The trip of a lifetime to Austin
More in this series:
- Summary: The trip of a lifetime to Austin
- I have finally achieved Hyatt Globalist Lifetime Status!
- Spirit Airlines: 9 Tips for a Great Experience
- Review: Spirit Airlines A321 Large Front Seats (FLL-AUS)
- Rating: Thompson Hotel Austin
- Southwest Airlines' Unique Boarding Process Explained
- Review: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-800 (AUS-FLL)
I recentlySpent a weekend in Austin, I decided to take an outbound flight with Spirit Airlines. While Spirit Airlines is known for its simplicity, I'm mostly a big fan of the airlineIf you start your journey the right way.
In this article, I want to review Spirit Airlines' Airbus A321 offerings, including the large front seats I booked. Spirit Airlines offers all-round comfort, including spacious front seats, high-speed Wi-Fi and a very friendly crew.
In this article:
How do I book a Spirit Airlines flight
Spirit Airlines is an ultra-low-cost airline, which means the airline charges extra for almost everything. My ticket was $87.14 including taxes (maybe that's it).It will be cheaper if I book at the airport), and I have booked the following flights:
12/08 NK517 Fort Lauderdale to Austin, departs at 1:15pm, arrives at 3:21pm
Plus, I paid $120 to sit in the big front seat. Although the reward is to book the big front seatA significant increaseAs time goes by, I think it's still reasonably priced, especially considering I spent 3.5+ hours in my seat.
In addition, Spirit generally charges both carry-on and checked baggage fees. However, I have Spirit Airlines Gold status (Free Spirit programme).Provide status matching challenges), so I get a full-size carry-on bag for free, and even a checked bag. So I don't have to pay any extra.
Checking in at Spirit Airlines
My 1:15pm flight from Fort Lauderdale to Austin was scheduled to board at 12:30am, so I got to the airport by 12:00pm. I looked it up online and found Spirit's app to be surprisingly good. Spirit Airlines flies from FLL's Terminal 4, which is probably the best terminal at the airport.
My flight departs from gate G4 at the end of the terminal. Boarding begins on time, and passengers in Zone 1 are invited to board first (including those who paid extra for carry-on luggage).
Spirit Airlines A321 cabin and seats
My flight was an Airbus A321, registration N664NK, a jet that is almost 7 years old. It's worth noting that the plane I was flying had Spirit's oldest interior - AirlineInstallation of new seats started in 2019, and continue planningFrom early 2023, an all-new interior will be introduced again. Overall, the new seats appear to be an improvement over the old ones.
Spirit's Airbus A321 has a total of 228 seats. That includes eight large front seats and 220 standard seats.
First, let's talk about the main part of the cabin. As you'd expect on a narrow-body jet, standard economy seats are arranged in a 3-3 configuration. Seat pitches on Spirit Airlines start at 28 inches, which is superficially narrow.
While I haven't had a chance to actually sit in these seats, can I say that the legroom looks pretty good? This is especially true when you consider that the seat cannot recline, so no one can further intrude on your space.
Interestingly, instead of large tray tables for standard seating, there are much smaller tables than you can usually find. Given the limited selection, this shouldn't be an issue with food and drink. However, it's not ideal if you're working on a laptop or want to watch entertainment on a personal device.
Large front seats sit at the front of the cabin - there are eight of these in total, in a 2-2 layout.
The spacious front seats are very similar to first class seats on other US airlines. The seats have a seat pitch of 36 inches and feel very roomy.
I was assigned seat 1A, the window seat in front (it was the only seat available when I booked).
The seat has a headrest to make lying down more comfortable. I would like to point out that the seats are not as well padded as domestic first class due to their thinness.
Unlike the rest of the cabin, the roomy front seats feature large storage tables that are sure to come in handy, especially if you want to work on your laptop.
In addition to the tray table, there is a center console that can be used to place drinks or personal items.
Similar to the main cabin, the Spirit's large front seats don't recline (or, as the Spirit likes to say, they do).
The overhead console has individual vents and reading lights.
Note that there are no power outlets on Spirit Airlines aircraft, including the large front seats.
Since this is an old-fashioned cabin, the overhead lockers are not like the large lockers found on many newer Airbus jets. That should change over time, though honestly, it's not a problem with the Spirit since not many people carry it with them.
