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How To Avoid Extra Fees When Flying Spirit Airlines

how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines

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Our family is all about saving as much money as possible, and that is the reason why Spirit Airlines is one of our go to airlines.

We are able to travel often, but only on a budget, so flying Spirit Airlines and avoiding extra fees when flying is important to us. There are plenty of ways how to avoid Spirit Airlines fees and I am glad to share all of them with you.

child in backpack next to Spirit airlines bag measurer - how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines

What is Spirit Airlines?

Spirit Airlines is considered a low-cost carrier; meaning they offer unbeatable air airfare, but also charge for things that other airlines don’t charge for such as selecting a seat, traveling with luggage and in-flight meal service.

I like the fact that all these extras are optional with Spirit Airlines because sometimes I don’t want to select a seat, or travel with luggage or even want a snack on the plane.

I just want to pay the bare minimum and get to where I’m going. If you are still confused about how to avoid Spirit Airlines fees, then just eliminate the things that Spirit charges for.

When people hear Spirit Airlines, they automatically assume that even though they can get a cheap flight ticket, they’ll end up spending twice the amount in extra fees, but that’s wrong.

Figuring out how to avoid Spirit Airlines fees is the key to enjoy your flight experience. I have flown Spirit Airlines plenty of times by myself as well as with my family with zero issues to date.

Ways to Avoid Spirit Airlines Fees

Book Your Tickets At The Spirit Airlines Check in Counter

Even though Spirit Airlines is a low-cost carrier, purchasing a ticket on their website cost more. However, here’s a hack that you should consider if you live near the airport.

Go directly to the Spirit Airlines check in counter at your local airport and purchase your ticket there. You can save $19.99 on a one way ticket or $39.98 on a two way ticket when purchased at the Spirit Airlines check in counter.

I have tried this with other airlines and the price has been the same online and at the check in counter. However, when using the Spirit Airlines check in counter, tickets are cheaper.

Another airline that allows you to get tickets at the check in counter for much cheaper than the online advertised price is Frontier Airlines.

The only things you need when purchasing a ticket at the Spirit Airlines check-in counter are the names and date of birth of each passengers as well as a credit card. The Spirit Airlines check in counter no longer accepts cash.

Comparison of booking Spirit Airlines ticket on line versus at the airport counter
price of ticket online = $344 and price of ticket at the counter = $223.20

Booking Spirit Airlines Pro Tip 1: Make sure to check preferred ticketing hours before heading to the airport, because ticket purchase times will vary by airport at each Spirit Airlines check in counter.

Booking Spirit Airlines Pro Tip 2: For the absolute cheapest tickets prices, and especially if you can’t make it to the airport, purchase your ticket from Skyscanner.

It is the best and my favorite app to search for ticket prices. Make sure to download the Skyscanner App also to track flight prices, book hotels and more.

Purchasing Spirit Airlines Seats 

Spirit Airlines gives you the option to choose a seat for an extra charge when purchasing a ticket.

If you don’t care about seating arrangements on the plane, then you don’t have to worry about purchasing a seat and you’ll be assigned a random seat at check in.

This option can be a bit tricky when traveling as a family, and especially young children. If you don’t mind being separated from your family on the plane, then you can save money by skipping this option.

We flew as a family of six without purchasing Spirit Airlines seats, thankfully we were all assigned seats next to each other.

For those who want extra space, Spirit has big front seats which are similar to business class. I purchased one of those seats before and enjoyed a super comfortable flight.

how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines

Pro Tip: If you are not pleased with your seat assignment, make sure you get to the airport early, check in, head to the gate and talk to the gate agent. If there is an available seat, the gate agent should be able to move you around.

Spirit Personal Item Size

It is very important to make sure that you understand the Spirit Airline baggage fees and restrictions.

It is important to learn how to pack smart so that Spirit baggage fees does affect you. Spirit flights include a free personal item but not a free carry on baggage.

One personal item sized 18in X 14in X 8in is included with your ticket purchase which is the bare fare. This is the size of a small backpack, under the seat carry on or a laptop bag.

Click here for this red backpack above

If your bag is bigger than any of the listed bags, then you will need to pay for it. Spirit baggage fees vary by route and date of travel, so they aren’t always the same all the time.

Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees

Traveling with a Spirit Airlines personal item is the best way to avoid paying extra fees. As you can see below my Spirit airlines personal item fit perfectly in the space provided.

