I flew Spirit Airlines recently for a trip home to visit my family. From door to door, the trip from my apartment in LA to my sister’s house in north Dallas is about 5.5 hours. So discounting the trip times to and from the airport, Spirit Airlines was in charge of my hospitality for about 4.5 hours. 4.5 hours is not a long time, yet, somehow, Spirit Airlines makes this small chunk of your day feel like a constant internal scream-fest. Even when things are going well—you’re on time, lines aren’t long, etc.—you feel like you’ve made a horrible mistake and your internal self will not shut up about it.the office animated GIF

Spirit Airlines is the public bus of air travel. Not that all public transportation is miserable, but when you’re paying one hundred dollars or more and it feels like you’re taking the local bus-route, if you bothered to fill out an online survey or comment card, it would not say nice things about the experience. It might say thinks like, “what a rip-off it is that your airline charges for carry on bags and tries to pass it off as a ‘time-saver’ during boarding” or “how come the option of a free drink isn’t built into my fare? They must cost less than 30 cents when you buy in bulk.”

When the plane pulled away from the skybridge, the attendants presented the most unenthusiastic safety briefing mankind has ever witnessed. “Use a seatbelt, or don’t, we don’t give a fuck to be honest. Either way, live or die, you’ve already paid to be here. Suck our balls. Or don’t. Again, we don’t care.” That’s the Spirit Airlines way.

The seats are very tight, even if you’re not big. They aren’t well-padded at all, so be prepared for a numb ass. Oh and your elbows are gonna hurt too, because the stainless-steel, stubby arm rests (which you will have to rock-paper-scissors for anyway) feel like the type of accommodation someone threw together and said, “yeah, that’ll do fine.” They do not do fine. Not even a little bit.

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The plane is set up in an obvious attempt to jam as many customers on to one plane at a time. You will be charged extra to carry on a bag, not that there’s much overhead storage anyway. The staff won’t care about you either though it’s not their fault. Everyone is so seemingly miserable from the moment the step on the plane, that the staff is merely trying to survive the day. They probably catch a lot of harsh attitude from pissed of first time Spirit customers.

There’s no denying I flew round trip to Dallas for $130. That’s a great price. If I had it to do over though, I would spend the extra money on another airline that values customers more. Spirit is the fastest growing airline in America. People love the price points they push, but once you fly Spirit, your mind will probably change about “what’s really worth the money.”

Plus, the sheer amount of promo emails that flood your inbox to become a member of their frequent flyer program after you handover your email during ticket purchasing will make you regret everything just a little bit more. No—I don’t want to ever fly with you again, let alone with frequency. What would be my loyalty reward? A free soda, probably.

No thank you, Spirit. You had your chance. Discount airline or not, you make me want to hitchhike.

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