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You probably read this website, at least in large part, because you want to save money on travel. You probably want to save money on travel, in large part, because airfare is expensive. It can be expensive, absolutely. But today I can’t get over how cheap it can be.
Before I get to the cheap part, let’s talk a bit more about the expensive part. I live in Houston, and believe it or not, that is actually one of the most expensive airports in the country to fly out of based on average ticket price. If I want to fly somewhere (especially nonstop) I better just expect it to cost an average of just under $500. Of course, that is not my average ticket price thanks to closely monitoring sales, using miles, etc. but I believe that $500 number to be 100% accurate based on my own experiences.
However, for every $1100 fare purchased, there is someone paying a lot less. It may just be that $49 one-way Houston – Dallas ticket on Southwest that is bringing down the average when someone spends over a grand on their ticket, but it isn’t always.
Check out these actual one-way prices available as we speak to fly in an airplane nonstop at 36,000 feet.
Houston – Kansas City $32.60
Houston – Minneapolis $32.60
Houston – Denver $36.59
Houston – Las Vegas $66.59
Houston – Orlando $61.59
Houston – Los Angeles $41.59
Houston – Chicago $41.59
Houston – Detroit $41.59
Houston – New Orleans $32.60
Houston – Atlanta $51.59
You don’t need to be a travel hacker, or a mileage expert, set price alerts, or watch Twitter all day in order to book fares at these prices. I found all ten of those prices in less than five minutes total, and you absolutely can, too. You just need to be okay with a small seat and your clothes stuffed in a backpack.
Yes, they are all on Spirit Airlines. Wait, wait, don’t click off the post just yet, hang in there.
We all know Spirit Airlines has its drawbacks, but maybe we just need to get over most of that. If you can fly over a thousand miles (IAH-MSP) for thirty-two dollars and sixty cents, then maybe a small seat isn’t that big of a problem. Heck, if the seat is a total deal-breaker, splurge the extra $40 and get yourself the equivalent of a domestic first class seat via the Spirit Airlines “Big Front Seats”. My husband did just that this week (on his first Spirit flight) and he didn’t have anything to complain about after the flight other mentioning that there were some nearby crying babies. Trust me, if the experience was truly terrible he would have been a big crying baby himself, and he wasn’t.
I have heard the horror stories about Spirit flights that are cancelled and then folks are stuck somewhere for days. I recommend just having a stash of other types of airline miles you can use in those situations to get yourself where you need to be on another carrier. That can protect you much of the time if one of the “Spirit horror stories” happens to you.
Seriously, if you want to travel domestically, don’t care about elite status, can tough out a few hours in a small seat, and don’t want to spend a chunk of your life “travel hacking”, then just fly Spirit. Forget everything else you have read to this point, and just fly Spirit whenever possible. Use their calendar when booking flights to quickly spot the cheapest day to fly, and go.
I see these prices and they look like what I might expect a bus ticket to sell for, and yes I do think that Spirit is kind of the “bus of the skies”, but $32.60 to ride on a flying bus is still one-helluva-deal.
Oh, and if you think that somehow $32 to Kansas City isn’t a good enough deal, then Spirit agrees, and they are offering a Buy One, Get One Free deal to/from Kansas City.
My blog hasn’t been hijacked, I haven’t fallen and hit my head, and I still prefer fancy seats and elite status when possible, but the reality is sometimes the cheapest and easiest way to get from Point A to Point B is truly the best.
Don’t over-complicate things when you and your backpack can fly 1,000 miles for $32.60.