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With air travel picking up after the pandemic slowdown, many travelers are looking for affordable flight options. Spirit Airlines often comes up as one of the cheapest airlines, but is it safe to fly with them?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Overall, yes Spirit Airlines is safe. They have a comparable safety record to other major US airlines.

However, be prepared for less legroom, fees for carry-ons and extras, and potential delays.

In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at Spirit’s safety procedures, track record, reputation, fees, and traveler experience to help you decide if Spirit is the right airline for your next trip.

Spirit’s Safety Record and Procedures

FAA and DOT Reports

When considering the safety of an airline, it is important to look at the reports and evaluations conducted by regulatory bodies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

These organizations closely monitor and evaluate the safety practices of airlines to ensure compliance with industry standards.

Spirit Airlines has consistently met the safety requirements set forth by the FAA and DOT, demonstrating their commitment to ensuring the safety of their passengers.

Accident and Incident History

While no airline is completely immune to accidents or incidents, it is essential to examine the frequency and severity of such events when assessing an airline’s safety record.

Spirit Airlines has a relatively high number of accidents and incidents compared to other airlines of similar size.

It is worth noting that the airline has made continuous efforts to enhance their safety measures over the years, resulting in a positive trend in their safety record.

Training and Maintenance Procedures

The safety of an airline heavily relies on the training and maintenance procedures in place.

Spirit Airlines places a strong emphasis on comprehensive training programs for their pilots, flight attendants, and maintenance personnel.

These training programs are designed to ensure that all staff members are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to handle various situations that may arise during flights.

Additionally, the airline follows strict maintenance procedures, including regular inspections and maintenance checks, to guarantee the airworthiness of their fleet.

Traveler Reviews of Spirit Airlines

Satisfaction Surveys

When it comes to traveler reviews of Spirit Airlines, opinions are mixed. According to various satisfaction surveys, some passengers have had positive experiences with the airline.

They appreciate the low fares and the convenience of flying to multiple destinations.

Additionally, some travelers have praised the punctuality of Spirit Airlines flights, stating that they arrived at their destinations on time.

However, it is important to note that other surveys have shown lower satisfaction rates, with some passengers expressing dissatisfaction with the overall flight experience.

Complaints About Fees and Comfort

One common complaint about Spirit Airlines is the additional fees associated with various services.

Many travelers feel that the airline nickel-and-dimes its passengers by charging for things like carry-on bags, seat selection, and even water during the flight.

While the base fare may be low, these additional fees can quickly add up, making the overall cost of the trip higher than expected.

Furthermore, some passengers have expressed discomfort during their flights, citing cramped seating and a lack of legroom as major concerns.

Positive Feedback on Affordability

Despite the mixed reviews, Spirit Airlines has gained a reputation for offering affordable flights.

Many budget-conscious travelers appreciate the opportunity to fly at lower prices compared to other airlines.

This affordability factor allows people to travel more frequently or to destinations that may have been otherwise unaffordable.

For those who prioritize saving money over luxury or comfort, Spirit Airlines can be a great option.

What to Expect as a Spirit Flyer

When flying with Spirit Airlines, it is important to know what to expect in terms of seating, fees, and potential delays.

While Spirit Airlines is known for its affordable fares, there are some trade-offs that passengers should be aware of before booking their flights.

Tight Seats and Limited Legroom

One aspect that sets Spirit Airlines apart from other airlines is its seating arrangements. Spirit’s seats are known for being more compact and having limited legroom compared to other airlines.

This can be a challenge for taller passengers or those who prefer more comfort during their flights.

However, Spirit Airlines offers the option to purchase “Big Front Seats,” which provide extra legroom and a more spacious seating experience. It is important to note that these seats come at an additional cost.

Fees for Carry-Ons and Other Extras

Another factor to consider when flying with Spirit Airlines is the additional fees associated with carry-on bags and other extras.

Spirit Airlines operates on a “bare fare” model, which means that the base fare only includes the transportation from one destination to another.

Passengers are charged extra for carry-on bags, checked bags, seat assignments, and even printing boarding passes at the airport.

To avoid any surprises, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the airline’s fee structure and plan accordingly.

Potential Delays

While delays can happen with any airline, Spirit Airlines has been known to experience more delays compared to some of its competitors.

This can be attributed to various factors such as aircraft maintenance, weather conditions, and air traffic congestion.

It is important to keep this in mind when planning your itinerary and allow for some flexibility in case of any unexpected delays.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Spirit Airlines had a 81.6% on-time arrival rate in 2021, which is slightly higher than the industry average of 80.3%.

Despite these considerations, many travelers choose to fly with Spirit Airlines due to their affordable fares.

By understanding what to expect as a Spirit flyer, passengers can make informed decisions and have a smoother travel experience.

Tips for Flying Spirit Airlines

Know the Fees Ahead of Time

Flying with Spirit Airlines can be a budget-friendly option, but it’s crucial to be aware of the fees associated with your flight.

Spirit is known for its à la carte pricing model, which means that many amenities and services come at an additional cost.

Before you book your ticket, take the time to thoroughly review the airline’s fee structure. This way, you can avoid any surprises and budget accordingly.

Pack Light to Avoid Carry-On Fees

One of the ways Spirit Airlines keeps its ticket prices low is by charging for carry-on bags.

If you’re looking to save some money, consider packing light and fitting everything into a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you.

By doing so, you can avoid the additional fees associated with larger carry-on bags.

Remember to familiarize yourself with Spirit’s size and weight restrictions for personal items to ensure a hassle-free boarding process.

Be Flexible About Seat Selection

Spirit Airlines offers the option to select your seat for an additional fee. However, if you’re willing to be flexible about your seat assignment, you can save some money.

Spirit often assigns seats at check-in, and if the flight isn’t full, you may be able to find a seat without paying an extra fee.

Of course, if you have specific seating preferences or want to ensure that you sit with your travel companions, it may be worth paying the fee to select your seats in advance.

Consider Travel Insurance

When flying with any airline, it’s always a good idea to consider purchasing travel insurance. This can provide you with peace of mind in case of unforeseen circumstances that could disrupt your travel plans.

Travel insurance can help cover costs associated with trip cancellations, delays, or medical emergencies. Before purchasing travel insurance, be sure to carefully read the policy and understand what it covers.

Many reputable insurance providers offer travel insurance options, so take the time to compare prices and benefits to find the best option for you.


While Spirit Airlines gets low marks for comfort and fees, overall they have a similar safety record as other major airlines. For travelers focused strictly on finding the cheapest way from point A to point B, Spirit remains a viable option.

The key is to go in with proper expectations – their no-frills approach means less space, amenities and legroom.

However, as long as you pack light, prepare for fees and delays, and mainly care about cheap airfare above all else, Spirit can still be a relatively safe choice for your next flight.

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