Slumming it: I’m flying Spirit! Yeaaaahhhhhh (and it turns out you can book with Chase points)

Well, shit, I am going to Houston this weekend to go swelter in 100 degree weather and 100% humidity. But I’m meeting up with other travel peeps, so that should be fun.

Anyway, the last minute prices are vomitricious. Getting back wasn’t bad — I got a United Saver award for 12.5K miles — but outbound, everything is $329, and there ain’t no saver nothing. I mean, $329 is only 21,900 Ultimate Rewards points or so, and I can afford that, but, still, sheesh. Principle of the thing and all that. So I put a Google Flights price tracker on it, and two days later that showed me a price drop to $187!

On Spirit.

We all know friends don’t let friends fly Spirit. But part of me wants to know: is it that terrible? I hope so. I hope it’s actually seedy. I am gonna find out.

I wanted to pay with Chase points, but Spirit flights don’t show up on their portal. I’d read that since Chase switched to Expedia as their back-end OTA, you can’t actually book Spirit anymore, even by calling in, but I figured, what the hell, I’d try. So, I called, explained, and they gave me a different number to call, 855-234-2576. I am guessing this is Connexions Loyalty, whom they used to use, since I know you used to be able to book non-portal airlines by calling in.

Whoever it was quoted me a price of $261, and I said nuh-uh. Spirit has it at $186.20. And the incredibly nice agent looked that up, and said she’d manually process it at that price. Moral of the story: always ask! It took a while, but it ended up costing me only 12,400 miles — just about the cost of a saver ticket.

Except that it’s on Spirit.

Now I have to make a decision: Do I spend $29 on an exit row seat with much more legroom? Do I spend $59 on a Big Seat, which is like a domestic first class seat up front? Or do I fully embrace the true Spirit experience, reveling in the (somewhat) low cost I paid, and let them put me wherever the fuck they want to put me? That would really be tempting fate.

If you don’t hear from me again, I probably died of Spirititis.

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