01. Introduction: San Diego to Houston on Spirit Airlines
02. Spirit Airlines A319 Big Front Seat San Diego to Houston
03. Marriott hotel, Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport
04. Spirit Airlines A319 Big Front Seat Houston to Las Vegas
05. Spirit Airlines A319 Las Vegas to San Diego
I had a 4 and a half hour layover here at LAS between my inbound flight from IAH and outbound flight to SAN, so let’s just say I got to know McCarran Airport really well in that time. I learned that terminal C (the Southwest Airlines terminal) is ridiculously crowded and not a fun place to be for even 5 minutes, though that’s where the best choices are for healthy food options. There’s an obnoxious amount of junk food restaurants at LAS, and I actually spent one of my four hours there walking from terminal to terminal trying to find something somewhat healthy to eat.
I’s also like to point out that I couldn’t believe it when the aircraft that would be operating this flight to SAN pulled up to the gate. This would be my third flight on Spirit Airlines in two days, and each and every one of them have been on A319s with the old silver and black pixel livery. Spirit has gone through two complete rebranding efforts since this color scheme was introduced, and somehow I managed to get three aircraft with the oldest livery of them all. What are the odds of that happening? I should mention, however, that I only saw one of the new-color banana-yellow planes on this entire trip, so they are definitely taking their time repainting aircraft into the new colors.
I was pretty sick and tired of being in an airport after hour number three, and I was a really happy guy when they finally starting boarding our flight to SAN.
Las Vegas, NV (LAS) – San Diego, CA (SAN)
Sunday January 25 2015
So – now that I’ve tried Spirit’s Big Front Seats twice, it was time to see what their regular seats were like. The truth is that I didn’t really know what to expect, other than that it would probably be like any other seat in economy class on any other airline. I was wrong. Things were tight in the back of the bus, and it made the slimline seats that I experienced on my last United Airlines SAN-SFO segment seem like first class. I’ve never in my life seen airline seats as slim as these, and they felt terrible. Imagine sitting on a hard piece of plastic, and you get the idea.
I’ve also never felt as cramped on an airplane as I did sitting in this seat. It was a full load to SAN today, and I was pretty much wedged into my window seat with nowhere to go once the boarding door was closed. To make matters worse, the seat backs are very tall – and even I (all 5’-10” of me) could barely see over the top. This was no place for claustrophobic people!
We had a long taxi out to runway 7L (or R – I can’t quite recall), and from there we made a big gradual turn to the southwest and pointed right at SAN. They did offer snacks and beverages for purchase in flight, but I passed – as did most of the other passengers.
It was a very short (50-minute) hop down to San Diego, and with about 20 minutes of flying time left, the lead FA came over the PA to sell a Spirit-branded credit card. I hate captive sales pitches like this, but this guy was actually a pretty good salesman – the entrepreneur in me found it interesting. He was so good, as a matter of fact, that he had tons of passengers asking for an application form as he came down the aisle after the pitch. The guy was smooth, and if this airline thing doesn’t work out, I have no doubt that he could make a fine living as a used car salesman.
The clouds began to build the closer we got to San Diego, and it was completely overcast by the time we hit runway 27. Nevertheless, it’s always nice to return home!
So what’s the verdict on Sprit Airlines? I was pleasantly surprised actually. They didn’t come off as being ultra-cheap like I had thought of them in my mind prior to this trip, and every single employee I encountered was cheerful and proud to be working for this airline. My only real piece of advice to anyone thinking about purchasing a ticket is to avoid the normal seats at all costs. Splurge for the Big Front Seats instead – it’s worth every penny.