Born in the post airline deregulation era, most low cost carriers have taken a different approach to meeting passengers air travel demands.
As long as you are aware of what to expect you can still have a pleasant airline experience.
Prior to airline deregulation (1978), government control over air fares allowed legacy carriers like Delta and American to sell higher priced tickets. In return, the airlines were almost guaranteed to cover there operating costs while providing their customers a comfortable level of service.
Entry of new airlines soon begin to reshape the industry as low airfares became the driving force behind acquiring customers. With government help and the infrastructure already in place because of many of the legacy carriers, a run away train had left the station.
Map-quest tells me from Ft. Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Atlanta Hartsfield (ATL) is 645 miles. For $120 in fuel cost I can make the round trip in 20 hours with non stop driving.
On Spirit I can make the same round trip in 4 hours for $198. An initial $78 difference not counting additional driving cost like tolls or other incidentals.
With only a 2 hour flight I can easily endure any creature discomfort compared to 10 hours non stop in a car.
For a customer with business in Atlanta for the day or Miami Dolphins fans going to the Georgia Dome to cheer on “The Fins”, this can be an ideal situation. Sure the seats are cramped and there are no hot meals, pillows, blankets or in-flight movies.
In addition, beginning sometime in August, Spirit Airlines will start charging up to $45 for carry on luggage. When first announced this caused an uproar. I do not think it is necessarily a bad policy as you will still be allowed to have one carry on that must fit under your seat.
Your awareness of these situations and limitations before you purchase your tickets will allow you to have a pleasant airline experience on Spirit or any other low cost carrier.