Spirit Airlines review: is it weird that I actually like them?

SANspotter selfie spirit airlines A320neo

As you’re about to read, I actually like writing Spirit Airlines reviews. Most people have a natural reaction to tense up upon even mentioning them, but I’m not afraid to admit that they are one of my favorite US airlines.

Spirit Airlines offers pretty good service at really great fares. They have an extensive network of flights covering a majority of the US, and in my experience, they’re fairly reliable.

That’s not to say that I was secretly hoping for a newsworthy event on this flight (just to make things more interesting). There were no fist fights. Everyone wore their mask. And nobody took a dump in front of the cockpit door. Basically, it was a normal flight. *gasp*

NK1261
Las Vegas, NV (LAS) – San Diego, CA (SAN)
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Aircraft: A320-271N
Registration: N929NK
Duration: 1 hour 8 minutes
Seat: 8A

Spirit Airlines A320neo side view
Spirit Airlines A320neo side view illustration by Norebbo.com
NK1261 flight track
Our route from Las Vegas to San Diego this evening as NK1261

Spirit Airlines A320neo review (Las Vegas to San Diego)

I know. Most of you had one question on your mind when you clicked on this, which, I’m assuming was something along the lines of: how bad is Spirit Airlines? If you were hoping for a scathing review full of insults and threats, you’re going to be massively disappointed. Sorry.

My arrival at McCarran airport in Las Vegas

I flew into Las Vegas earlier in the day on JetSuiteX (be sure to read that JSX review – it’s a good one). After an afternoon of cruising around in a rental car on the outskirts of Vegas, I arrived back at the airport approximately 3:30 PM to catch this 5:35 PM flight to San Diego.

Walking into the Las Vegas airport
Welcome to Vegas (where the airports look like convention centers and the convention centers look like airports).
Spirit airlines check in LAS
This is the Spirt Airlines check in area here in Terminal 1. I don’t see any fist-fights or anyone taking a dump on the floor (in protest of being overcharged for something), so…things are looking good so far.
Southwest Airlines at LAS
The very first thing that I saw after clearing the security checkpoint was an overabundance of Spirit’s arch nemesis. Since you didn’t come here to read a Southwest Airlines review, we’ll pretend we didn’t see this and move on…
Las Vegas airport interior design
See what I mean about this airport looking like a convention center?
Las Vegas airport moving walkways
Hmm. The moving walkways weren’t working the last time I was here either. Should I or shouldn’t I?
SANspotter walking through the las vegas airport
Stupid question. Of course I should.
Las Vegas airport gaming machines
Faux palm trees towering over neon pink and purple slot machines. Vegas, baby!
Spirit airlines terminal Las Vegas airport
Finally! This is concourse A, which is where my flight to San Diego will be departing from. All seems normal so far – but I assumed that I’d see at least see one person kicking over slot machines while yelling expletives at innocent Spirit Airlines employees.
SANspotter Spirit airlines terminal LAS
Maybe Spirit Airlines isn’t so bad after all?
Spirt airlines A320 Las Vegas airport
No, this isn’t my ride home to San Diego this evening, but I couldn’t resist taking this pic. I love this livery!

The boarding process for Spirit Airlines flight number 1261 to San Diego

Even though I said really good things about the Las Vegas Airport in my Avelo Airlines review, I will admit that it’s not a nice place to be when it’s really crowded and busy.

It was basically standing room only in the hour or so leading up to the flight, and I believed I sighed in relief when they started the boarding process. I just couldn’t help it.