If you absolutely have the best way to figure out the price of your Spirit is to check the Spirit Bag-O-Tron which will show you prices for a trip you want to book or a trip you have already booked.

Remember that any bag over 41lbs is considered overweight or over-sized and fees for this start from $30 and increased based on the weight of the bag.

how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines
I traveled with a Spirit approved carry-on bag and the kids traveled with their backpacks

Spirit Baggage Pro Tip: It is cheaper to pay for baggage on the Spirit website versus at the counter when you check in. So make sure to add your bags when you purchase your ticket or when you are checking in online.

Spirit Airlines Online Check In

The quickest and cheapest way to check in when flying Spirit Airlines is to so the Spirit Airlines check in online.

Waiting to check in at the airport will cost you $10. The $10 is actually charged to print each boarding pass, so if you have a family of four, checking in at the airport will cost you $40 to print 4 boarding passes total.

In order to avoid the spirit airlines check in fee, make sure to check in online. Don’t forget to print out your pass at home before you arrive at the airport.

If you don’t have access to a printer, then make sure to find a place to print one. Stop worrying about how to avoid Spirit Airlines fees and check-in online.

how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines

Spirit Check-In Pro Tip: Download the new Spirit Mobile App for an easier and faster way to check in online. Make sure you take a screen shot of your boarding pass.

You don’t even want to know how many times I’ve gotten to TSA and for one reason or the other can’t access my mobile boarding pass.

Traveling with kids and looking for tips, then make sure to click the links below and read more:

Pack Snack, Food & Drinks When Flying Spirit Airlines

Spirit airline charges for everything, and when I say everything I mean water also. You can see the Spirit Airlines menu here and how much each item costs. Food and drinks at the airport are very expensive and the good thing is, it is possible to carry snacks and food onto the plane.

Make sure to eat before your flight and pack a few snacks to take with you so that you don’t have to spend any money extra money. I usually pack food items such as chicken, rice, mixed nuts etc.

how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines
snack time

Pro Tip: Take an empty water bottle with you when traveling which can be filled with water at the airport. The airport has plenty of water filling stations just for this reason.

Inflight Entertainment On Spirit Airlines

There is no seat back entertainment on Spirit Airlines. This can make the flight super boring, however, as long as you are prepared you’ll be okay. Just make sure to purchase a few items for the kids from this list “How To Keep Kids Entertained On Flights” and you should be good to go.

If you have a tablet, make sure you have headphones also. Spirit plans to get Wi-Fi which will be installed on their entire fleet by Summer 2019. They plan to offer high speed web browsing and streaming options with prices starting at $5.50.

Two girls playing with playdoh on a Spirit Airlines Flight - how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines 8
playing with play-doh

Pro Tip: A phone or tablet and Netflix is perfect for when an aircraft has no in-flight or seat-back entertainment. You can watch pre-downloaded shows without WiFi. There are also several free apps you can download on your tablet.

Other Ways To Save Money When Flying Spirit Airlines

Join The Spirit Airlines $9 Fare Club

The Spirit Airlines $9 fare club is another great way to save money when flying with Spirit Airlines.

It gives you the option to fly more with exclusive access to vacation packages and discounted fares, you can get up to 50% of baggage fees and also you can save more on all your travel on Spirit Airlines.

how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines

Pro Tip: The $9 fare club actually costs $59.95, but if you fly Spirit often, it’ll end up saying you more money in the long run.

Flying Spirit Airlines With Kids

Spirit Airlines is a very kid friendly airline. We’ve flown Spirit Airlines with kids plenty of times with no issues ever.

Flying Spirit Airlines With An Infant

When traveling with an infant on Spirit Airlines, you carry on board a diaper bag for free in addition to free personal item sized 18in X 14in X 8in (size of a small backpack, small travel back, under the seat carry on or a laptop bag). Infants under 2 travel free with a paid adult fare.

Spirit Airlines Car Seat And Stroller Policy

Spirit Airlines does not charge for a car seat or stroller, so if you are traveling with an infant, you are allowed to check in a stroller and car seat at the ticket counter or at the gate. If you have a paid seat for each child, then they are entitled to a car seat.

how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines

When checking in a stroller or car seat at the ticket counter or the gate, please ensure that you have a car seat bag or a stroller bag in order to protect your items from damage.

