Tell me everything about Spirit Airlines and/or Arnold Palmer Airport in PA

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by harleyquinn, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    I would like to take a trip in late December/early Jan, but it all hinges on finding reasonable airfare. We live nearest Cleveland, but are willing to drive. I noticed someone mention Spirit, so I checked it out and see that they fly out of Arnold Palmer airport in PA. Direct flights to MCO and free parking at the airport?! Plus the airfare is $300 less for the the 3 of us than anyone else.

    I'm digging around on the interwebs for reviews and stuff, but would appreciate DISer experiences.
    Thanks!
     
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  3. ollyg

    ollyg DIS Veteran

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    I am curious to see your replies. I live close to Arnold Palmer airport was was considering flying out of there instead of Pittsburgh.

    My concerns were Spirit does not have the greatest reviews and I don't care too much for the flight times. In addition they charge for bags and do not participate with RAC.

    I am going to crunch the numbers and you know what they say....Money talks!
     
  4. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Wow! The reviews are pretty horrible and lots of fees, but it's still much cheaper. Hmmm.
     
  5. shannonstar

    shannonstar StarGirlJapp

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    I've been playing the flights also. The fares are higher, but they have a little $60 club you can join and then your flights and fee are cheaper. They charge for carry-ons, but not for purses and backpacks (anything that can fit under the seat).
    They get bad reviews, but so does Southwest. I am also concerned about Continental now that it is combined with United.

    The price is 592 for three people including joining their little club. That would be round trip from Dallas to MCO. If I fly any other airline, it is 350 or more per person. The baggage fees are $5 less than Continental and I'm pretty sure I can sit anywhere for the price.

    I am waiting to hear what more people say though.
     
  6. Blessedwithboys

    Blessedwithboys Mouseketeer

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    We will be flying out of Arnold Palmer in September for our Disney trip. I did the number crunching between them and Pittbsburgh INTL. I have had friends fly Spirit they said it is not bad if you do not expect luxury, and that the staff at ARP were lenient on personal carry on's (backpacks being full size) etc. Here is why we choose it
    We have to leave two cars (our and my parents) ARP is free Pittsburgh INTL is 128.00 for 8 days.
    ARP's Orlando flight times range from 2-3 hours in length and the cheapest -mid price at Pitt INTL were 5+ hours. HUGE for me with young kids.
    Strollers are free to take on the plane on Spirit, most others make you check them.
    Our tickets themselves were 157.00 per person cheaper for our flight dates going with ARP.
    I am nervous about the fact that if something happens they can not just transfer us. But I have faith that it will turn out! I read the reviews on Spirit in general but I have heard that the customer service and everything was outstanding from this particular airport!
     
  7. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Thanks! I think I read that carseats are free too? That's a nice benefit.
     
  8. seashoreCM

    seashoreCM All around nice guy.

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    There are three kinds of airlines: legacy, established low cost, and rinkydink. Spirit and Direct Air are in the third.

    A few years ago Spirit had an outage comparable to the Direct Air outage making the news now. Many people were left high and dry.

    I would not book more than 60 days in advance, and would pay only by credit card. If you book too far in advance you might not be able to dispute the charge if the airline suspends operation.
     
  9. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    I'm not a big fan of Spirit but I don't agree with your statement. DirectAir operated as a public charter. They didn't actually own, lease or fly the planes.

    Spirit is a "real" airline. They have an operating license. They own planes. They've been, slightly profitable, most years. Spirit has some of the characteristics of a rinkydink airline. They'll cancel flights and even all flights out of a city if it's not profitable. Airlines like Southwest will typically wait until the schedule is ready to be extended before they drop flights.

    That said Spirit's only goal is to offer the lowest possible displayed price. Make money by squeezing more people in the plane via non-reclining seats and very short pitch. Charge extra for everything they legally are allowed to charge extra. Spend no money on customer service.




     
  10. punn

    punn Earning My Ears

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    We are flying out of Latrobe for our trip in Sept. I priced them online and then called the 800 number with questions. Person i talked to on the 800 number was very hard to understand so i called Latrobe airport directly. They were very nice and actually quoted me a price cheaper than what was online. I spoke with my husband and that evening decided to go to the airport to book our flight (i had more questions about the hidden fees i heard about) They were wonderful at the airport and took the time to answer my questions. Online the prices were 87.00 each way we booked our flights for 132.00 each person round trip and they didn't charge for our guarenteed seats, so no calling the day before to get our seat assignments. There is no charge for parking at Latrobe airport either. Yes you pay for the bags but they have $9 saver club you can join that costs $59.99. This pays for itself as each person traveling with you will save $10.00 for each checked bag each way (so $20.00 savings per bag round trip) There are 8 of us plus a lap child so this will be a big savings. They do allow the stoller to be gate checked for free and diaper bag does not count as a personal item. Each person is allowed one carryon (the size of a bookbag not small suitcase). I guess we will see how they are to fly with in Sept but the people i talked to at the airport have flown with them to Myrtle beach previously and said they had no problems with them.
     
  11. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Thanks for all of the experiences. It sounds like the people at Latrobe and Detroit are better than a lot of the other airports. Looking through many reviews I saw tons for other airports, but only a couple for these two. I'll cross my fingers that the price is good for our trip!
     
  12. wezee

    wezee Am I cheating on my husband, if I have dreams abou

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    We are desperately trying to avoid Spirit for our Sept. trip, even tho we are Spirit Club members. This will be our last year as Members because.....

    1. The seats are narrower with less leg room.
    2. The check baggage limit has dropped from 50lb to 40lb.
    3. And finally, every discount email we receive says Detroit to Orlando is
    excluded!

