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In the aviation industry, two of the most well-known airlines are Spirit and Delta.
However, the two are almost night and day. Delta is more of a high-end airline compared to Spirit. However, both have similarities and contrasts.
In this Spirit vs. Delta review, I’ll give you a breakdown of how these two differ and give my two cents on which airline I think you should fly with. Check out my review below.
But if you don’t want to read the entire deep dive, here’s the high level….
The Main Differences Between Spirit and Delta
- Delta offers snacks and beverages on all flights, whereas Spirit does not.
- Delta provides in flight entertainment, whereas Spirit does not
- Delta flies to over 1000 destinations, whereas Spirit does not.
- Carry-ons and checked bags are allowed at no cost in Delta’s main cabin, whereas Spirit only allows a free personal bag.
If you want to catch a cheap flight, you can definitely do so on Spirit. It’s a budget airline that you can take advantage of and get in some affordable travel. With that said, if you decide to buy a Spirit flight, here’s what you can expect:
On a standard Spirit flight, you’re only granted a personal bag. The type of bag that’s allowed is generally a backpack, laptop bag, or purse. The measurements for the personal bag must be under 18″x 14″x 8.
Not only that, but whatever luggage you choose to bring, it must fit underneath the seat in front of you. If you decide to check a bag or use a carry-on, you’ll incur a fee. Here are some of the standard fees for overweight and oversized luggage:
- 41 – 50 lbs. (18 – 23 kg) $35
- 51 – 70 lbs. (23 – 32 kg) $60
- 71 – 100 lbs. (32 – 45 kg) $100
- 63-80 linear inches (158-203 cm) $100
- Special bags over 80 linear inches (203 cm) $150
Snacks and Drinks
If you’re feeling a little hungry or thirsty while on a Spirit flight, you’re out of luck…unless you want to pay for it. Spirit states that in order for them to provide super cheap flights, they don’t give out free amenities. So, don’t expect soda and peanuts.
However, if you want something to snack on, Spirit offers snacks at a low price and you have to pay for them using a debit or credit card.
Most airlines come standard with inflight entertainment, but not Spirit.
They don’t offer it at all, and you won’t find any entertainment attached to the seats in front of you. If you want to be entertained while on the flight, you have to bring your own.
That means using your phone on airplane mode or using a tablet to watch downloaded movies and TV shows. If you don’t want to use your personal bag to store a laptop or tablet, consider bringing a book to read while in flight.
Spirit doesn’t have any onboard Wi-Fi, but you can purchase a streaming package with Spirit to access your content through your subscribed services.
Related Read: Check out the best airlines with the most amazing lounges in the world.
The good thing about Spirit is they do offer point perks. They have a program known as Free Spirit, and it provides passengers with points for every dollar spent on airfare. Passengers can use points for flights as low as 2,500 for any flight and any fare. Also, Free Spirit members can accumulate points within a pool and purchase tickets with cash and points.
Furthermore, Spirit offers Saver’s Club. Individuals who join the club gain access to discounted flight prices for themselves and up to eight guests. The membership also comes with special rewards of 50% off check bags and carry-ons.
Technically, there is no first class with Spirit airlines. You can purchase more leg room if you need it. They also have what’s known as Big Front Seat. These seats are located at the very front of the aircraft and are the closest thing to first class.
You’ll definitely experience more luxury with Delta than Spirit. They’re an all-around airline that offers more to passengers in every aspect. Here’s what you can expect from a Delta flight:
For Main Cabin passengers, there are a variety of baggage options available. Passengers are only allowed one piece of carry-on luggage plus a personal item.
So, you can put a carry-on in the overhead bin and bring a backpack or purse on the flight with you. You’ll also get one piece of checked luggage. But of course, if you desire to bring extra checked bags, Delta will charge you a fee.
Delta now offers Basic Economy flights that are similar to Spirit flights. For those, you can only bring a personal bag with you.
All passengers in the main cabin on a Delta aircraft have access to in-flight entertainment. You can watch movies and listen to music while flying. Delta ensures that all of their passengers are comfortable on long and short flights. There is no extra cost to access Delta’s entertainment, even if you have a Basic Economy fare ticket.
Snacks and drinks
You’ll receive snacks and beverages on any Delta flight over 250 miles. Delta serves snacks like Goldfish, nuts, protein bars, and Biscoff cookies. You also have your choice of beverages from water to soda.
These snacks help to keep passengers comfortable while flying. Also, you don’t have to worry about paying extra for beverages and snacks. They are a complimentary perk and are included in your flight price.
In addition to snacks, you can also buy wine and liquor on a Delta flight if you’re over 21. Most alcoholic beverages are not complementary, unless you are on a long flight that’s serving a full course meal.
There are several seating options available to Delta passengers. They offer first class seats and main cabin seats. If you want a completely luxurious experience, then first class is the way to go.
