Friday, August 19, 2016

Once Again in the Back of A Spirit Airbus

Following a 2 1/2 day car drive south to deliver my son and daughter-in-law's car (don't ask), we enjoyed a rather raucous dinner with the family and uneventful flight home on Spirit airlines.

Checking in a day earlier we discovered assigned seats in the back of the plane, second to last row. We-hub and I-never pay extra for seats. I squeeze into the middle seat, hub settling into the window or (infrequently) the aisle seat.

I am not sure why we always get seats in the back of the plane. Surely we are not the only ones not paying extra for a seat of our choice.

I wonder if our positioning has anything to do with the fact that we are members of an older generation. Are our seats one more insult for the elderly? Does Spirit consider older consumers unworthy of attention because we may not be around long enough to impact the company's bottom line?

Spirit probably assigns better seats to younger passengers. After all, young folks will be around a long, long time. Perhaps the company hopes these customers, as they age and earn more money, will one day pay for seats and other optional add-ons.

Well guess what, Spirit, it is not going to happen.

Once those thrifty young folks have a few extra bucks they will flee to a real airline, one offering a decent seat without an upcharge, one carry-on suitcase without an extra charge, and at least a glass of water at no extra charge.

So, if wishing to stay in business, you (Spirit) should reconsider and be nice-much nicer-to us old folks.

Become the airline of choice for budget travelers of a certain age: cheap seniors.

I could be your poster woman. Backpack secured, drink of choice in hand, wandering around the airport eager for another travel adventure. It might be a visit to the grandkids or a trip to explore a Central American country. I, along with many, many, many boomers and older seniors, retirees with time and flexible schedules, fly more often than younger folks, unless flying on business. And I strongly doubt Spirit is the airline of choice for most business travelers.

I would be more comfortable if I took up less space, but let's face it, I am never going to be any smaller width-wise than I am now. I think Spirit should either sell the planes designed to comfortably seat short American 10-year-olds to a country populated by petite people, or design interiors for American bodies, with wider seats and additional leg room.

The cynical might wonder why put myself through such punishment? Here are the reasons -

Flights are cheap (if willing to fly off peak days and hours).

Spirit flies from the closest airport to our home, a small airport with short security lines, an easy walk or tram ride from the parking lot, no line at the snack bar, and only 20 minutes from the house.

Flights are cheap.

The next closest airport offers more airline choices, but is an hour and a half away, parking is more expensive, and other transportation to the airport time-consuming and costly.

Flights are cheap.

I am thinking I should drug myself when flying Spirit, falling asleep when wedging into a seat and not waking until the plane lands and I slowly uncurl my stiff body into a semblance of a standing position and trudge, zombie-like, off the plane.

The back of the plane offers some entertainment as people walk back and forth to the restrooms. The line lengthens as the flight progresses. People introduce themselves, chat, coo to babies on board, and commiserate about their Spirit experiences. We are all in the same plane, coping but waiting eagerly to be once again on solid ground.

So although hub and I find ourselves once more in the back of a Spirit plane, the flight was cheap.

And we will do it again...too soon. 


  1. If it's any comfort, they say that in the event of a plane crash the back of the plane is the safest place to be.

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