Spirit A320neo Las Vegas Airport
Boarding was scheduled to begin in less than 20 minutes, so it was nice of our aircraft to finally show up.
Gate A14 Spirit airlines Las Vegas airport
On the other hand, a delay could have helped to improve the odds of seeing someone flip out (thus giving me the content I needed to make this the best Spirit Airlines review ever).
Spirit airlines mobile boarding pass
This review is just getting started though. There’s still plenty of time for flipping out…
Las Vegas airport jet bridge for Spirit airlines
How awesome would it be if they used some of that banana yellow paint here in the jet bridge? I know. I should have been thinking about how nice it was that we boarded exactly on time, but…I’m easily distracted.
Spirit airlines A320neo boarding door
I love how the body language of this guy seems to imply that he’s muttering “f**k it, here goes nothing” to himself as he steps onboard. Amen brother. Amen.

My first impressions of the Spirit Airlines A320neo seats

Since all I needed was a quick and cheap flight to get me home to San Diego, I opted for a main cabin seat instead of one of the more expensive Big Front Seats. For a short 45 minute flight like this, a standard seat was perfectly fine.

Spirit Airlines A320neo main cabin
For as much yellow that’s on the exterior of this aircraft, was it wrong of me to want so see some yellow in here? Just a little?
Spirit airlines A320neo seats
That window seat is mine. And I like how the raised arm rest appears to be waving hello to me…
Spirit airlines A320neo seat back pockets
You really didn’t expect to see video screens, did you?
Spirit airlines A320neo leg room
Because it wouldn’t be a Las Vegas based Spirit Airlines review without an empty bottle of rum to photobomb the leg room pic. I promise it’s not mine!
Spirit airlines passengers
It’s like we’re all waiting for someone to flip out or something. Nothing yet…
Spirit airlines A320neo main cabin seats
All in all, I’m not afraid to admit that I really like the Spirit A320neo interior. Yes, a little more yellow would be nice, but this looks pretty sharp IMHO.
Spirit airlines A320neo safety card
Might as well have a look at the safety card if there aren’t going to be any fist fights.
SANspotter selfie spirit airlines A320neo
Don’t believe all the bad things you’ve heard about Spirit Airlines. This isn’t so bad.

The departure out of Las Vegas

It had been a beautiful sunny day in Vegas, and I was really hoping for the possibility of a nice sunset departure. However, it was pitch black out by the time we pushed off the gate. That didn’t mean that I wasn’t treated to some spectacular scenery though. Vegas at night (whether you like it or not) is a sight to behold.

Spirit A320neo at gate Las Vegas airport
Pushing off the gate right on time. BuT I tHoUgHt SpIRIt AiRlInEs WaS bAd!
Las Vegas airport at night
Which of those two aircraft would you rather be on? Make sure you read my Allegiant Airlines review before answering that question…
Spirit A320neo cabin at night
I wonder how many of these people care that this is a brand new A320neo (as opposed to a regular ‘ol A320)? I can’t possibly be the only one. Or could I?
departing Las Vegas on a spirit A320neo
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there likely ain’t nobody on this airplane as nerdy am (at least when it comes to aircraft stuff, that is).
View of Las Vegas after takeoff
This was confirmed by the guy in the seat behind me snoring loudly as I took this pic.
View of Las Vegas after takeoff Spirit airlines A320neo engine
Sleeping through spectacular views like this is one thing, but…he missed out on the awesome A320neo engine sound! People who don’t like air travel are weird. 

Do they serve food and drinks on short Spirit Airlines flights?

Yes, the cabin crew did come down the aisle offering snacks and drinks for anybody who wanted them. However, this being an ultra low-cost carrier and all, nothing was free. Even if you wanted a small bottle of water, you had to pay for it.

Spirit airlines A320neo tray table
Maybe if I wasn’t such a cheapskate, you’d see food and drinks on this tray table. Sorry, but I think I’ll survive the 45 minute flight to San Diego.
SANspotter drinking water Spirit a320neo review
Besides, I came prepared.
Spirit airlines seat back pocket
It’s important to note that there are usually printed menus in the seat back pockets on all Spirit Airlines flights. But not this one.

How comfortable are the seats on the Spirit Airlines A320neo?

The seats on the A320neo are quite comfortable actually! They are slightly improved from the seats I experienced on a Spirit A320 from San Diego to Las Vegas a few years ago, but that’s no reason to get excited.

Remember – this is a low-cost carrier who’s goal is to save money any way possible. One of the ways that they save money is by installing really cheap seats in their aircraft. For example, they are really thin compared to the seats you saw in my Delta 737-800 economy review.

Sleeping on spirit airlines
If I’m not going to eat, I might as well try and sleep. According to the guy behind me still snoring like a buzzsaw, it is indeed possible in these seats.
Spirit A320neo bulkhead wall
I couldn’t sleep though. Which gave me lots of time to think of all the possible reasons why Spirit hasn’t installed yellow mood lighting in their planes. How cool would that be??

The arrival into San Diego

Being such a short flight, I didn’t really get the opportunity to suffer from pinched nerves in my back (the kind that would’ve made this Spirit Airlines review as spicy as you were hoping for).

It ended up being a great flight overall, and as you’re about to see, it was capped off nicely by spectacular views of San Diego on the way in.

A320neo window frame
Almost as soon as we leveled off at cruising altitude, we began the descent into San Diego. And for those of you who want a status report on the guy behind me: still dead asleep.
Spirit airlines landing in San Diego
He must have had a heck of a good time in Vegas…
Spirit airlines landing over downtown San Diego
Skimming the rooftops of downtown San Diego just moments prior to touchdown. Still, after all these years, it’s my favorite approach in all of the US.
Spirit airlines A320neo landing at San Diego airport
And he slept through all of it!
Spirit airlines flight arrival in San Diego
Well, that was fun. I mean, I knew this would be a good flight, and I will admit that I’m glad that I didn’t have to include any pics of fist fights (or rage-induced defecation). Maybe something will happen as we start deplaning…
Walking off Spirit airlines a320neo
Whoa. Slow down Scott. Tripping and falling (requiring a trip to the ER) would qualify as “something happening”, but my goal is to end this review with at least an ounce of dignity.
San Diego airport terminal 1 jet bridge spirit airlines
Besides, Terminal 1 here at SAN is nothing to get excited about, so there’s no rush.
Walking into terminal 1 after spirit airlines flight San Diego
And there you have it! Another great experience on Spirit Airlines complete. Hopefully someone was kind enough to wake up snoring guy…

Pros and cons of Spirit Airlines 

I’ve been flying Spirit Airlines for many years now, and it’s nice to see them getting progressively better with each passing year. The Spirit Airlines of today is nothing like the Spirit Airlines I first experienced many years ago. For those of you who feel like taking a stroll down memory lane, this is what it was like to fly Spirt Airlines in 2015.

They aren’t perfect though, so here’s a list of pros and cons to help you decide whether or not they’re right for you.

Pros

  • Spirit Airlines continues to offer the best bang for the buck here in the United States (that’s my opinion anyway). They offer great fares, convenient flight schedules, and they’re mostly reliable.
  • I’ve never once been on a Spirit Airlines aircraft that was dirty and looked unmaintained. This particular A320neo was spotless.
  • Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I find Spirit Airlines cabin crews to be the most enthusiastic and energetic of any US airline. This flight was no exception.

Cons

  • The way that Spirit Airlines is able to offer such cheap fares is by “nickel and diming” their customers to death. That means that you’ll have to pay extra for everything (checking in a bag, checking in at the airport, pre-selecting a seat, etc.).
  • A majority of the people who fly Spirit Airlines are infrequent fliers to are looking for the cheapest possible way to fly. In other words, more patience is required when boarding and deplaning since many of your fellow passengers may not have all that much experience with air travel.
  • You’ll have to put up with the inevitable jokes aimed towards you when your friends, family, and colleagues find out that you flew Spirit Airlines. Little do they know that this is actually a fantastic way to travel…

Comments (2)

  1. Amy Chandler

    January 12, 2022
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      January 12, 2022

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