America has finally joined the bandwagon of cheap flights, and I LOVE it. Being in Europe Ryanair was our go to place to fly with, can you really beat 20 euro round trip tickets? Although Spirit and Frontier airlines aren't that cheap, they are just like Ryanair, a low budget, no frills airline designed to get you from point A to point B for the cheapest price possible. People are complaining about paying $35 to check a bag, who cares when you're flying round trip for under $100?! Here's some tips I've complied to make your trip a little less stressful.
+ Check Ins start 24 hours in advance.
Check in as soon as you can. In this day and age with smart phones and WiFi everywhere, you don't have an excuse. But luckily you don't have to print our your boarding pass, You can download the app, or screen shot your ticket and have the picture up on your phone.
+ Should I buy a seat?
NO. I would create a profile on either pages and you can put your "preferred" seat of choice. Most of the time you get it, but if you don't, no big deal. They say that there is no guarantee that you'll be seated next to one another, but so far, I've never been separated from my party.
**Note: If you're buying your tickets separately, chances are you won't be sitting next to one another. I'd suggest either buying it together, or using the same e-mail address so you can all sit together.
+ Baggage Rules
Here's the tricky part; for Spirit and Frontier you are only allowed one "personal" item. But honestly as long as your personal item can fit under the seat in front of you I wouldn't worry about it. **Tip, use a duffle bag, or backpack that is easy to maneuver.
Carry on VS. Checked back; if you need a larger bag, skip the Carry On and just check a bag. It is $35 to check a bag, vs the $35 it is to carry on a bag. I'd rather check a bag and be able to use a bigger space. If you are checking in a bag, make sure you do it in advance, it's usually cheaper when checking in. (*Standard rules apply, 50lb weight limit, check your airline's website just in case)
+ Got TSA Pre-Check?
If you have TSA pre-check, both Spirit and Frontier let you check in and skip lines! Make sure to add your Known Traveler Number when checking in.
**Note; If you do not have have TSA Pre-check I would highly suggest it. For $75 it's good for 5 years, and you don't have to wait in those crazy lines, take your shoes off or laptops out. It's great! If you can afford it, I'd spend the extra $20 and get Global Entry, You get Pre-check for free and you can skip those pesky border lines.
+ Travelling with small kids
Bring snacks, I'm sure you already know this, but the reason their prices are so cheap is because they charge you for everything else you would get for free on other big name airlines, water, coffee, snacks, etc. You are able to Gate check strollers and Car seats for free.
*Unsure about something? Call the airlines just to make sure!
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. If you want to travel for as cheap as possible, this is the way to do it. If not, then spend the extra $200 per ticket and go with a big name airline.