I took my first flight on Spirit Airlines on Monday, traveling from Chicago to New York on one of the carrier’s most competitive routes to see how the infamous carrier maintains a no-frills business model during a pandemic.
Spirit isn’t blocking middle seats but is requiring face coverings to fly and enhancing cleaning practices to ensure peace of mind when it comes to health and safety.
The flight was uneventful but the airline surprised me with a friendly and attentive cabin crew, as well as by keeping its in-flight service while others are abandoning it.
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In all my years of flying, I’ve managed to avoid flying on Spirit Airlines, until now.
Spirit is arguably America’s most loved to hate airline and after just one flight, it’s clear why passengers might not enjoy the experience. Cramped seats, no in-flight entertainment, and a tired-looking plane all contributed to a lackluster flight.
But with the airline offering bargain-basement deals like $27 round-trip between New York and most major cities in Florida and $50 round-trip between New York and Los Angeles, it’s also no secret why passengers keep coming back.
Despite it’s less sterling reputation, however, Spirit isn’t taking pandemic flying lightly with a safety policy comparable to its full-fare competitors. Middle seats aren’t being blocked on its aircraft but Spirit has stepped up with important safety measures like requiring face coverings and installing safety features at airports.
I flew on Spirit to see just how well its low-cost business model of base fares can co-exist with the hyper-safe environment that the pandemic has inflicted. My journey took me from Chicago to New York on the carrier’s Airbus A320 aircraft.
Here’s what I found on my first-ever flight on Spirit Airlines, during a pandemic.
SEE ALSO: I flew on Southwest Airlines during the pandemic and came away impressed by how well the largest low-cost US airline handled social distancing
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I was aware of the airline’s reputation – of course – but having flown ultra-low-cost airlines in the past with success, I was ready to give this new to me airline a shot with an open mind.
I decided to take it easy for my first flight on Spirit, with a quick, one-flight journey from Chicago to New York.
Spirit uses Terminal 3 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and despite multiple afternoon departures, the check-in area was desolate.
I was hit with the first of many potential fees at booking when the airline told me about the $10 charge to print a boarding pass at the airport ticket counter. Using the kiosk to print one or retrieving one via the mobile app, however, is free of charge.
Unlike most airlines I’ve flown on other trips during the pandemic, Spirit wasn’t blocking any kiosks to ensure distancing.
But all the ticket counters did have plexiglass partitions separating the agents from passengers for an extra layer of protection.
The welcome screen for each …read more
Source:: Business Insider