    We have traveled many times with Spirit, out of Detroit, because of their direct flights....but am now looking to Delta at a small increase ($12RT per person).

    Beware....the cost of joining the Spirit club is not always worth it...especially if you fly out of Detroit.
     
  13. shannonstar

    shannonstar StarGirlJapp

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    It seems that if we are willing to drive a bit more (Austin) we can get Jet Blue for about the same price. The first bag and carry-on are free, so that makes it cost about 20 more than Spirit overall. I think that's going to clinch it for us. Just waiting now for the right dates to come out.
     
  14. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    I'll keep my eye on Delta out of Detroit. For $12 more it's a no-brainer.
     
  15. MAH4546

    MAH4546 DIS Veteran

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    Spirit had a pilot strike. That is absolutely nothing like what Direct Air - which isn't even an airline - is going through.

    Spirit, the "rinkydink" airline, runs what is currently considered to be the country's most profitable airline. The thought of this airline - which contimues to print money while Southwest and others are reporting losses - going bankrupt is laughable and your suggestion is beyond ridiculous.
     
  16. ReneeA

    ReneeA DIS Veteran

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    We've flown Spirit out of Detroit 4 times in the past 5 years. They do nickel & dime you - pay for seats, etc. As long as you check in right at the 24 hour mark before your flight, there are still lots of seats open and you can choose free of charge at that point.

    We've only had one real issue - last year our flight home on Labor Day was cancelled. Not only that, we were supposed to fly out at 7pm, and they kept announcing "delays" up until midnight...at that point they cancelled the flight. So we were stranded at MCO with 2 kids who were supposed to be starting their first day of school the next morning at midnight. I ended up calling a hotel closeby with shuttle service to come and get us. When DH went to the counter to get on a flight home the next day, he was told that we should show up for a flight leaving at 3pm, but they couldn't guarantee they would get us on that one. It was pretty nervewracking playing the "wait and see" with kids missing school and us missing work.

    Other than that, we've always been on time, the seats are small (but doable - none of us are large people, though), and customer service is a bit lacking...but you get what you pay for. We are normally willing to overlook a lot in order to get a great deal on airfare. Last year, we paid $560RT for 4. This year, the price is at $1300RT and we are now considering driving because I'm not paying that.
     
  17. Buzz's Buddy

    Buzz's Buddy DIS Veteran

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    I've used Spirit numerous times from Atlantic City. I personally have never had an issue with Spirit.

    Yes, you must pay for bags. Yes, you must pay for snacks and drinks. Yes, the seats are smaller.

    BUT...in MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, every single time I've used Spirit I've saved a lotof money over Southwest, US Air, etc. That and the ease of using Atlantic City's aiport over Philly or Newark makes Spirit a great choice for us.

    I've always encountered pleasant staff on the ground and in the air, but I've heard many, many complaints about their call center staff. Because of the extensive savings when I've flown, I've always been willing to accept that if I had a problem that required me calling customer service, I'd probably be out of luck.

    All things being equal, I'd fly Jet Blue everytime!:cloud9: But when I can save hundreds of dollars flying Spirit, I have no reservations about booking with them!
     
  18. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

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    Our 1st and only flight on Spirit was out of LBE last June to MYR.

    We had near 9 hour multiple plane equipment issues on the plane that was leaving from NY, another stop, to LBE, then MYR.

    Customer service in terminal was horrible, found out they had 'gifted' the one waiting area with food vouchers for snack shop located on cleared side of TSA, the other half (me lol) got squat. Wouldn't be so bad except other than a white tablecloth restaurant all they had were 2 vending machines which ran out mid afternoon.:headache: Couldn't leave to grab food or drink as people were afraid the plane would arrive in our absence. The desk/manager on duty insisted they weren't allowed to inform the 2 different flights' passengers (yes, the flight scheduled to FLL had the same equipment issues is that a coincidence or what:rolleyes:)when the replacement planes were in the air.:confused3They did keep moving back the expected arrival time every hour or so though.

    We finally got cleared for our flight, and the FLL one was cancelled as soon as we cleared security. :sad2:Felt so bad for them, many were to be cruising the next day and no flights were scheduled for another two days out of the airport.

    I wrote a certified letter to the CEO of Spirit, never received a reply, although they did accept it. I sent a second one with the same results. I did manage to contact via phone a regional manager who indicated that they clearly state they only refund the price of the ticket and rarely can you find a a seat on the next flight out during busy season. Every other airline on which i've experienced a long equipment issue has offered goodwill/vouchers, etc.

    Things happen, equipment issues naturally must be addressed, etc. but our experience was just one thing after another. IMO this airline's business model leaves much to be desired. I'm a gambling woman and realize the odds of this perfect storm of a crappy travel experience happening again is unlikely, still I won't take a chance no matter how low future fares may be out of LBE.
     
  19. FunFamily

    FunFamily Mouseketeer

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    Please give strong consideration to avoiding Spirit. We tried them twice just to be sure -- never again.

    Enjoy your time at WDW!
     
  20. debster812

    debster812 <font color=blue>DIS Earth Angel!<br><font color=0

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    This is very similar to my Spirit experience. I understand that 'stuff' happens, and that is part and parcel of flying. However, it's Spirit's overall cavalier attitude, and complete disdain for their customers that have turned me off them. We had isses in both directions of our BOS-MYR long weekend trip. We lost a total of about 15 hours for a 96 hour trip.

    I think if everything goes smoothly, and there are no weather, equipment, or crew issues, Spirit is fine for what it is. A low-cost, nickle and dime, a la carte airline. However, when things go wrong, the customer is truly on their own.
     
  21. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

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    so (sadly) true
     

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