Spirit caters to a more budget-conscious group, but I've had far fewer problems with them per flight than any other airline I've flown in the last decade. Under the new CEO, Spirit is also on the up-swing, second only to Delta in on-time performance last year.
For Disney trips, the amount of time on the airplane is such a small percentage of the overall vacation time, I can't justify paying what is sometimes double or triple the fair just to say we were on a higher-class airline getting the same or less quality of a product.
Ken P said:
Spirit caters to a more budget-conscious group, but I've had far fewer problems with them per flight than any other airline I've flown in the last decade.
I fly around 75,000 miles a year (mostly for business) and with PHL being my home airport, all of my miles and status are with AA. I literally just got home last night from a quick long weekend WDW/Tampa spring training trip and ended up flying Spirit for the first time in over a decade. Even after paying the $55 for the "Big Front Seat" and whatever I paid for a carry-on bag, it was still less than 1/3 the cost of an AA ticket for a similar itinerary (which is why I bit the bullet, swallowed my pride and flew Spirit).
To be perfectly honest, it was a great experience and the flight crews on both flights were hands down friendlier, more engaging and more helpful than 95% of the flights I take with AA. But you are right, it is much more of a "leisure" crowd that I was flying with; tons more kids and tons of non-frequent travelers. You really notice it when you go through TSA. But once my ego got over that, it was one of the best flight experiences I have had in a really long time.
He's in Texas, so he's 10 hours away and he said the same thing, it's probably cheaper and easier to drive.
Man, I don't know about that. I booked roundtrip flights on Southwest from Dallas to Orlando in June for less than $250 each. Cheaper to drive, yes, but not by enough to make it worth it. There's only 3 of us, so I have a little advantage there, but I would still be looking at $200-250 for gas and $100 a night each way for a hotel. That's not enough savings to make it worth it for me. It's definitely not easier to drive for me. 15-18 hours at best, depending on which part of Texas you're driving from - northern route you contend with non-freeway driving to get south through Mississippi, southern route you risk traffic from Lafayette to New Orleans in Louisiana, both you're almost certain to hit traffic going through Mobile. You can do that in one shot, but that leaves me too exhausted on either end to function. Flying Southwest and using Magical Express, I check my bags at the airport for free and never see them until I hit my room when we get there. Door-to-door from my house to the hotel is 5 hours at worst and I can be at a park 30 minutes after that if everything falls into place. I can't save enough money by driving to beat that kind of convenience.
We flew Spirit for the first time when we went to Fort Myers earlier this month. Even with checked bag and picking our seats, it was 1/3 the cost of any another airline, including Southwest. Everything was on-time and the crew was fine, no problem at all. I did notice at both Pitt and Ft Myers, they had the longest check-in line for baggage, way longer, but they were very efficient at moving the line. I wouldn't hesitate to fly with them again. If it wasn't for the fact that it was spring break, flights would have probably been even cheaper. I was even given a tip that if you go to the airport and make your reservations there, you avoid the online booking fee.
We usually drive when we go to Orlando because we go for a couple weeks and stay at my brother-in-laws. It's just easier to have our own car and my father-in-law refuses to fly. We leave late afternoon and drive straight through getting in around 7ish in the morning. We were going to drive to Fort Myers but after doing that in December, my husband didn't want to do it again so I found flights. Honestly, I'd much rather fly. You're there in a couple hours and you can go about your day. When you drive you don't want to do anything because you've been in a car for 16 hours.
If you are looking to save on airfare, and you are flying solo or with a spouse look into a rewards card. I rack up enough points where I haven't paid for a flight since 2011. I generally cash in one or two flights per year. If you are flying an entire pack then it makes it a bit more difficult unless you spend more $$$ per year.
Hanging n' Banging said:
I fly around 75,000 miles a year (mostly for business) and with PHL being my home airport, all of my miles and status are with AA.
My only experience with AA was a 14-hour trip from hell coming back from Salt Lake City. American canceled several other flights that morning out of SLC with dubious reasons, so we were just happy to be getting out of there. With a few hundred extra passengers in the terminal, they had offered me a voucher if I'd give up my seat on the puddle jumper to O'Hare, but the alternative they offered was SLC -> Los Angeles -> Miami -> Detroit! Uhm, no thanks.
We made it to O'Hare only a little bit late, had just enough time with a scheduled layover to get some food, then boarded another puddle jumper where we sat for an hour. While we were on that plane and still at the gate, they loaded up another AA flight to Detroit and it departed. In a first (and probably only) time for everything, the flight attendant did a beverage service with free alcohol.