If you have purchased a seat for your child, then they can ride in the airplane in their car seat. Click here to read more about How To Fly With Kids And a Carseat, Everything You Need To Know.

No need to worry any more regarding how to avoid Spirit Airlines fees, simply follow the above tips and enjoy your flight journey within your budget.

4 kids with their carseats in the baggage claim area of an airport - how to avoid extra fees when flying spirit airlines

Top Travel With Kids Tips

Traveling with kids and have a few questions you need answers to, these posts below will help your trip run smoothly.

Booking Your Trip – Tips & Tricks

How To Book Cheap Flights When You Travel

If you are looking to book the cheapest flights you can possibly find on the internet, then make sure to use Skyscanner when searching for flights.

Don’t forget to download the Free Skyscanner App also which is very handy. This is how I was able to get $12.40 airfare from Los Angeles to London, as well as $9.40 airfare from London to Italy.

How To Book Affordable Accommodation When You Travel

When booking accommodation, TripAdvisor is the way to go because you can read reviews and see photos from other travelers to get a feel of where you will be staying. Other great sites to book hotels are HotelsCombined, Booking.com and Hotels.com.

Don’t forget to check HomeAway and VRBO for house and villa rentals too. Perfect for when you travel with a large family, and also to save money when hotels are expensive. Another favorite of mine is BookVIP – they offer huge resort savings.

How To Book Activities When You Travel

My favorite website to search for activities, tours and especially skip the line tickets is Viator and Get Your Guide.

This makes trip planning so much easier because you don’t have to search several sites as both websites have several options to choose from. Same also goes with TripAdvisor Attractions – you can search and book activities as well as read reviews.

How To Book Rental Cars When You Travel

Instead of checking every single website, I use RentalCars.com, Car Rental 8 and Skyscanner Car Rentals to find car rentals all over the world with just one click. If you plan to park at the airport, visit Airport Parking and make a reservation.

Why Travel Insurance Is a Must When You Travel

People book trips and forget the most important part, purchasing travel insurance. Because we travel often, I purchase our travel insurance through Allianz for a year at a time which means that we are covered for all trips within that year.

Travel insurance will protect you and your family against theft, injury illness, flight cancellations and so much more. It is a MUST!

Looking to save even more money when you travel?

Visit my Travel Resources page to see all the reliable and trustworthy brands that I use to book my travel with. I only recommend brands that I’ve used and can vouch for, so you’re in good hands! ? Also, check out these posts below:

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  1. Rachel Collesano
    April 9, 2019 / 3:56 pm

    Did you take razor scooters with you? We are flying spirit and I would love to take them. Did you check them or take them to the gate? Are kids able to ride them in the airport?

    • April 11, 2019 / 5:29 am

      yes, we sure do take them on the plane and put it in the overhead bin. and the ride through the airport with no problem.

      • Aleli
        July 10, 2019 / 4:04 pm

        Do you have to pay extra for bringing the scooter with you?

  2. Kelly
    April 11, 2019 / 11:37 am

    When traveling with a lap infant you do not need to pay for a ticket. However, you cannot get your boarding pass until you go to the airport the day of your flight. Even if you make your reservation online. But, Spirit does waive the $10.00 printing fee in this circumstance. Kudos to Spirit Airlines!

  3. Jackie Baltren
    June 11, 2019 / 6:16 pm

    I cant seem to get ahold of any one at spirit airlines just a bunch of pre recorded flight info. If you are flying with a lap infant which fare is free do u know if they are allowed a personal item as well besides their diaper bag or is that only with a paid seat 🙁

    • Haley
      July 6, 2019 / 11:57 pm

      You can take a personal item and diaper bag for an infant as well as your personal item!

  4. Phyllis Askew
    December 10, 2019 / 3:07 am

    Can my 15 yar old grandson fly alone on Spirit

  5. Erika
    December 19, 2019 / 7:44 pm

    Hello, I’ve noticed that you mentioned that with an infant you get an additional diaper bag to carry aside from your personal item, my son is 18 months old and a lap child, do you know if that rule also applies to him? Or strictly infants?

  6. Elyse
    December 28, 2019 / 9:28 pm

    I wonder if they would accept me to bring a gate checked kids collapsible wagon to use instead of a double stroller for my 2 boys with paid tickets, for free?

    • Andrea
      September 21, 2020 / 6:52 am

      Were you able to get more info on this?

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