to go to the AAJA convention, after moving last year and the death of his brother earlier this year. So, even though we were unfamiliar with Spirit Airlines, we bit the bullet, since it had the cheapest airfare. And I tell ya, it was never more evident than with this experience that you truly get what you pay for.

First, booking. I’m not Internet retarded, so I’m not entirely sure how our booking got transposed, having us originate from Fort Lauderdale to arrive at LAX, rather than vice versa. Perhaps it was me, since I was a little distraught and distracted that week with family issues. Nevertheless, I noticed the error three days later and called to have them correct it. Oh, but things are just not that easy. They couldn’t simply rebook my tickets so that I would be going from LAX to Fort Lauderdale — oh, no. I had to either pay a $160 fee for them to do it over the phone, or pay $120 to cancel the booking online, receive a voucher, and rebook them myself correctly. Obviously, I took the latter route, but oh, here’s a little more salt in my wound — the tickets I booked for LAX to Fort Lauderdale cost $56 less, but instead of using that to help cover my $120 fee, they issued me another voucher. !#^&$$@#*(%^+3%! So now I have a $56 voucher that Trinity nor I want to ever use because we never want to deal with Spirit Airlines again.

Oh, but that’s not all. On the Spirit website, they allow you to pay for checked luggage in advance and hawk it as $5 per piece, rather than $10 a piece at the counter. I know what you’re thinking: You have to pay to check your luggage???? Oh yes. Anyway, what they forget to tell you is that $5 per piece is ONE WAY. So if you GOTTA have your luggage with you on the way back, you have to pay for it. And God FORBID you buy so many souvenirs that you need to check another piece of luggage.

Oh, and if you want to snack on the plane? Make it like a trip to the drive-in theater and bring your own stuff. The only thing that’s free is water – sodas, alcohol, any type of snack, you must pay for, and you can’t use cash — its all credit and debit cards. And, if you have a voucher like I do, you can’t use it for snacks or checking bags — you must use your own damn money.

The flights themselves? Eh. LAX to Florida was uneventful. But from Florida? Hee. I had looked at my ticket and saw gate F1. But there was no F1 in the terminal. So I checked the board — it said our flight was leaving from H7, and ooh, there’s H7. So we went to the security people to get into the security line, but when they looked at our tickets, they said we had to go to Terminal 3 (meaning, we had to get back out into the hot, muggy Florida weather) to get to gate F1. So we go to Terminal 3, find gate F1 and sit down to relax. Oh, but wait…the guy behind the counter says our gate was just changed H7 –back at Terminal 4, where WE JUST WALKED FROM.

So, let me just make it plain: We went to the correct terminal and gate first, were directed to the wrong terminal and gate after getting through security, had to go through security one more time (with a bunch of other similarly angry passengers), to get to the correct gate that I wanted to go to in the first place. If it wouldn’t have gotten me arrested, I would’ve raised hell.

Oh, but that’s not the end of it. That was the first of three gate changes. Oh, and our flight was delayed at least an hour. Plus, we weren’t alone — at least four other Spirit flights in the same terminal were delayed. Folks were not happy.

Bottom line — if you depend on me for reviews or opinions, then take this one seriously. DO NOT spend your money on Spirit Air.

Thank you, and GOOD NIGHT!