Yep, the door never closed, the plane never backed away from the gate, and they ran a beverage service. After an hour we deplaned back into the terminal and waited for another aircraft to show up. The arrangement seemed mighty conspicuous that the length of time we sat on the plane matched the length of time the flight would have taken, then the crew declared their shift done and left.
Between the 2 planes at O'Hare, one had 1-2 seating and the other 2-2. The one we finally flew out on had first or business class seating in the first couple rows, so they seriously re-issued boarding passes for every passenger to move us back 2 rows because none of us passengers on that flight had AA status to get an upgrade.
I was at O'Hare so long Amtrak would have gotten me home hours sooner.
Bringing up price/day/person again... If you think the parks are getting expensive, you should see the cruise line. We just booked the 5-night out of Canaveral with two stops at Castaway Cay (best beach days ever), and it went up 20% in one year. That hurts a little. It works out to $340/person/night, which pushes even my boundaries. If people weren't spending that much for two-hour concerts and Broadway shows, I would find that nuts.
Damn. Disney cruises are nice but I'm not sure I could ever bring myself to pay that for one of their cruises. In a little under 2 weeks I leave for vacation on the Oasis of the Seas for 7 nights. With taxes and fees the price came out to $1,200 per person for a superior balcony cabin. Looking forward to finally getting away from work and locking up the cellphone for a week.
Yikes. This is a boat-load of money. I'm doing my first cruise on Symphony of the Seas in the Mediterranean in June. Even with the room that's ocean facing and a balcony, the 7 night cruise is $1700 a person or $240 a night. And I get to knock off a handful of cities and sights off my bucket list.
OK, if we're comparing cruise prices... got a decent deal on NCL last month, so we booked a cruise with the kids for the first time. Wish me luck.
7 days western Caribbean, 4 people, large balcony, including taxes, gratuities, unlimited beverage package, $200 on board credit, and trip insurance. $190/person/night.
Plus I booked with ebates and am getting 14% cash back, so it'll end up being in the 160s per night after that.
This is also the first time we booked so far in advance. Booked it in February for a November/December trip. Not sure that I like all this waiting.
Speaking of cruises, I’m currently at the Yacht Club - and I’ve learned a very valuable, yet expensive lesson.
This, for us, is THE way to do Disney. You’re right in the middle of the action, so you don’t have to always be in the action. We have been doing a park in the morning, getting back here about 3:00, hitting the pool for a few hours, then heading out to dinner. A couple of nights now, we’ve closed out a park after dinner before heading back. This may be spring break, but we have done and seen so much more than on previous trips because of how close we are, and how we can get refreshed before tackling more crowds.
The proximity, combined with the amenities and level of service hit the nail on the head, for us.
Is there still a microbrewery on the Boardwalk? I remember going there about 10 years ago and them having decent beers... I'm more of a snob now, so I wonder how it'd hold up.
It’s still there. We haven’t gone in yet, but we haven’t been doing as much beer lately. We’ve been taking advantage of all the signature cocktails around this place.
Also, I’ve become really strange about my beer, too. I’ve become less of a snob, but more of a snob at the same time. For example, I love me a good macro Lager/Pilsner when it’s hot and I’m looking to cool off, but I stopped chasing as many of the “craft” brews that I was drinking just for the sake or trying them. I’m really picky about what craft beers I drink, because some of them are just... bad beers disguised by bitterness.
The place is Big River Grill and as a fan of craft beer I was not impressed with the place. I've been twice (2nd time only because a friend insisted we go there) and each time I was disappointed. I have heard good things about the craft beer bar at Hollywood Studios though but have yet to check it out.
Beach/Yacht Club is the only way to do Disney without kids, as far as I'm concerned. That was our first kid-free vacation and it was amazing (didn't know at the time I'd live next door in eight months). That location means no transport to half the parks and Epcot's best food and beverage options. And the pool is one of the best (though not open late enough).Last edited by Jeff, Wednesday, April 4, 2018 12:54 PM
Pool is open until 11 right now, so that’s better than 9 - however, I would have loved to have come back after magic hours last night to soak in the hot tub at midnight.
This is the best Disney stay I’ve ever had, without question. Even with the crowds, it’s been amazing so far.
What is this “kid free vacation” you speak of? I’m lucky to get a “kid free DAY” once a year to go to CoasterMania!
But then again, what do I know?
No wonder that's your favorite day ;)
What are these kids you speak of?
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
So many concurrent Disney cost discussions.
I'm just gonna drop this one here:
Yet another perspective.
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