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Spirit is one of the low-cost airlines that helps you save a lot on airfare while allowing you to live out your adventures. But what happens if you miss your flight or want to take an earlier flight? Does Spirit allow you to fly on standby? And if they do, how much does it cost?
In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about flying standby on Spirit, from understanding the rules, restrictions, and fees to tips for making the experience as smooth as possible.
Here is what you need to know…
Flying Standby with Spirit Airlines
If you want to travel on an earlier flight on the same day as your scheduled flight, you have to pay $99 per person.
Only Spirit’s two tiers of elite status—Silver and Gold—may fly standby free of charge.
Spirit Standby Rules for an Overbooked Flight
Most airlines oversell tickets to make up for all the no-shows. What happens when an airline sells too many tickets and all those passengers show up?
In the case of Spirit, if your original flight is full, and you agree to the arrangement, they will put you on standby for an earlier flight at no cost.
Standby Rules for a Missed Flight
Unlike other airlines, Spirit doesn’t make it easy to understand their standby rules because they don’t publish much information on their website, but here is what we know…
Missed Flight Due to Delay
If you are on a connecting flight and you miss your connecting flight because of a delayed first flight, Spirit Airlines has the policy to put you on the next available flight. You will stand by for free until you can board the plane and proceed with your trip.
Missed Flight Due to Other Reasons
If you miss your flight with Spirit for any reason, you need to let them know. Spirit Airlines is known for listening to its passengers and paying attention to their needs (just kidding..).
In most cases, they will put you on the standby list for the next available flight. However, you need to reach the airport within two hours of the departure time of your original flight. As soon as you can, contact Spirit’s customer service to ask what you can do and how you can proceed.
If you do not inform customer service ahead of time, your original ticket may be classified as a “no show” which means you can’t even fly on standby on the next available flight. The good news is you may be able to re-book your ticket to board the next flight. Be prepared, however, to pay the missed flight fee of $200 and the difference in ticket cost.
Refund for a Missed Flight on Spirit
If you are no longer going to take the flight and you can provide a specific explanation and acceptable reason, you may be able to get a refund. When you get the refund form, be sure to fill it out and send it to Spirit so you can get a refund as quickly as possible.
If you miss your flight, do not appear within the specified time, and are unable to inform Spirit ahead of time, you may not be able to refund your booking amount.
Rules for Employees, Friends, and Family
Spirit grants their employees non-revenue and discounter travel privileges. This free-travel benefit extends to qualified parents and dependents, such as a spouse or significant other and children under the age of 23. Employees also get Buddy Passes that they can hand out to other family members and friends.
These travel privileges (including the Buddy Pass) allow employees, their families, and friends to fly any flight with Spirit for free. In case there are international taxes, the employee or non-revenue traveler must pay them. All non-revenue ticket holders can only fly standby, meaning there is no guarantee that you can get on board the flight you want. You may have to stand by for more than one flight, especially during peak season.
How Does Spirit’s Standby List Work?
While most airlines have standby lists you can sign up for, Spirit requires you to pay for a seat for a standby flight in advance to lock it in as yours.
If several people are waiting to fly standby, Spirit clears paying passengers first. Next come the company executives, followed by Spirit employees on non-official business and Buddy Pass holders.
Here are some more articles that explain how the standby list works on other airlines: