You may have seen the advertisements for discounted airlines… they are becoming more and more popular amongst frequent travelers… but is the low cost worth it? How are the amenities? Yours truly has flown both Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines and I am here to break it down for you.
Let me start by saying that I travel frequently- at least once a month. I am mostly traveling between NJ and FL but I do venture out west to California quite a bit.
From my personal experience, I can say that United is by far the worst airline I have ever flown. There are almost ALWAYS delays, poor service, and just overall a rough experience. I flew this airline to California and back three times in my young adult life and experienced frequent delays, long taxi time, and overall unreliable flights. Apparently, there are newly added baggage fees too! With these experiences and new airlines making their way into the market, I was excited to try a new less expensive airline… that’s when I started flying on Frontier.
The prices seem too good to be true, and for $50 a year I could become a “Discount Den” member and have access to even lower rates! Frontier flies out of a small airport near me, which means a low cost for parking and smaller security lines. (YES!) Additionally, Spirit offers a $9 flight club option… yes $9! This airline flies out of the standard airport in my state, which is fine but means longer waits and expensive parking rates.
This sounds all great and dandy, but let’s dive into the juicy topics.
- Booking your Airfare. Both airlines have very user friendly websites. The risk you take is the price fluctuation, as both airlines tend to raise/lower their prices. (I am guessing this is based on demand) I have the Frontier app, which is very easy to use to book flights as well. Simply show your phone at security and at the gate; the process can be entirely paperless!
- Check in. Before you arrive to the airport, you can check into your flight via email or app. This saves time having to wait in line for a check in agent.
- Baggage. This is where flying a discounted airline can be tricky. Frontier and Spirit both have added baggage fees. You are allowed one personal item on the flight. I use a backpack, that fits under the seat in front of me. My trips on these airlines are usually pretty quick getaways. The cost of a check in bag varies, but is much cheaper when you purchase it ahead of time. My Mom’s bag for Florida cost $38 each way… while the cost of the flight was inexpensive, baggage can add up.
- Flying experience. There is not a great deal of leg room on these flights. You can purchase your seats and choose to sit closer to the front/first class for the extra room. I usually just take what they give me, unless I am flying alone. When I fly alone, I make sure to select a comfortable location close to the front of the plane. Again, these extra fees can add up.
- Food/Beverage. If you are flying a discounted airline, food/beverage are available for purchase. The days of the free airplane snacks and drinks are no more.
Overall, I am totally fine with flying a discounted airline. I have been fortunate on these flights where there were few overall delays and a pleasant experience. If you are looking to fly in luxury, and do not mind potentially delayed flights…then you may want to opt for a more expensive airline.
The extra amenities do come at a cost on these airlines, but the plane gets you from point A to point B… and for me, that is really all that matters.
**This blog post was written based on my personal experiences and is not affiliated with any airline. Use this information at your own risk. I am not an expert. **