01. Introduction: The spirit of the southwest
02. Spirit Airlines A320 main cabin San Diego to Las Vegas
03. My great American southwest adventure: Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire, Route 66, and Grand Canyon
04. Southwest Airlines 737-700 Las Vegas to San Diego
I don’t know very many frequent travelers who would voluntarily choose Spirit over Delta or Southwest, but that’s the decision I made when trying to figure out how I was going to get to Las Vegas to kick off this trip. Call me stupid (or even crazy), but I like a little variety in my travels, and choosing Delta would have just been more of the same ‘ol same ‘ol. Southwest is always a good option for short flights such as this, and as a matter of fact, that’s who I would be flying with on the way back to San Diego exactly one week later. So how painful could one short SAN-LAS segment on Spirit Airlines really be? I’m always willing to take one for the team to add a little variety to my trip reports!
San Diego, CA (SAN) – Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Duration: 50 minutes
Seat: 2A (main cabin)
I should point out that this was not my first experience with Spirit. I had the chance to fly with them to Houston and back a couple years ago (in both the main cabin and a Big Front Seat), and overall I found the service to be decent. They got me to my destination on time and without a scratch, and that’s I could really ask for. So at least I went into this flight knowing what to expect.
The skies over San Diego were dull and gray as I made my way down to the airport that morning, but at least this wasn’t a crazy-early flight that had me out of bed at 3:30am. Scheduled departure time was 10:22am, so I did get the chance to sleep in a little bit and take my time getting down to the airport.
The first stop of the morning was Camden Food Co., a very nice little grab-and-go cafe situated in the heart of terminal 2 west. Their made-to-order sandwiches are quite good, and I decided to go with something they call a “heathwhich” – which consists of egg whites and vegetable bits pressed between whole wheat bread. The turkey sausage I had added to it pretty much negated any health benefits of that thing, I’m sure. It was good though!
The morning had been going pretty well so far: I didn’t have to get up crazy early, I didn’t feel rushed, and breakfast was pretty darn good. But it wasn’t until after the boarding process started and I found myself sitting in my seat that I realized that I sort of screwed things up.
I thought for sure that I had reserved a Big Front Seat (Spirit’s version of first class featuring bigger front seats in a 2-2 layout), but 2A was nothing but a standard economy seat with abysmal leg room. What the hell? I had a Zone 1 boarding pass, and I was certain that I paid extra for a better seat. What the heck happened?
I pulled up the confirmation email on my phone, and it was then I realized what what the mistake was. I did in fact pay more for a better seat (towards the front of the plane), but I did not reserve a Big Front Seat. Dang it! I must have been in a rush while I was making the reservation because I was totally willing to pay for the upgrade. Oh well. This is just a 45 minute flight anyway so I think I’ll survive. I hope.
The skies were still dull and gray as we made our way out to the runway, and blasting off through the low cloud layer and into bright blue sunny skies was nice. Ahhh, it felt like someone had simply hit the “sun” switch, and now the day was headed in the right direction again. I may not have been sitting in a Big Front Seat, but the scenery outside was amazing as always!
Nothing is free on Sprirt Airlines, so I passed on the beverage and snack service entirely. Scheduled flying time was only 45 minutes, so I took a gamble and hoped that I could survive the entirely of it without a refreshment. Spoiler alert: I did in fact survive!
Of all the approaches to any city in the continental US, Las Vegas is one of my favorites. The landscape is downright rugged, and the experience is much like what I imagine it would be like landing on Mars. The rock and mountain formations surrounding the Las Vegas area are like nothing else in the nation and it’s hard to keep my face from being pressed up against the window for the entire descent.
It’s not until the last minute or two that the scenery switches from desert to urban sprawl, which is a rather striking reminder of how isolated the city of Las Vegas really is. Once outside of the city limits, there is absolutely nothing for hundreds of miles in every direction.
Thankfully the weather was just as beautiful upon arrival as it was for the entire flight over, and I’m happy to report that I survived yet another Spirit Airlines flight without injury to my body or soul.