Last September I was playing around on Travelocity (yeah, I do that) and happened on an unbelievable airfare for a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis: $135 round trip. I thought it might be a mistake, but no, when I clicked through to purchase, it said $135 in the "Pay this" box.
My sister Angie lives near Minneapolis, and I had been checking the fares occasionally over the last few years. I never saw one that was less than $300. What could we do? We HAD to go, so we booked a flight for early October. As luck would have it, we got an incredibly good deal on a rental car as well: $107 for five days through Costco Travel and Alamo. Then I found a place to park near LAX for $48 (Fox Auto Park). All totaled up, that was $425 for our flights, our rental car, and our off-site airport parking in Los Angeles. I'm telling you, the stars were aligned in our favor! (Well, except for the additional $60 baggage fee, but more on that later.)
Our flights were on Spirit Airlines, a company we had not flown with before. I had heard it was a discount airline, similar to Southwest.
Not even close.
It's not that I wasn't grateful for the cheap flight, but Southwest is all about customer service (free bags, free change fees, free drinks and snacks) and Spirit Airlines is all about keeping the cost low by charging for everything, and I mean everything. Still, Spirit has a wonderful sense of humor. For example, check out the stretchy things that created the long line for check-in: