Anyone can use Spirit airlines to fly to a range of destinations in Central and South America and in the USA. But the fares advertised on their website often sound too good to be true, and unfortunately much of the time they are – full of hidden fees and extra charges. But if you know how to beat the system in your favor, you’ll be able to score a great deal with Spirit Airlines just like I have!
The Keys to Getting a Cheap Flight Spirit Airlines
- Book at least 2 weeks in advance. If you book too close to the departure date you will likely get slapped with a higher airfare.
- Book only online at spirit.com and not on the phone, through Orbitz.com, or any other website. You’ll typically see extra fees when you navigate away from their website.
- Try applying a coupon to your flight purchase. Sometimes they can be difficult to use given all the restrictions, but it’s definitely worth a shot. Spirit Airlines’ coupons can be seen through their email newsletter (which is frequent and obnoxious) or on their homepage.
- Calculate if the “$9 Fare Club” (Spirit Airlines discount club) will save you more than the membership fee. Perhaps it’s obvious, but if the cost of the membership will not save you more cash on airfare than the cost of membership itself, then stay away from this option. If you end up buying it and don’t cancel this subscription, they will charge you again in a year, whether you need the subscription again or not so make sure you set a reminder to cancel it!
- See if you can save some cash money by connecting to Fort Lauderdale via other carriers. Even if Spirit Airlines does not fly anywhere near you, you can always buy a ticket on another airline to get from your home airport to the Fort Lauderdale, FL Spirit Airlines hub (airport code FLL). From there you’ll get good fares to Central and South America on Spirit Airlines.
- Buy 2 Spirit Airlines tickets to complete a one-way journey. Spirit Airlines generally doesn’t allow for super-long (12 hour+) layovers in Fort Lauderdale on itineraries they sell. So if you live in Minneapolis and want to travel to Managua, Nicaragua, Spirit Airlines may not even show you that such a trip is even possible. However if you search Spirit.com for flights from Minneapolis (MSP) > FLL and then from FLL > Managua (MGA), you will find that this journey is possible. Keep in mind that your layover in Fort Lauderdale will be about 18 hours – which presents an opportunity to explore the city if you’re interested.
Pack light with just a few pieces of luggage. Spirit’s baggage fees can add up fast making your once cheap flight into an expensive journey (learn more about Spirit’s baggage fees). If you absolutely must have extra baggage it’s best to purchase it before check-in or sometimes even fly on a different airlines that has more liberal baggage rules.
We also got a hack for you to enjoy the long haul bus experience if you decided to get around South America!