Spirit Airlines Reviews and Horror Stories

Spirit Airlines is a budget airline known for advertising cheap prices and giving terrible experiences. But is Spirit’s poor reputation justified? Or are customers expecting too much from a cheap flight? We highlight some nightmare Spirit Airlines reviews for you to judge.

Nightmare Spirit Airlines Reviews

Spirit boasts these ratings across various review websites:

  • Yelp: 1.5 / 5
  • Trustpilot: 1.2 / 10
  • Tripadvisor: 3 / 5
  • Better Business Bureau: 1.02 / 5
  • AirlineQuality.com: 2 / 10
  • ConsumerAffairs.com: 1.0 / 5
  • AirlineRatings.com: 2.4 / 10

Let’s look at some of these reviews to get a feel for the type of experience in store for Spirit customers.

Nickel-and-dimed

Spirit is known for advertising some of the lowest ticket prices, but charging for all the conveniences that most other airlines include in their prices. So what things do Spirit charge you for? Short answer is: pretty much everything.

Once you get to the airport you will know where their counter is as it is always the longest line. Why? Because they nickel and dime all their customers and everbody argues with them making the usual 5 minutes check-in process a 30 minutes nightmare.

The seats have less than average legroom even the ones that you pay for. And their up charges are ridiculously high. There is no entertainment on board, no outlets to charge your electronics, and of course no meals or complimentary drinks.

—H, Trustpilot.com (emphasis added)

Bring your own TP
You think you’re getting a low fare but you’re not. They nickel and dime you for everything and I mean everything. But that’s not the worst part. 3 hours into my flight I had to use the restroom. I notice in the bathroom there is no toilet paper. I stepped out to see a flight attendant and said excuse me miss there is no toilet paper in the restroom. Her reply “there ain’t nothing I can do about it”. What!!! You don’t have an extra roll anywhere on this plane?

—Wilson, Trustpilot.com (emphasis added)

Worst airline ever. THEY ARE NOT THE CHEAPEST. IT IS A GIMMICK. After all the luggage fees and seat selection fee, you have paid more than your 3rd most cheapest flight. If they could charge you for the air you breathe inside their plane, they would.

—Frank, Yelp.com (emphasis added)

Low-budget

Spirit is a budget airline after all, so don’t expect much from their planes:

The seats are horrible, not enough padding, do not recline and have the world’s thinnest armrests. No music or even a place to plug in electronics. The tray table was disgustingly dirty with crumbs and dried food stuck on it, There was trash from the previous passenger still in the stretch corded “pocket”. No monitors or TVs, water and snacks are available only for sale. At one point, I was afraid they were going to charge for the use of the bathroom. During the flight, a flight attendant goes down the aisle with Spirit credit card applications. Really?

—Wil, Trustpilot.com (emphasis added)

Even though they don’t serve food and claim they have a new fleet of planes, I have never seen an airline cabin in such a miserable state of filthiness. This wasn’t on one flight but on ALL. You will find gum, food wrappers stuffed into the pocket of the seat in front of you, crumbs and food on your seat, spilled sodas on the floor, and inked chairs with graffiti.

—Don, ConsumerAffairs.com (emphasis added)

Delays delays delays (and cancellations)

Delays, missed connections, and cancellations are commonplace with Spirit flights, judging from reviews.

Avoid at all costs. I’ve flown Spirit 5 times in the last 5 months. Multiple late flights, multiple missed lay overs. It always takes 1-2 hours to get baggage: They try to make it seem like their mistakes are your fault. Try to make it seem positive when they’re only 3 hours late.

—R Peale, AirlineQuality.com (emphasis added)

We boarded the plane and then we were told the flight was cancelled, with little to no information on next steps. The next available flight to our original destination was not until 3 days afterwards. We waited several hours to reclaim our baggage, and the staff was unable to provide any updates on the situation during this time. Staff members, including the supervisor, were very rude and dismissive of customer concerns.

