Spirit Airlines is an air carrier that sends passengers all across the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
One of the things the airline has a reputation for is its low prices.
Considering the cost of flying with other airlines, you may wonder how Spirit Airlines keeps its prices low.
Spirit Airlines keeps its ticket prices low by earning money through various charges instead.
Here are some of the fees and other reasons that Spirit Airlines’ tickets remain cheap.
Why Is Spirit Airlines So Cheap? (10 Reasons)
1. Fees On Seat Selection
Spirit Airlines keeps its tickets cheap by limiting what seats you can choose.
If you book a standard ticket with Spirit Airlines, you can choose a seat from the selection provided to you.
Those seats tend to be in the middle.
You’re also usually unable to group seats together.
Spirit Airlines does this because it knows you probably want to sit together with your family or have a window or aisle seat.
Sitting in the middle can be quite awkward when you don’t know the other people around you.
That’s especially true if you’re on a long flight.
There’s a greater chance that some stranger will end up sleeping on your shoulder.
To pick your seat in a more preferred location, you have to pay a fee.
This is where Spirit Airlines makes its money.
It doesn’t get the bulk of its profits from its ticket sales.
Rather, it has several fees that people pay instead to make their flight more comfortable.
As such, if you can avoid their fees, your flight on Spirit Airlines can be quite cheap.
Being able to choose where you sit is a luxury.
For families, it’s a necessity to ensure everyone gets to sit together.
Spirit Airlines is aware of this which is why they make standard seating extremely cheap, but then put a fee on seat selection.
2. Charge Extra For Additional Legroom
One of the biggest problems you’ll face when flying on a plane is the lack of legroom.
Many airlines cram as many seats into a plane as they can.
The more seats that they have, the more people they can get on the airline.
That means that they make more on each trip.
When you buy a standard, cheap, ticket from Spirit Airlines, you’re buying a seat with little legroom.
If you want more legroom, you will have to pay more for it.
Spirit Airlines keeps its tickets cheap because they count on people wanting to upgrade their seats to one with more legroom.
They know that people don’t need too much legroom.
As long as they’re able to put their feet down, they’ll be fine.
Flying on a plane doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be flying comfortably.
You essentially have an option with Spirit Airlines.
You can fly for cheap with little legroom, or you can buy a more expensive ticket to get more legroom.
This is different from airlines that include legroom with the cost of the ticket.
The fee that you would normally pay for extra legroom is in the ticket no matter if you get more legroom or not.
Because of that, other airlines have more expensive tickets.
Spirit Airlines gives you an option.
That allows you to decide how important legroom is to you.
If you want it, you can pay extra for an upgraded seat.
If you prefer to keep your ticket cheap, you’ll be fine sitting in the standard seats.
3. Bigger Seats Cost More
Another reason Spirit Airlines is cheap is that they don’t include big seats as part of a standard ticket.
When you buy the cheapest ticket with Spirit Airlines, your seat is going to be relatively small.
You’ll be able to sit in it without too much of a problem, but you shouldn’t expect a large, cushiony, chair that you can easily sleep on.
Your chair will be compact and up close to the other chairs around it.
If you don’t mind sitting close to strangers, this might not be a problem for you.
You’ll be happy paying the lowest price possible on Spirit Airlines tickets.
However, if that doesn’t sound like a good time for you, you’ll probably want to get a bigger seat.
Spirit Airlines does have bigger seats.
They just cost more.
Whether you need a bigger seat due to your size or because you want a bit more room to move around on it, you’ll need to pay an extra fee to sit in one of the bigger seats.
This is an extra luxury.
You don’t need it.
You’ll survive sitting in the smaller chairs.
It’s only available to those who want to pay more money to travel a bit more comfortably.
This is different from other airlines who either all have big chairs or allow you to upgrade.
Airlines who have all big chairs add that price to the original price of the ticket.
It’s built into it.
As such, you don’t get an option to sit in a smaller seat and pay less.
They charge you more because it cost them more to put in the big chairs.
It also means they’re missing out on more travelers since bigger seats mean there’s less room for seats.
That means fewer travelers and less money for the airline.
Spirit Airlines is cheap because it earns by adding a fee when you want to book a ticket on a larger seat.
4. You Can Only Use A 33-Liter Carry-On Bag
One of the complaints that many people have about Spirit Airlines is the size of the carry-on that they allow you to bring.
Spirit Airlines only allow you to carry a 33-liter bag with a standard ticket.
That type of bag can’t hold a lot.
Spirit Airlines is counting on you to buy an upgraded carry-on ticket.
This lets you bring a carry-on bag as large as 64 liters onto the plane.
That’s quite the difference.
Of course, if your bag weighs too much, they might hit you with a few more charges.
If you use a 33-litter carry-on bag, you’ll probably find that flying on Spirit Airlines is quite cheap.
If you’re unable to do so and need a larger bag, you’ll find that Spirit Airlines isn’t quite as cheap as it was before.
The fee can add quite a cost to your overall ticket.
The primary reason Spirit Airlines does this is that the heavier the plane is, the more fuel it uses.
As such, flying the plane becomes more expensive.
If the ticket prices and fees don’t earn Spirit Airlines enough of a profit, they end up losing money.
To ensure that doesn’t happen, they restrict how heavy or large your bag can be or charge you extra to carry a bigger bag on board.
Other companies simply charge you a high price and make it part of your ticket.
Then they don’t worry too much about the size of your bag or ensure that you can bring a bag that’s medium in size.
5. Fees For Checking A Bag
Another reason that Spirit Airlines is cheap is that they don’t charge you anything if you’re not checking a bag.
That cost doesn’t get added to your ticket.
Other airlines tend to build that cost into your ticket which makes it more expensive.
Then they add an additional fee which makes the ticket even more expensive.
Spirit Airlines, on the other hand, only charges you if you’re checking a bag.
The cost isn’t automatically added to your ticket.
As such, if you’re traveling without needing to check a bag, Spirit Airlines is quite cheap.
However, if you do need to check a bag with them, you might find that Spirit Airlines ends up becoming as expensive, if not more expensive, than other airlines.
That’s because they charge a pretty high fee to check your bag.
If you have a lot of bags to check, you can expect to pay a pretty expensive price.
That’s why it can sometimes be difficult to book tickets for a family.
The extra bags are going to make your Spirit Airlines tickets a lot more expensive than they would be otherwise.
Spirit Airlines charges the extra fee because it’s more weight on the plane.
If you have a lot of bags or a very heavy bag, you’re going to cost them more money than those without bags.
As such, they make up for that cost by charging you a higher fee.
Spirit Airlines is cheap because they charge those with checked bags a high fee as opposed to building it into the ticket.
6. Extra Charge For Printing A Boarding Pass
A lot of airlines have found ways to cut costs.
One of those is by offering digital tickets.
When you have a digital ticket, you just need to let the representative scan your ticket at the gate.
You’re able to get in without any fuss.
Some airlines also let you print your ticket at home.
This means you take on the cost of paper and ink by printing it at home.
Spirit Airlines will print your boarding pass for you, but it will cost you extra.
They’re cheap because they don’t charge you extra if you print the pass at home or use a digital pass.
They’re not as cheap if you want them to print your boarding pass for you.
That’s because you’re making them more spend money to do so.
They need to use ink and paper which is a material they’ll need to buy more of to stay in stock.
The reason Spirit Airlines is cheap is that this isn’t a fee that’s automatically charged to your ticket.
It’s only added if you use the service.
Other airlines might print your boarding pass for you whether you ask them to or not.
If this happens, it’s likely that they added the cost of printing to your ticket price.
That makes it more expensive than a standard ticket at Spirit Airlines.
You have a choice at Spirit Airlines.
You can buy a cheap ticket and not have them print a boarding pass, or you can pay an extra fee to get a printed boarding pass.
7. Drinks And Snacks Are Not Included
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons Spirit Airlines is cheap is because it doesn’t include drinks and snacks.
If you want water or food on your journey, you’re going to have to pay extra for it.
That’s even if the airline has food at all.
Some Spirit Airlines that are traveling on short journeys might not carry food or water except for emergencies.
This helps them save a lot of money which also helps them reduce their ticket prices.
Other airlines don’t have that luxury.
If they want to treat their guests, an airline will often have water and food available for longer flights.
Even shorter flights sometimes have water or snacks available.
This costs that airline extra, so they build the price of their ticket to reflect that cost.
The fancier the airline is, the more expensive the food and drinks are going to be.
If you buy a First Class ticket, for example, you probably get to have access to better food and alcohol.
Since you’re eating more expensive food, your ticket is also going to be expensive.
Spirit Airlines reduces its costs by not having food and drinks readily available.
That brings down the price of your ticket considerably.
If you do want food or drinks, you’ll need to pay extra for them.
As such, you’re able to decide how expensive you want your Spirit Airlines ticket to be.
8. Cancelation Fees
When it comes to changing or canceling a flight, you can usually expect some sort of fee.
Most airlines will charge you depending on how close to the departure time you are.
For example, if you cancel several months before the departure date, you might be able to miss out on a cancelation fee.
If you cancel just before the departure date, you’re probably going to receive a fee.
That’s because you’re potentially making the airline lose money.
There’s a chance that the seat won’t get filled because it’s too late.
That’s money that they lost out on.
To help reduce the loss, they charge you a fee.
Spirit Airlines charges you a fee any time you cancel or change a flight.
While this might make your ticket more expensive, it’s also why they’re able to keep their standard tickets so cheap.
The high fees that other people pay earn the airline enough money to keep their costs low.
9. Wi-Fi Fees
Another reason Spirit Airlines is cheap is that they have Wi-Fi fees.
If you don’t need to use the Wi-Fi, you can keep your ticket pretty cheap.
They also offer different tiers of Wi-Fi.
The more expensive Wi-Fi tends to be a bit more reliable.
That’s especially true if everyone is buying standard Wi-Fi.
You suddenly have a lot of people all trying to use the same data.
Spirit Airlines is cheap because it doesn’t build the cost of Wi-Fi into your ticket automatically.
Other airlines do which is what makes them more expensive than Spirit.
Instead, the airline gives you a choice.
You can fly cheaply without Wi-Fi or you can fly more expensively and pay the fee to use the Wi-Fi on a Spirit Airlines flight.
10. Boarding Privileges Fees
A final reason Spirit Airlines is cheap is that it has a fee for those who want to board before others.
You have a choice when buying a ticket.
One of the extra benefits that you can purchase is the ability to board the plane before the bulk of the travelers.
You basically get to be second or third in line.
If that’s important to you, you can pay the extra fee and enjoy the benefit.
If it isn’t important to you, you can keep your ticket cheap.
That’s because Spirit Airlines doesn’t build that sort of benefit into your ticket.
It keeps it cheap to encourage you to pay for the benefit, but it doesn’t force you to.
Furthermore, the money the airline receives from those who do purchase the service further helps them pay for the costs of the business.
That allows them to offer cheap tickets.
Spirit Airlines is an affordable airline that keeps its services basic.
By offering basic services, it doesn’t take on too many costs which helps keep its ticket prices low.
You can always buy more services and benefits for a fee, but that will make your ticket more expensive.