Monday, October 1, 2012

Final Comments on Flying Spirit Airlines (I Promise) and Avoiding a TSA Pat Down


Sunday we returned from a five day trip to Boston, combining work and a wedding. Following a busy weekend including a Friday night dinner, walking tour of Boston, Saturday night wedding and Sunday brunch, we headed home via Spirit Airlines.

There was no line at the Spirit Airlines ticket counter at Boston’s Logan airport. We walked right up and placed our suitcase on the platform to be weighed and tagged. Spirit charges for bags, so we had packed one large suitcase with all our gear – day clothes, evening and formal attire, shoes, makeup, all stuffed into one bag.

The nice young gentleman behind the desk informed us the bag was overweight.

Hub immediately got incensed. Our bag was not overweight five days earlier. What happened?

Apparently employees at the Atlantic City airport follow the rule that 50 pounds is considered overweight; the rest of the Spirit universe maintains 40 pounds as the maximum weight before charging for an overweight bag.

Our bag was not overweight when we left Atlantic City but was overweight in Boston. Both times the bag weighed between 40-50 pounds.

I will not bore you with the details, but we paid an additional $25. A second bag would have cost $38. Whatever we try to do to minimize costs when flying the 'cheap' airline, Spirit eventually wins. And the airline acquired two angry, aggravated customers.

Advice for potential Spirit travelers: when comparing costs among airlines, increase Spirit’s price $50-$100 to account for extra fees. If the flight is still a good deal, by all means book your trip. Otherwise, try another airline.

Also remember Spirit seating is close-fitting and constricted. You will be wedged into a seat – unless you pay extra – with little legroom, wriggle room, or arm room. If you are tall or heavy, you will be very uncomfortable. The rest of us are just plain uncomfortable.

But Spirit is cheap (sometimes). And for short flights, worth the inconveniences.

For long flights, however, I would look elsewhere…

I almost forgot about my second airport incident. I previously wrote about my TSA pat down. Once more I was treated to a pat down by TSA personnel.

 Alarms sounded when I walked through the security arch. I wore no belt, no jewelry, no trinkets, charms or ornaments on my clothing and nothing in my pockets.

So what set off the alarm?

My underwire bra.