I was heading up to Chicago for a spotting trip and found Spirit Airlines offered a cheap and convenient flight. Having never tried a US low-cost carrier, I booked it for 53 dollars. I also paid $16 for set selection. I highly recommend that if you want a good seat.
I arrived to LaGuardia (LGA) at 06:30 for my 09:57 flight to Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Spirit had sent out an email a few days earlier advising I arrive 3 and a half hours early due to supposedly long lines at the LaGuardia Airport TSA checkpoints. Since I was only carrying a little backpack on board I headed straight for security. (Spirt charges $10 for check in at the airport, so be sure to check in online as well.) What I found shocking was the fact that no shoes needed to be removed, no devices taken out of bags, and just a metal detector was used for scanning. I was a little disappointed that Spirit did not take in to consideration the fact that many people don’t check bags nor check in at the airport before sending out their email.
Anyway, I then explored LGA’s refurbished terminal with new restaurants featuring the iPads that Newark introduced a few years back. These are convenient if you’d like to pay using airline points.
\Upon arriving at the gate, I was informed that an upgrade to Spirit’s “Big Front Seats” was available for $19 since I had already paid for seat selection. I immediately purchased seat 2A and was given a new boarding pass. Boarding commenced at 9:15. Spirit boards by zone; I was in zone 2 and boarded at around 9:20. Upon boarding, I spotted my plane for the flight, N679NK, a brand new Airbus A321-231 delivered to Spirit in October of 2017. The cabin was very clean and the seat was extremely spacious, with acceptable legroom. We pushed back at 9:54 and taxied out to runway 13 for departure. We waited in line for about 20 minutes due to construction making only one runway available for takeoffs and landings. We soon powered out of LaGuardia and climbed to 32,000 feet. Drinks were available for purchase: 3 dollars for a can of soda or juice. Alcoholic beverages and snacks were also available for a larger price.
The crew was absolutely fantastic. They were friendly and made countless jokes about Spirit Airlines while still being professional. Before our descent, the male FA held a session of “inflight yoga.” This was very funny and everyone participated, and this was a highlight.
We descended into sunny Chicago and touched down 15 minutes early. The one problem with ORD is that it’s massive. We had to taxi for about 15 minutes due to the fact that we landed on a runway on the south end of the airport. We arrived at our gate and de-planed 10 minutes early. Overall, I’d definitely recommend Spirit’s Big Front Seats. They are easily worth the money, and pretty just as good as domestic business class on legacy carriers for just half the price or less. Spirit is a fantastic airline. If you just obey the rules that they go by, you will have an amazing experience, I promise!
All images by the author