Updated: Jun 9, 2021
If you're here from part one, shoutout to you for making it here!! I dropped some gems there to make your Spirit experience worth the savings - so if you haven't checked it out, go do it neowwwww (click here).
The biggest life hack is buying Spirit flights at the airport. You are *almost* guaranteed to save at least $20 per flight (sometimes more) by purchasing at the airport. This is because Spirit charges a "Passenger Usage Charge" on all their flights booked online and over the phone. This fee is rolled into all the other taxes and fees on flights, so you probably won't see it unless you're specifically looking. (Frontier and other budget airlines do that same thing). This fee can be anywhere from $5.99-$22.99 per leg. In the screenshot below, you'll see that the final price for a one-way flight from ATL-FLL is $42.59 - and the passenger usage fee makes up $22.99 of that price, crazy right?! Rumor has it, this is a way for Spirit to save money on taxes lol.
The only way to avoid this charge is to book your flight at the airport ticket counter - so start the car and head over to the airport! ;)
Generally, any time the ticket counter is open, you will be able to buy a ticket. Some airports that get super busy have "preferred" times for ticket purchase. Others will ask you to wait for them to get the bag drop line down before allowing you to purchase. But either way, when you get to the airport, you'll want to stand in the "Assistance Needed" line. Here are the key things to know:
The airport you purchase your ticket at does NOT have to be the one you're flying from. (I booked my sister's flight from ORD-FLL at ATL; I've also booked tickets at LAX, EWR, FLL, TPA, etc).
The person booking the ticket does NOT have to be the person flying (My bestie booked my ticket from EWR-ATL at the PHL airport).
You do not have to book the flight near when you're flying (though, you can). As long as the flight is available on the Spirit website, you can purchase it at the airport. I've purchased tickets as much as 3-5 months in advance, and as little as one week in advance.
You should have an idea of where you want to go and which flights you want if you are going at a busy time - for the sake of time/to be considerate to the ticketing agents.
Generally, the ticketing agents are super nice and will help you look at other locations/times/flight options. Once, I've gone close to closing time and spent 50+ minutes talking to the sweetest agents and booking different tickets. I like going in the evening for that exact reason.
If you are unsure of closing time, look at the time of the last Spirit flight leaving your airport for the night (you can Google this). You'll want to get there no later than 75 minutes before that flight's departure time. Checked bags usually have to be checked no later than 45 minutes before departure, and the attendants usually clock out once the baggage window has closed for the last flight.
Don't expect the ticketing agents to be there during the middle of the day. Spirit does not have coverage too far in advance of the flights. If your airport has no midday flights, then there's a good chance there will be no coverage at the ticketing counter. Check the flight departure times before you make the trip.
Don't buy bags at the airport when you book your flight at the airport. It will cost more than booking online. So if you absolutely need to check a bag, purchase your flight at the airport and then buy the bag separately online (before you check-in). This does drop your overall savings just a bit if every person you purchase tickets for is also getting a bag. I usually recommend one checked bag per every 2-3 people flying (if it's a big group) to maximize savings, but ensure you have what you need. This method works best for families.
Be nice to the ticketing agents!! After conversations with at least 5 different Spirit agents, the worst part of their jobs is usually the customers. People yell and scream at them over things that are usually out of their control all the time. It is literally a breath of fresh air for them to have nice customers and good conversation.
At the end of the day, going to the airport can save you tonsssss of money. I booked flights for my clients (shameless plug: book me for your next trip*) to the US Virgin Islands, and saved them $188 by booking at the airport. I booked flights for another client and saved her $382 for her group of 6 people traveling to Fort Lauderdale. It is almost always worth the trip, even though I live 30-40 minutes away from the airport. If you have a friend that loves you and lives close to the airport, then you better start kissing up to them lol.
If you can't always make it to the airport, there is another good option that can give you some additional savings on your Spirit flight...
The next biggest hack is SPIRIT PROMO CODES!! 90% of people I know do not know these things exist. And even the people who do, don't really know how they work... so I'm here to tell you!
Spirit consistently offers promo codes that take between 65-85 percent off of your flight. I bolded that because it is especially important to note. Spirit can not give codes that take money off of the mandated taxes or fees (facility fee, security fee, etc)... but they can give a discount on the fare portion that actually comes to them. If you are signed up for their email list, you'll get emails alerting you of these relatively often (see screenshot). I mostly use these either when going to the airport is inconvenient or when the discount is greater than $20 off each leg (because then it's almost equivalent to the discount you get by going to the airport).
It is worth it to note that these codes do not work on ALL flights. It is imperative to read through the fine print to know what dates are eligible for the codes (and exactly when the promo code expires). Holidays travel periods are almost always excluded, and generally your flight can't be on a Friday or Sunday to be eligible.
I must also restate that the promo code is only for the airfare portion. In the screenshot above, the airfare portion is only $4.74. Which means you would be getting 80% off that, taking it down to a whopping $0.94. LOLLLL. In this case, you would only be saving $3.79 by using the promo code (so it would make much more sense to go to the airport if that was feasible). But in the screenshot below, the the airfare portion is $308. This means that you would save $246.40 on this flight and your total would drop from $430.68 to $184.28 - definitely worth it (and better than the $46 that you would save by booking at the airport)!!
I know this all gets pretty specific, but promo codes can be extremely useful if your travel plans are flexible and you're booking your ticket while the promo code is active.
Hopefully this post was helpful in giving you the details on how to save even more money than advertised on Spirit flights. Remember, not every trip should be booked on Spirit depending on your specific needs. But when paired with tracking flights, you can get some amazing deals!!
I loveee the thrill of finding good deals for my clients. So if you're interested in my flight only service, or maybe my flight+lodging service, don't hesitate to reach out!
Ciao for now,
*Note: While I am personally a Spirit stan, I understand that not everyone wants to fly Spirit (and that its not practical for everyone). I don't book my TGSOTravel clients on Spirit unless they explicitly give consent. :) My goal is always for my clients to be as comfortable as possible.