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I hate to say it, but I feel free! Liberated!
A couple of years ago I got the Spirit MasterCard. With relatives on the other side of the country, flying Spirit has appealed to us at times.
The fares can be incredibly cheap. So if you can stuff all you need in a bag that fits under the seat in front of you, you're good to go..
If not, you have to pay for a carry on bag, pay for your checked bags, pay for every extra. So it can add up quickly and no longer be cheap.
But if you are flexible and don't need any frills then it can be a great option.
Arnold Palmer Airport
Spirit flies out of Arnold Palmer airport ( a small, regional airport) in Latrobe, PA which is a nice place to go.
Parking is free, there's a friendly shuttle to pick you and your bags up and drop you off at the door, going through security takes just a few minutes, and there's an Italian restaurant to eat at when you land or before you take off. Win!!
In Flight Offer
The in flight offer of bonus miles on the spirit card for signing up was hard to pass up with the idea that we may be making last minute trips more frequently. Later, I signed up for the $9 fare club which gives you access to cheaper fares and cheaper purchasing of carry-on and checked bags.
Always Cancel the $9 Fare Club EACH YEAR!
Don't be stupid like me. Write down the date to cancel this club and make sure you cancel it!!!
The first year costs $59.95. If you are actually checking bags this can be a savings and if you fly often an even better savings. Having the Spirit Card gives you better value for the miles that you have, and having the $9 fare club gives you even more discounts on the cost of flights at times and how many miles you need to redeem for a flight. Remember, the MasterCard and the Fare Club are two different things.
Year 1: $59.95.
Year 2+: $69.95
Yes, that's right. If you want to stay a member, the annual price goes up $10 to $69.95!!!!
So even if you want to stay a member, it's better to cancel your membership close to the end of it then sign up again when you book your next flight.
Trial Membership of $9 Fare Club
There is a trial membership of the club that works out to be two months for $19.95. If you don't fly Spirit often, but being a member will save you more than $20 when booking your fare, then this could be a smart way to do it.
However, CANCEL IT ASAP!
The trial membership, of course, will automatically renew into the full membership at the higher rate of $69.95.
Refunds Are Unheard Of! But I Got One!?
Last year I was so irritated when I missed the deadline to cancel this membership. I called the card, serviced by Bank of America and they would not dispute the transaction. I called Spirit and they said it is absolutely not refundable because it is all explained in the fine print. This is true. Still, it's irritating to be charged for something you don't use or benefit from. At least if a monthly subscription box charge goes through because you forgot to cancel or skip, you actually get a product in exchange for your money. In this case, you have nothing tangible to show. So all last year I didn't use my Spirit card once, and I didn't use the fare club. Not out of spite or irritation, but just because my travels did not make Spirit an option or logical choice.
So this year I had the calendar reminder set up to cancel. I finally canceled and was so excited! Turns out, the fee still showed up on the bill. I couldn't cancel the card now, because it showed a balance.
I dreaded to call Spirit back, but I did. I talked to someone very quickly, and to my shock she refunded the fee, saying "I see that you didn't use the fare club at all in the last year, so I will process a refund". I couldn't believe it. I was prepared to hang up the phone irritated, defeated, and nearly in tears (dramatic much?) over another year of being a sucker, but here I left victorious!
Canceling the Spirit MasterCard
After leaving a few days for that to process, I went ahead and called Bank of America this morning to cancel. I kid you not, automated answering included, the call was less than four minutes!
Hooray, I'm free!!!!
Would I Ever Bother With The Spirit MasterCard, Spirit Airlines, or the $9 Fare Club Again?
Absolutely. hahahahaha. Crazy, right?
But IF I do, now I am armed with the power of knowledge. Instead of waiting till the last possible minute to cancel the Fare Club trying to make it's cost as "worthwhile" as possible, I will cancel it well in advance. In fact, I may only do the trial rate if I only fly Spirit once a year and it if the fare club will save me more than $20. I'll just cancel it STAT.
Bank of America, throughout, was pretty good. Especially this last time, I found their CSR to be nice, friendly, helpful, efficient. (Although the last girl, I think I woke her up - haha! But it's Monday soooo total pass ;-x )
Spirit can be a pain in the butt. It's not for the faint of heart. If you are a minimalist packing traveler who needs cheap fares, though, it can be great. I mean, literally they had fares from PA to FL for $23.10 one way recently. Incredible!!
And for our location, the free parking is a huge plus.
Use Spirit Airlines and their $9 Fare Club at your own risk. There are a lot of strings attached, but if you know where they are at, you'll be able to prevent them from pulling extra cash out of your wallet. tee hee.
Do you have nightmare stories with Spirit or their $9 Fare Club or do you recommend them/use them regularly? Or do you have any extra tips for someone who may consider using Spirit? We'd love to hear them!
Happy Monday Everyone!
originally posted 3/28/16
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