All in all, I found the Spirit Big Front Seat to be a comfortable way to fly. The standard economy seats don't look as bad as the 28-inch seat pitch might suggest, either.
Spirit Airlines leaves Fort Lauderdale
The boarding process was efficient but took a considerable amount of time as one would expect a full flight with more than 220 passengers. The crew was very friendly upon boarding, greeting every passenger with a big smile and even inviting the kids to tour the cockpit.
As longtime OMAAT readers know,I really like the wonderful boarding music, Spirit Airlines plays a really nice, soothing song on board. 13:10 The main doors closed and the captain welcomed us on board and informed us that the flight time would be 2 hours and 33 minutes and the cruise altitude would be 36,000 feet.
They were then warmly welcomed on board by one of the flight attendants, who described herself as "the best hostess ever". Haha I love the way she went on to declare: "While safety is our priority, service is our passion." What a great attitude. Moments later, a manual safety demonstration took place.
We were pushed back from the gate just after 1:10pm.
Then at 1.15pm we started the taxi and had a fairly short drive to runway 10R. There we had to wait a few minutes while a Spirit A321 bound for Houston took off and another jet landed.
At 1:25pm, we were approved. As always, the views were excellent as we flew east across the Atlantic and then made a sharp turn.
About 20 minutes after takeoff, the seat belt light went off.
High-speed WiFi by Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines is doing a great jobIntroduction to Wi-FiBoth the A320 and A321 are now equipped with Thales FlytLIVE WiFi. There's even a sticker about it on the front door and a brochure on the back of my seat.
Connecting to Spirit's WiFi system is easy.
Spirit Airlines WiFi is reasonably priced, ranging from $3.99 to $11.99 per flight for browsing and $6.99 to $14.99 for streaming. On this flight, the Browse Pass will cost $6.99, while the Stream Pass will cost $9.99.
Interestingly, even though Spirit charges for WiFi, you still need to watch an ad before accessing WiFi. I didn't expect much from Spirit. 😉
On the positive side, the wifi speed is very good. It worked consistently at high speed throughout the flight (unlike my return flight in the southwest where it didn't work).
Spirit Airlines Food and Beverage Options
Spirit Airlines charges extra for all food and drinks (except sundaes, which I think might be a DIY way to enjoy the free water). The full menu is below.
As you can see, you can choose items individually or buy them as a bundle. Also note that Spirit Airlines Gold members receive free soft drinks and snacks. You can choose any item that bears the Free Spirit ("S") logo.
For my free choice, I ordered a Diet Coke and some pretzels. I also decided to order a cheese tray just to grab one for the group and share the highest quality dining experience at Spirit. 😉
Cheese tray with sharp cheddar, smoked Dutch cheese, American cheese, crackers, dried apples and cranberries. Interestingly, the spirit seems to be on saleYou'll find the same cheese board at Frontier.
I was surprised when I mentioned to the flight attendant that I was a Gold member (reimbursed for food and beverages) and he said, "Thanks for the business, I don't think I've ever done any of these things before" (referring to Elite members enter the giveaway into the tablet). I guess Spirit doesn't have that many elite members, hehe.
Spirit Airlines A321-Toilet
Spirit only has three toilets in its A321, which isn't a particularly good ratio. One at the front of the cabin and two at the rear. Despite the limited number of toilets, the queues to use the front toilets were not consistent. I think people wouldn't have to go to the bathroom as often if food and drink were for purchase only.
On the positive side, the bathrooms are fairly clean and people seem to have pretty good bathroom etiquette (Unlike my Frontier flight some time ago).
spirit airline service
The five Spirit Airlines flight attendants on this flight were, frankly, very professional. I generally found Spirit to have great staff and this flight was no exception.I wrote about this in more detail in another post, but they are professional, fun, entertaining and great ambassadors for the airline. If only the average traditional airline crew could be as good as these five...
Spirit Airlines arrives in Austin
After a little over two hours from Fort Lauderdale, we began our descent to Austin. After about five minutes, the seat belt sign comes on. Most of the descent was smooth, although we experienced some turbulence at the end of the approach as we passed through thick cloud cover.
