I tweeted this deal first from @MileValueAlerts. Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitter and follow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I tweet from @MileValueAlerts only a few times a month because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.
Until 11:59 PM ET today, Spirit is selling tickets at 99% off. Kind of.
After taxes and fees, you pay a lot more than 1% of the ticket price, but the deals are still incredible like:
- Atlanta to Lima, Peru: $165 roundtrip
- Los Angeles to Lima, Peru: $166 roundtrip
- Denver to Medellin, Colombia: $172 roundtrip
- many, many more
The sale is valid for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from March 29 until May 10, 2016. Here is the sale page and restrictions. The main rules are that you need to buy today (March 16) and pick a fare that is at least $49 each way.
The following routes are excluded:
It looks like a long list but actually represents a tiny fraction of Spirit’s route network, which includes destinations in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.
I had no trouble bringing up incredible deals on South American routes from several American cities. For example, Atlanta to Lima is $165, of which $123 is listed as taxes. Similarly Los Angeles to Lima is a dirt cheap $166 roundtrip, though the itinerary has all day layovers in both directions, something that is common on Spirit itineraries because the airline flies so few frequencies.
Denver to Medellin is only $172 roundtrip and has better layovers.These are the only three searches I made. Nearly every route will show similarly unbelievable prices, so search away and share your best finds in the comments!
Spirit now follows the ultra-low-cost, fee-for-everything model. You can find all the fees for the route that interests you by performing an airfare search or going to the optional services page.
Seat selection costs $1-$50, and more if you want a Big Front Seat, which has the size and legroom of domestic First Class without any of the benefits you normally get for sitting in First Class. Spirit will assign you a seat at check in for free, but you’ll probably get the worst one.
Only a personal item is free to bring on board. For non-members of the $9 Fare Club, checked bags cost $30 and carry ons cost $35, so I would think of these fares as costing $30 more each way and plan on checking a bag. $9 Fare Club members get a $9-$11 discount on bags.
All food and drinks cost money. Here’s the snack and drink menu.
Even checking in at the airport will cost you $2.
While some people get frustrated by all these fees, I don’t mind them at all. Spirit is super upfront about all the fees, and they’re simple enough to account for or avoid. I buy into Spirit’s marketing that it is fairer to have people pay for their options and NOT pay for they don’t use than have everyone buy a bundled fare with options they might not want.
Best Way to Buy the Ticket
Your top choice should be the Citi Prestige® Card, since it comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year that will cover the purchase of this ticket. If you haven’t used the credit yet, buy this fare (and the extras like seat selection and baggage fees) with your Prestige, and you will receive an offsetting credit on your next statement: a completely free ticket to Peru, Colombia, or the destination of your choice!
Even if you’ve already used your $250 credit for this year, the card offers 3x on all airfare purchases.
See my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like it annual $250 Air Travel Credit, 40,000 point sign up bonus, access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.