Is Spirit Airlines Safe? My Spirit Airlines Review

Is Spirit Airlines Safe? My Spirit Airlines Review

Is Spirit Airlines actually safe? And are the super low fares worth the hassle?

If you’re looking for inexpensive flights, you’ve probably come across some amazing deals from Spirit Airlines.

But I’m sure you’ve also heard horror stories about delayed and canceled flights, hidden fees, and poor customer service.

Here’s my firsthand take after flying Spirit Airlines multiple times.

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Is Spirit Airlines Safe?

The first concern most people have about ultra-low-cost carriers like Spirit is safety. They wonder – can an airline really cut that many corners and still operate safely?

The good news is yes, Spirit Airlines is just as safe as any major US airline.

While budget airlines reduce costs dramatically by stripping away amenities and adding fees, flight safety is one area that isn’t compromised.

Spirit may have more consumer complaints for things like customer service and comfort than other airlines, but they maintain excellent safety records.

Spirit Airlines safety features include:

  • Strict aircraft maintenance programs – All Spirit planes undergo frequent rigorous inspections and maintenance between flights and overnight. Checks follow manufacturer and FAA guidelines to ensure every system and part is in perfect working order.
  • Thorough pilot training – Spirit pilots are highly experienced commercial aviation veterans who undergo regular training and testing on flight simulators.
  • Newer aircraft fleet – The average age of Spirit planes is just 5 years old. Using newer planes means fewer mechanical issues and outfitting aircraft with the latest avionics and safety tech.
  • Industry-standard safety procedures – Spirit adheres to strict TSA, FAA, and DOT regulations regarding screening, operations, and emergency protocols.

So while you may feel like you’re roughing it on a Spirit flight, have peace of mind knowing that the airline’s safety standards match larger commercial competitors.

Don’t let horror stories deter you – statistically flying Spirit Airlines is absolutely as safe as any major US airline.

The Spirit Airlines Experience

Okay, so Spirit flights are safe. But what’s the actual experience of flying with Spirit Airlines like compared to other budget airlines or national carriers?

Here’s an overview of what I’ve encountered firsthand on my Spirit Airlines flights:

Booking Experience

Spirit makes finding cheap fares easy through their website and app. No sky-high change fees make rebooking painless too (though you will pay fare differences).

The Fare

The headline fares only cover your seat. Carry-ons, seat selection, boarding priority, and other basics you’re used to having included cost extra.

Their confusing pricing leads to frustration for many travelers.

Extras Cost

Everything from printing your boarding pass at the airport to stowing a carry-on in the overhead bin costs extra.

You’ll pay fees for pretty much any “add-on” so it’s best to book an all-in bundle upfront.

Tiny Seat Pitch

Spirit isn’t called a “sardine can” for nothing. With just 28 inches of legroom, their seats are among the most cramped in the industry.

Upgrade to “Big Front Seats” if you want more space.

Barebones Cabins

No seatback screens or wifi here, just simple plastic seats in narrow rows.

Overheads are half-sized too. Pack light in a backpack you can fit under the seat to avoid carry-on fees.

Limited Onboard Food/Beverage

While you can purchase snacks and drinks (even alcohol) onboard, free offerings are limited to water and not consistently served. Bring your own food and a refillable bottle.

Inconsistent Service

Some crews aim to please but others are visibly burnt out and frustrated. Don’t expect deltas friendly service or attentiveness, though I’ve had perfectly pleasant flights too.

Mayhem at the Gates

Boarding is chaotic between nickeled and dimed passengers, families splitting up due to seat fees, carry-on compliance checks, and groups boarding all at once in a massive scrum. Give yourself extra time.


Between understaffing, packed planes, and weather issues, Spirit has far more delays, cancellations, and headaches than other airlines.

Build lots of connection time and backup plans into itineraries.

Things Can Get Rowdy

From passengers upset about fees to boisterous travelers headed to bachelor parties or spring break, flights can feel like party planes. Be prepared for a lively atmosphere.

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When is Spirit Airlines Worth It?

Given barebones amenities, potentially rowdy flights, and major operational headaches, is flying Spirit Airlines ever worth the savings?

In my opinion, Spirit can be worth it when:

  • You’re traveling super short distances or direct flights under 2 hours
  • Getting the absolute lowest fare is your singular priority
  • You travel light and avoid all extras, fees, and upgrades
  • You build in a cushion for delays, cancellations, and changes
  • You don’t need amenities like seatback screens or wifi
  • You don’t mind cramped seats and a party atmosphere

The best use cases tend to be very short, direct leisure trips where schedule changes or delays aren’t a big deal.

For example, Spirit can be great for weekend getaways to places like Vegas, beach destinations, or home to visit family a few states over.

Just keep your expectations aligned with their service model, pack smartly to avoid fees, and plan ahead to handle disruptions.

For the right trip, Spirit can get you from A to B shockingly cheap.


While I don’t make Spirit Airlines my first airline choice, I do selectively fly them a few times a year for certain trips.

If you go in with eyes wide open, the super low fares can make minor hassles worthwhile on some itineraries.

But they certainly aren’t right for everyone or every trip. Think carefully about your priorities and travel style before booking solely on price.

If what matters most is comfort, amenities, seamless service, and minimal disruptions, traditional national carriers like Delta and Southwest will probably be worth the added cost.

But for quick leisure trips where schedule doesn’t matter much and saving is paramount, Spirit can get you from point A to point B shockingly cheap.

The key is knowing what to expect before booking and limiting flights to short nonstop routes where delays and cancellations won’t ruin your plans or mood.

For the right trip, their crazy low prices provide huge value that offsets the barebones service model.

Hope this overview helps you determine if Spirit Airlines may be a good ultra-low-cost option for certain trips in your future travels!

Just be an informed flyer, avoid the extras, and pack ample patience.