We landed in Austin at 2:55pm. From there it took us about a 5 minute taxi ride to our arrival gate and another 5 minutes for the gate to open, so we were still a little earlier than scheduled.
the bottom line
My flights with Spirit Airlines have been excellent and I would not hesitate to fly with this airline again. Ultra-low-cost airlines bring valuable competition to the market, and Spirit Airlines is my favorite of these airlines. I love that the Spirit has high-speed WiFi, big front seats, and a great frequent flyer program. I also had great crew on this flight and it always makes the flight better - it's great to be around people who love what they do.
While as a Miami resident I still prefer to fly American Airlines from Miami, I would happily fly Spirit again if the schedule or route is the best option.
How was your experience driving the Spirit Big Front Seat?
Our BIG FRONT SEATs are larger seats, for those who prefer more space, in the front of the plane. With a 36" pitch and 18.5" width - a full 6" of additional legroom compared to our standard Deluxe Leather seats - you'll be flying in comfort when you choose our BIG FRONT SEAT.Does Spirit big front seat include baggage? ›
Unlike some seat upgrades like JetBlue's Even More Space seats, Spirit's Big Front Seats do not come with an additional baggage allowance. Even if you book a Big Front Seat, the only free bag you get is a personal item that may not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches.How much to bid on big front seat Spirit? ›
Spirit advertises a price range of $12 to $250 to select a Big Front Seat. In practice, we typically see a range between $50 and $150, with many popular routes charging $100 or more per flight segment for the Big Front Seat. As a general rule with Spirit, seat assignment fees are nonrefundable.Where is the best place to sit on a Spirit flight? ›
These seats located at the front of the plane are larger and more comfortable than economy class seats. They boast a 36-inch pitch (plus curved seatbacks to offer more room for your knees) and an 18.5-inch width, which means you can enjoy 6 more inches of legroom than a standard seat.Can plus size people fly Spirit? ›
Spirit Airlines offers the option of their Big Front Seat™. The Big Front Seat™ are in the front of Spirit aircrafts and offer an additional 6 inches of legroom along with a seat width of 18.5 inches and a pitch of 36 inches.How tight are Spirit Airlines seats? ›
But the carrier doesn't plan on actually increasing seat pitch, which is the tightest in the industry at 28 inches.Do Spirit big seats have chargers? ›
There are no charging outlets in the seat. There is no in-flight entertainment or Wi-Fi. There is no recline on the seats, even up front.Does Spirit Airlines have a weight limit for passengers? ›
Spirit Airlines' (NK) standard checked / hold baggage policy details follow: 2 bags standard, up to 5 bags maximum (restrictions exist on international travel – check Spirit's site for details) Maximum dimensions: 62 inches or 157 centimeters (length + width + height) Maximum weight: 40 pounds or 18 kilograms.What size chairs does Spirit Airlines have? ›
In general, dimensions are as follows: Big Front Seats — 36-inch pitch, 18.5-inch width. Standard economy seats — 28-inch pitch, 17.75-inch width.Where is the bumpiest place to sit on a plane? ›
Seats at the back of the plane tend to be bumpier, and sitting towards the back also means you're one of the last passengers to get off the plane after landing. Similarly, the bulkheads at the front of the cabin are where families with babies and young children sit.
Spirit assigns random seats to its passengers during check-in. To choose a seat you want, you have to pay for seat assignments starting at $5. You can also pick what's known as a Big Front Seat, which is essentially a first-class-style seat with fewer perks.How wide are seats on Spirit Airlines? ›
Big Front Seats — 36-inch pitch, 18.5-inch width. Standard economy seats — 28-inch pitch, 17.75-inch width.How big is the seat in front of you on a plane? ›
The average dimensions of an airline seat are 17-18 inches wide, 29-30 inches long, and the back of the seat is typically between 28-32 inches tall. The under seat dimensions for a Boeing 737-800 are as follows: width 17.2 inches, depth 16.1 inches, and height 6.5 inches.What is the pitch and width of Spirit Airlines seats? ›
|Seat Maps||Pitch & Width||Power|
|Airbus A319-100 (319)||28-34" - 17.75"||None|
|Airbus A320-200 (320) Layout 1||36" - 20"||None|
|Airbus A320-200 (320) Layout 1||28-34" - 17.75"||None|
|Airbus A320-200 (320) Layout 2||28-34" - 17.75"||None|