When searching for flights on sites like Kayak or Expedia and sorting by lowest price, you'll likely spot some options from Spirit Airlines. But is flying with the ultra-low-cost carrier worth it?

Spirit is headquartered out of Miramar, Florida, and they're committed to offering you the lowest possible price. It's a bare-bones ticket, and all add-ons, including seat assignments, bags, and extra legroom, will cost you. The idea is that if you cut out all the extras most airlines charge for automatically, you'll be left with an inexpensive ticket and given the option to pay only for what you need.

Spirit operates more than 500 flights every day and covers more than 60 destinations within the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean. The airline also offers a Free Spirit Mastercard, a Spirit Savers Club, and Free Spirit points. Here's what you need to know before flying.

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A Spirit Airlines Airbus A320 passenger jet taxis at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 𝟏-𝟖𝟖𝟖-𝟑𝟔𝟒-𝟎𝟎𝟔𝟐
Fare Classes
Spirit Airlines has two types of seats: standard seats and what are called "Big Front Seats." With a standard ticket, travelers are entitled to one free personal item, like a laptop bag or purse. When purchasing your seat, it's best to pay for any carry-on or checked bags you intend to bring. While you're not required to pay for your checked luggage in advance, it will help save you money if you've covered the checked bag cost before arriving at the airport. If you check bags at the check-in counter, the cost goes up.

The Big Front Seats come with more space and extra legroom — and there are no middle seats, so you're guaranteed an aisle or window. The same luggage rules (one personal item, all other bags cost extra) apply to Big Front Seat ticket holders.

While these are the only two seating classes in Spirit Airlines' cabins, there is one more fare class: Spirit Savers Club members. Generally, they benefit from lower rates on their tickets. While the Spirit Savers Club fares aren't available on every Spirit Airlines flight, the savings can be pretty sizable when you're able to cash in on these deals. Savers Club members also get discounts on checked luggage and seat selection, as well as other options like shortcut security, shortcut boarding, and Flight Flex, which allows you to reschedule your flight without being charged.

A passenger checks in for a Spirit Airlines flight at Los Angeles International Airport ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in Los Angeles, California, November 25, 2020
Flight Change and Cancellation Policies
If a passenger changes their flight — or cancels it — 60 days before their flight, they will not be charged a change or cancellation fee. If you want to cancel or change your flight between 31 and 59 days from departure days before your flight, it costs $69. Between seven and 30 days from departure, that fee goes up to $99. And finally, changes or cancellations made six days or less before your flight will incur a $119 fee.

Baggage Policies and Fees
Let's get into the nitty-gritty of Spirit Airlines baggage fees. First, you get one personal item included in the price of your ticket. It must be 18 x 14 x 8 inches or smaller. Carry-on bags cost extra and must be 22 x 18 x 10 inches or smaller. Standard checked bags, meanwhile, should weigh no more than 40 pounds, and their length should be no longer than 62 inches. Baggage that exceeds 40 pounds is considered overweight and will incur an additional charge. Spirit does not accept bags that weigh more than 100 pounds and exceed 80 linear inches. Baggage fees vary widely depending on the flight and time of purchase and can cost anywhere between $35 and $150.

Spirit Airlines reviews often encourage travelers to pay for all baggage-related expenses in advance. "Yes, they nickel pick everything and you have to pay for basically everything but if you buy your ticket online through their website and purchase everything you need in advance, there will be no issues," wrote Lily R. on TripAdvisor.𝟏-𝟖𝟖𝟖-𝟑𝟔𝟒-𝟎𝟎𝟔𝟐

Boarding Order
Travelers often assume that boarding on a budget airline is something of a free for all. Not so — there's a method to the madness. Spirit Airlines has four numbered zones, as well as pre-boarding and family boarding. As far as budget airline boarding processes go, Spirit Airlines has one of the clearest and easiest to follow. Here's the boarding line-up:

Any passenger with a disability or who might need special assistance or additional time boarding
Zone 1
Any passenger who paid for an additional carry-on bag (remember, one is included with the price of your ticket, but bringing more than one personal item costs extra)
Zone 2
Any passenger who paid for Shortcut Boarding𝟏-𝟖𝟖𝟖-𝟑𝟔𝟒-𝟎𝟎𝟔𝟐
Free Spirit passengers with silver or gold status
Any passenger with a Spirit Airlines credit card
Family Boarding
Reserved for families with small children (typically, kids ages 3 and under)
Zone 3 and Zone 4
General boarding
Spirit Airlines Airbus A319-132 takes off from Los Angeles international Airport on January 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Amenities and Entertainment
Spirit Airlines charges for all food and drink. They offer snacks and beverages for purchase using a credit or debit card. To give you a sense of the prices, a bottle of water is $4, tea is $3, cans of soda or juice are $4, and coffee is $4. Cocktail combinations (e.g., a shot of gin and a can of tonic water) are $14, and beer and wine are $9.

Spirit Airlines does not offer in-flight entertainment. However, they do offer Wi-Fi onboard most flights. The "browsing" plan starts at $2.99, and the "streaming" plan starts at $5.99. Prices vary depending on the flight duration. The airline does not offer amenity kits, pillows, blankets, or outlets, so pack accordingly and charge your devices before you board.

Seats and Legroom
Spirit Airlines' standard economy seats have 28 inches of seat pitch. Most airlines' economy class seats have 30 inches of seat pitch. Spirit Airlines' standard seats have tiny tray tables — you can't fit a laptop on them. However, Spirit's Big Front Seats guarantee an additional six inches of legroom. The Big Front Seats come with 36 inches of pitch, and the width of the superior leather seats is 18.5 inches.

Standard tickets do not allow you to select your seat. Instead, Spirit Airlines will randomly assign you a seat. That means you may not get to sit with everyone in your travel party. If you'd like to choose where you sit, you must pay extra. Alternatively, you can purchase a Big Front Seat ticket, which allows you to choose your seat.

Spirit Airlines Credit Cards and Status
Spirit Airlines has two co-branded credit cards: Free Spirit Travel More World Elite Mastercard and Free Spirit Travel Mastercard. The elite card waives the annual fee for the first year, and then the fee goes up to $79 a year. The Free Spirit Travel Mastercard has no annual fee. These cards come with a 25 percent rebate on in-flight food and beverage purchased on Spirit Airlines, more opportunities to accrue Free Spirit points, and Zone 2 boarding, among other perks.

Spirit Airlines also runs the Spirit Savers Club (formerly the $9 Fare Club). Savers Club members enjoy deals like reduced fares on certain flights, discounts on additional carry-on bags for their entire party, and reduced prices on seat selection for their travel group. The Savers Club has plenty of restrictions — your party cannot be more than eight people, for example — and, according to Spirit Airlines reviews, people aren't always convinced it's a good deal.

"Beware of their so-called 'super saver club' - you don't really save and the $64 charge for it renews every year despite your attempt to cancel. Cancel online and later check to see that they've done so. Trying to do it at the airport gate is a fool's errand," said Thomas S. on TripAdvisor.

Finally, you can accrue points to earn elite status on Spirit Airlines. For every dollar spent on Spirit Airlines tickets and offerings (think: ancillary fees for baggage, boarding, food, etc.), you earn 1 Status Qualifying Point (SQP). To achieve Free Spirit Silver Status, you need 2,000 SQPs. To reach Spirit Gold Status, you need 5,000 SQPs. Silver and gold status get travelers perks like early boarding and advanced seat selection.