How To Save $40 On Every Round-trip Spirit Airlines Flight

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Save $40 On Every Spirit Airlines Flight

Save $40 On Every Spirit Airlines Flight With This Trick

Last week in my article, 5 tips for flying Spirit Airlines, I alluded to a trick that can save $40 on every Spirit Airlines flight.  I actually had a chance to test it out in the wild a few days later and I wanted to share my experience.

RELATED: I Flew Spirit Airlines & Survived!  My likes, dislikes, and observations.

How To Save $40 On Every Spirit Airlines Flight

The trick I am talking about is purchasing your Spirit Airlines ticket at the airport from the Spirit desk.  Spirit charges a passenger usage charge, $19.99 per flight.  That is $39.98 per roundtrip flight.  Yes they charge it for each way even if you book it as a round trip.

The trick is to purchase it at the airport counter and then they waive this fee.  Don’t ask me why that is but it is a nice little trick that can save you money on already cheap flights.  If you are flying a family of 4 to Orlando etc. that is a savings $159.92!

Save $40 On Every Spirit Airlines Flight

My Experience Purchasing A Spirit Airlines Ticket In The Airport

My mother needed a last minute, one way ticket from Atlanta to Detroit.  I checked all of the usual places and Southwest was the cheapest out there at 9,000 points.  I decided to check Google Flights as well and saw that Spirit had a direct flight for $67.19.  That was a much better deal than using 9,000 RR points (worth around $135).

I had a flight to Denver the following day so I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to test this trick out.  I got to the airport a little earlier than normal and headed to the Spirit counter.  To my surprise there were only a few people in line.  I had gotten lucky because Spirit didn’t have a lot of flight activity at that time.  After waiting for a few minutes I was called up to the desk.

I gave the agent the departing airport, destination airport, and preferred flight time.  She punched it in her computer and came back with a price of $47.20.  She then asked for the travelers name and birth date.  After about 5 minutes of her inputting everything I was on my way with my printed ticket.  I also received an email confirmation.

Save $40 On Every Spirit Airlines Flight


This isn’t a trick that will work for everyone since not everyone is near their airport.  But if you time it right, while you are already at or near the airport etc., then you can save $40 on every Spirit Airlines flight.  If I was booking a roundtrip flight for my family I would make a special trip to the airport to save the $159.92.  An hour and a half of my time all in is worth $160 to me.

Have you ever used this trick when flying Spirit Airlines?  Is it something you may try in the future?

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I did try this out a couple of years back and saved $80 on 2 two way tickets. But it has one drawback atleast in my case. I asked the agent for two carryons to be added and she said it is expensive if she adds it at the desk and suggested I add it online. The problem there is Spirit considered it as adding a bag after initial booking and charged maybe $10 more per bag. Did pay 2 hr parking at airport. Also the gas to airport. Even after all this hassles it was pretty reasonable way to save at least $50 on a boring evening.

    • That is true the luggage does get a little more expensive which is a shame. I usually fly with a backpack when flying Spirit but that is something to consider when deciding whether or not to do it.

  2. Waiving the PUC for airport purchases means it is an optional fee, not a mandatory charge, and thus not subject to the 7.5% federal excise tax on airline tickets. Clearly Spirit wants to collect the fee but minimize the “advertised fare” which is why they make it difficult to take advantage of. It is something that has been reported widely by other travel bloggers and publications.

    Also one bit of feedback – in your first sentence you should have said you “alluded” to a trick, not “eluded”.

  3. There was a blogpost on boarding area a few weeks ago of a nightmarish attempt to book a ticket at the airport – from long lines to incompetent agents. So ymmv i guess

  4. I have used this “trick” and yes, it works great. Like you, I found no line at the ticket counter and quick, friendly service. There are never a lot of people at the Spirit counter because their agents offer virtually no services (part of the airlines deliberate chip-on-the-shoulder persona). And I don’t think very many people take advantage of this one service that they DO offer at the airport because the charge is buried so deeply in their web page that almost nobody knows about it.

    There is no question in my mind that Spirit intends this charge to be deceptive. It is INCLUDED in what they call their “totally unbundled … Bare Fare” under the cryptic name “Passenger Usage Fee” (right after the “Unintended Consequences of DOT Regulation Fee,” which is a nonsensical “fee” that you can’t get out of paying). If you click through you find out that they are charging you for the “service” of automated online booking, which obviously costs the airline more than in-person booking. They are just betting that almost nobody actually does it and it lets them get away with another bogus charge. Spirit Airlines as a company are dicks. However, the agents on the ground seem to be perfectly pleasant.

    • I agree that Spirit airlines employees I have dealt with have all been great…flight attendants and desk employees. I think the culture has been changing some over the last few years but they still play their games.

  5. Interesting.
    Do other airlines charge extras for booking online? If so, can we goto the counter and do the same thing?


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