But there is also plenty of legroom within the main cabin. You have the option to purchase exit row seats to get more leg room. Delta Basic Economy seats are located in the main cabin, so there’s no difference there.
Delta offers point perks as well. They offer SkyMiles to all subscribers. The SkyMiles don’t expire, and it’s free to join. Points can get you to over 1,000 destinations across the globe. You’ll earn miles with Delta by purchasing flights and making purchases through Delta’s retail partners.
Recommended Alternative Airlines
If you don’t think that Spirit or Delta airlines will suit your preferences, I’ve got you covered. There are a couple of alternatives that I believe are the perfect mix between the two, and you’ll feel like you’re getting the best of both worlds. Here are my suggestions:
JetBlue is another budget airline that’s similar to Spirit. However, they offer so much more. In terms of baggage, they have the same policy as Spirit airlines.
Passengers are allowed one personal bag that flies for free. On the other hand, if you purchase a ticket that’s above the Blue Basic fare, you’re also allowed to bring a carry-on bag.
Not only that, but unlike Spirit, JetBlue offers in-flight entertainment. They provide free Wi-Fi to all passengers, so you don’t have to worry about having a boring flight. When it comes to entertainment, JetBlue is much like Delta.
You’ll also get complimentary snacks and beverages as a passenger on JetBlue. They offer light refreshments such as pretzels and crackers, as well as soft drinks, water, and coffee.
JetBlue has Blue Basic fare tickets that are priced similarly to Spirit. If you want a cheap flight that includes more amenities, choose JetBlue over Spirit.
The other option is Southwest Airlines. Southwest goes above and beyond in the amenity department, and they actually have pretty reasonable ticket prices.
Depending on where and when you fly, you can find very affordable fares. Generally, their ticket prices are more expensive than Spirit, but less expensive than Delta.
Southwest offers two free checked bags no matter which ticket you buy. You’ll also be able to take a carry-on and a personal item. They are the perfect airline to fly for lengthy trips that require lots of luggage.
Furthermore, they offer in-flight entertainment as well as snacks in beverages. There is no shortage of amenities on Southwest. You won’t always find extremely cheap flights with Southwest, but they are always running fare deals.
One of their most popular deal options is their “Wanna Get Away” ticket option. Those fares are usually priced at $49 one-way!
Frequently Asked Questions About Spirit and Delta Airlines
At this point in the review, you must have plenty of questions about Spirit and Delta airlines. Well, maybe some of these frequently asked questions will answer some of yours. Take a look at them below:
Answer: I’m not totally against Spirit Airlines. You can catch some incredible deals using their airfare. But you must understand, they follow their bare bones rule completely. Everything is a la carte on Spirit. If you find a $25 flight, then you’re basically paying for the seat to get you there, nothing more.
On the other hand, if you want a little more luxury while you’re flying, Delta is definitely the way to go. When you fly Spirit, you just have to fix your mind to understand that you’re going to have a very basic experience.
Answer: Absolutely. As I explained earlier in this review, everything with Spirit is à la carte. So if you want a better experience, you’ll have to pay for it. You can pay for bigger seats, you can pay for snacks, as well as entertainment. Just understand that if you do choose to buy checked bags and other a la carte features, everything can add up quickly. By the time you purchase everything, you may find that you’re paying the same price for a Spirit flight as you would a Delta flight.
Answer: Wi-Fi is offered to every passenger. All customers can use Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, and Imessage at no charge, without purchasing a Wi-Fi pass. That in itself gives Delta more of an advantage over Spirit. In fact, Spirit only has Wi-Fi on a select number of their planes.
Answer: Actually, both programs are pretty good. But again, Delta’s point perks are a little better. The reason being is because SkyMiles allow travel to over 1,000 destinations, and of course, Spirit doesn’t fly to as many locations. Also, Spirit’s best points program is paid. So, you’ll still end up dishing out money to get better perks on Spirit.
Spirit vs Delta: Which Airline Is Better?
In terms of choosing the better airline, I have to go with Delta.
Not only has Delta been in business longer than Spirit, they have a better reputation than Spirit. If you want to fly anywhere in the world, you can do so on Delta. Spirit doesn’t offer flights to all locations. This might be particularly meaningful if deciding on an airline for travel rewards.
Not only that, but Delta offers way more than Spirit. Since Delta now offers Basic Economy flights, you can fly with them for a cheap price, just as you can with Spirit.
The only difference is, you’ll get a few more perks with Delta flying their Basic Economy fare. Although, there’s nothing wrong with flying with Spirit—especially if you want to go somewhere on a budget—we’ll always recommend Delta.
So, based on my review, which one do you like best? Spirit or Delta?
If you’d like more airline options, check out our other airline comparisons: