So having booked many tickets with Spirit since our move down south last year, I was surprised to learn that you can save money by buying your Spirit tickets at the airport. That’s because Spirit classifies part of the ticket cost as a fee which allows them to avoid paying the 7.5% federal excise tax on that amount.
In order for a fee to be exempt from the tax, there has to be a way for the passenger to avoid paying it. Which Spirit lets you do if you book your tickets at the airport.
In other words, the whole thing is really just a loophole that Spirit uses to pay fewer taxes.
The passengers could care less just as long as the tickets are cheap.
We aren’t talking pennies, it’s actually a good chunk of change. Spirit’s so-called “passenger usage charge” is actually $18.99 per ticket, meaning you can save about $19 on a one-way, or $38 per round trip by buying your tickets the old-fashioned way at the airport ticket counter. Multiply that by multiple family members traveling together and the savings add up quickly. As a family of three, we save $114 by buying at the airport.
The flight was two weeks away and within the three week window where random price spikes can occur. With the airport only 15 minutes away, I decided to buy right away.
I arrived at the airport at about 2:40 pm on a Thursday afternoon with my four year old daughter, Bella. I parked in short term parking at a rate of $3 per hour. I knew this fee would cut into my anticipated savings, but whatever, still saving money. From the parking lot, it was only a two minute walk to the Spirit ticket counter.
As I walked through the terminal, I pulled up the spirit website on my phone to verify the current price of the MYR-ORD flight. Releived, the price was the same.
Even though that’s what the expected math said I should expect after the passenger usage fee was waived, I was still sort of shocked. Who buys an airline ticket for under $45? No hidden fees or weird taxes. Just $44 for a round-trip to Chicago.
After paying with my spirit credit card, he issued the ticket and gave me a receipt with the confirmation number on it.
That was it. I had successfully bought a Spirit ticket at the airport, and had saved $38 in fees. Aside from letting my daughter run freely through out the airport after purchasing the ticket, the process was a painless five minutes.
Have you ever purchased Spirit tickets at the airport?