—E Karston, AirlineQuality.com (emphasis added)

And if that’s not bad enough, when Spirit cancels your flight, they don’t seem to make it easy to get rebooked:

My flight was canceled a week before my trip and I was never notified. Thankfully I checked the status myself and saw it had been canceled two days prior to my departure. When I called I was told the only other option was an additional $1,500 ($460 of which was baggage fees that I was never informed of – more than my original tickets total!).

—Sarah, Trustpilot.com (emphasis added)

Daughters flight was canceled due to “no pilot” after waiting and the flight being delayed for 8 hours. Then would not help with rebooking, no hotel voucher, nothing. Will never use this joke of an airline again… cheap and you definitely don’t even get what little you pay for.

—Amy, AirlineRatings.com (emphasis added)

Customer (dis?)service

It may come as no surprise that customers complain about Spirit’s customer service line, because how many companies have good customer service on the phone nowadays?

On 1/8/2023 around 6 am to find an email that my reservation has been canceled.

I call Spirit and customer service told me I canceled it at 1 o’clock that morning and they issued a refund for $186-. I told her I was sleeping at that time and someone on their end made a mistake. I was then told she would send a request to have it investigated which take 7-10 days. I informed her my trip was in 3 days and they needed to expedite this request. I’ve called and did the Spirit chat with no success. On 1/10/2023 I was told I could purchase another ticket at the now price of $547.36 if I wanted to make that trip. Here I am 2 hrs before my trip and no word. Unable to go on this group trip because of their error.

—Stacy, ConsumerAffairs.com (emphasis added)

Service at the gate didn’t seem much better:

Just about everyone on our flight was venting about how they were treated by the gate agents… they were snapping at everyone, rolling their eyes, staring people down with bad looks, whispering amongst each other while looking at customers including myself, what is this? Zero professionalism!

—T. K., Yelp.com

And the in-flight service had even more eyebrow-raising complaints:

The stewardess pulled a NASTY PRANK on us. Mid way through our flight when everyone is finally settling and napping she gets on the intercom and says “WAKE UP EVERYBODY WAKE UP RIGHT NOW WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP”. I thought to myself that this is the end. I was fixin to be reduced to a spirit on spirit. As I was preparing to brace for impact, shawty starts telling us about free spirit miles and continued to advertise spirit for the next 8 minutes. Extremely inconsiderate and horrible mannerisms.

—Kylie, Yelp.com

[Trigger warning: death]
The crew was not prepared for the emergency and had a hard time getting the necessary equipment prepared for the medical personnel to attend to the ill passenger

The passengers in the exit row were not directed to another area of the plane and sat in their seats while myself and three other medical personnel preformed CPR for 35 minutes straight at their feet. Not only were we unassisted by the flight crew in CPR, but it was clear that there were no policies or procedures in place for this occurrence.

We asked for a blanket to cover the now dead woman, and Spirit Airlines failed to provide one. We requested to move the dead woman away from the other passengers and Spirit was unable to do that as well. The alternative they offered was to put the corpse of the woman back in her seat, buckled in next to her friend.

Once we landed, paramedics were on scene, but the corpse was not removed from the plane. Instead, each passenger had to disembark walking passed the dead woman’s corpse with no cover over her but her own sweater.

—Nathalie, Trustpilot.com (emphasis added)

In parting

Some parting words from Spirit’s angry customers:

Worst experience I have ever had. Treated like a second class citizen. It took longer to fly than if I had driven. 

—Roy, Yelp.com

I wouldn’t have my worst enemy fly Spirit

—Gisele, Trustpilot.com

If you are reading this is because you have never travelled before with Spirit Airlines, because once you try it, there is now way in heaven that you will fly with them again. 

—H, Trustpilot.com

There are thousands more reviews like these. Now, to be fair, these are the horror stories from Spirit’s reviews, and other airlines are no strangers to horrible reviews either. Many happy customers also left good reviews for Spirit, though the low ratings suggest this isn’t as common as you’d hope.

So if you’re easygoing and don’t mind rolling the dice, you might have a perfectly good experience flying with Spirit. Maybe even several good experiences. But given how common these nightmare reviews are, it might just be a matter of time before a bad Spirit flight (or lack thereof) ruins your day.

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