Monday, November 3, 2014

Flying High

Not on drugs. In the sky.

On Spirit Air.

Not exactly luxury flying, or affluent flying, or middle class flying.

It is budget flying on the cheap.

Not that I particularly like or enjoy cheap travel. I desire middle class or affluent travel at a budget price. If the opportunity arises I gratefully accept luxury travel at a bargain price as well.

Call me a spoiled senior American citizen desiring comfort for old bones.

The particular Spirit plane I am currently flying (as a passenger, not piloting, just want to clarify) is painted with the company's new color and design. Bright yellow definitely catches the eye. The name of the airline is printed in thick bold black letters on the side of the plane, with a few yellow strokes in the middle of the letters emphasizing - I am guessing here - the quick, fast, bold spirit of the company. Or perhaps more accurately, the image the company wishes to project and advertisers work hard getting consumers to believe.

Meanwhile I patiently await the steward's arrival with a load of drinks and food - all at a price, of course. Nothing free on Spirit. All I want is a cup of ice. I purchased a drink at the terminal and patiently wait to enjoy it.

The plane left an hour late. We were told computer problems caused the delay; paperwork not available until the glitch was fixed. Passengers sat in their seats, every one occupied, huddled en masse. There is not a lot of space in Spirit aircraft. Three seats across, a narrow aisle and three more seats tightly wedged together, the middle seats occupied by the unlucky seat lottery loser. All seats (except a few in exit rows and first couple of rows, available for an additional fee) provide barely enough space for legs and feet. I am 5'2" and fit - barely.

Bare is the company's motto - as in -

Bare fares. For one low price (sometimes, higher prices offered holiday and peak flying times), a passenger receives a seat of Spirit's choice and one free carry on. I take my back pack. Baggage extra. Seat with extra leg room - additional fee.

Barely able to fit in the seats.

Bearable, barely, time spent wedged in seats, including time loading the plane, waiting for take off, taxiing and take off, actually flying, landing and taxiing to a gate, when - finally - passengers unbelt and slowly unwind into a scrunched standing position, then finally exit the plane and stand straight.

Am I rambling on too much about my Spirit woes? Bare with my flight plight a little longer.

The positives of flying Spirit?

It flies from the closest airport to our house.

It flies to the closest airport to our Florida family.

It is usually the cheapest, assuming no luggage. Packing for a vacation, it is worth comparing with other airlines. It is sometimes the same price or just a little more to fly another airline from another airport when carry on luggage and/or checked baggage is involved. And the bonus is a slightly better seat with more legroom. And free drinks (non-alcoholic, of course).

This past weekend hub and I rode the local city bus. In the past I have said flying Spirit is the equivalent of riding the city bus. I am not sure anymore. Our bus seats were more comfortable with more leg room than Spirit offers.

Enough complaining about the bare bones of my flying experience.

I barely got started, but it is time to move on.

Fly on Spirit Air!


  1. You have heard the expression: You get what you pay for.

  2. It sounds rather painful, especially that hour waiting to take off. Glad to know it actually exists, though. :-)