Spirit Airlines is the seventh largest airline in the U.S. by passengers carried. It is an ultra-low-cost carrier that takes cost mitigation very, very seriously. Spirit tries to offer the very lowest ticket prices to every destination it serves. Spirit Airlines offers 400 flights every day to 60 destinations in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. The airline is not a member of any airline alliances and has no partner airlines, but travelers can earn and use Free Spirit miles with a variety of Spirit’s non-aviation partners. Spirit Airlines isn’t incredibly highly rated by staff, however, the young airline is lauded by its employees for its great flight benefits. Spirit has the youngest fleet of any major U.S airline.
- Spirit Airlines is an ultra-low-cost carrier based in the United States.
- It was founded in 1980 and operates flights to over 75 destinations in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
- Spirit Airlines is known for its low fares and optional fees for additional services such as checked bags, seat assignments, and refreshments.
- The airline’s fleet consists mainly of Airbus aircraft, including the A320 and A321 models.
- Spirit Airlines has a no-frills approach, offering basic amenities on board, but passengers have the option to purchase additional services if desired.
- The airline has a loyalty program called “Free Spirit” that allows frequent flyers to earn and redeem miles for flights and other benefits.
- Spirit Airlines has a hub at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and operates from several other major airports in the United States.
Spirit Airlines operates a fleet primarily comprised of Airbus aircraft. As of 2021, their fleet consists of the following aircraft models:
- Airbus A319: The A319 is a single-aisle aircraft with a seating capacity of around 145 passengers. It is used for short to medium-haul flights.
- Airbus A320: The A320 is also a single-aisle aircraft, but with a slightly larger seating capacity of approximately 180 passengers. It is suitable for both short and medium-haul flights.
- Airbus A320neo: Spirit Airlines has also incorporated the A320neo (new engine option) into its fleet. The A320neo offers improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions compared to its predecessor.
- Airbus A321: The A321 is a larger variant of the A320 family, with a seating capacity of around 230 passengers. It is used for longer-haul flights and has extended range capabilities.
- Airbus A321neo: Similar to the A320neo, Spirit Airlines has added the A321neo to its fleet. The A321neo provides increased fuel efficiency, longer range, and higher passenger capacity compared to the A321.
These aircraft allow Spirit Airlines to offer a range of flight options to various destinations while maintaining cost-effective operations.
Spirit Airlines Flight Attendant Bases 
A flight attendant domicile refers to the base location where flight attendants are assigned and report to work. Each airline has specific domiciles, which are typically major cities or airports where the airline operates. Flight attendants are required to be within a certain distance from their domicile in order to be readily available for duty.
- Local 37: Orlando & Miami
- Local 73: Las Vegas
- Local 74: Dallas & Houston
- Local 76: Detroit & Atlantic City
- Local 78: Ft. Lauderdale
- Local 77: Chicago & Atlanta
Spirit Flight Attendant bases were last updated August 2, 2023.
Spirit Airlines Flight Attendants are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) is an organization made up of flight attendants, by flight attendants, for flight attendants. This union currently has nearly 50,000 members from 19 airlines. AFA-CWA seeks to be a voice for flight attendants in their workplace, in the travel industry, in the press and in government offices. The primary mission of its members is to negotiate better compensation, benefits, work rules and conditions, as well as to raise awareness of safety measures in the workplace.
2023 Rates of Pay for Spirit Airlines Flight Attendants
Spirit Flight Attendant rates of pay for each year of service are provided in the pay scale below and can be found in Section 3 Compensation in their current contract. Spirit Flight Attendants currently receive the hourly rates that became effective on 4/1/2023. Starting pay for the first six months of employment is $21.42. It was previously $21.04. For the next six months of employment the new rate is $25.29. The previous rate was $22.99. The top pay per flight hour is $57.53 after 12 years of service. The previous rate was $51.13 but was received after 15 years of service. The flight attendants at Spirit will receive their next pay increase on 1/1/24. Additional pay components can be found in the 2023-2025 Spirit Flight Attendant Contract.
The previous pay scale from the 2016-2021 Spirit Flight Attendant Contract is provided below for reference.
Flight Time Credit x Rates of Pay = PAY
If you’re not familiar with how flight attendant pay works, it’s important to understand that the rates of pay above are paid based on Flight Time Credit, not the total amount of hours a flight attendant has been on duty all day. Actual block-to-block flight time or scheduled flight time, on a per-duty-period basis, whichever is greater, is used in computing all flight time for pay purposes.
When a Spirit Flight Attendant exceeds the minimum monthly guarantee of seventy-two (72) credited hours, the Flight Attendant is compensated for each additional credited hour up to eighty-five (85) credited hours at the Flight Attendant’s hourly rate. In summary, there is no incentive pay until a flight attendant exceeds 85 credit hours.
2023 Spirit Airlines Flight Attendant Overtime Incentive Pay
When a Spirit Flight Attendant exceeds eighty-five (85) credited hours, the Flight Attendant is compensated for each additional credited hour at the rate of 1.5 times the Flight Attendant’s hourly rate. They may not use sick hours or utilize trips trades to receive overtime incentive pay.
Spirit Airlines Flight Attendant Minimum Pay Guarantee
Each Flight Attendant shall be paid the equivalent of seventy-two (72) credited hours per bid period, which shall constitute a bid period guarantee, unless the Flight Attendant voluntarily reduces their schedule. Spirit Airlines Flight Attendant Minimum Pay Guarantee exact contract language is provided in the image below.
For comparison, the JetBlue Flight Attendant Minimum Pay Guarantee for Full-Time line holder flight attendants is seventy (70) credit hours except for flight attendants who voluntarily bid for CrewFlex or a Reduced Credit Window.
2023 Spirit Flight Attendant Per Diem
When a Spirit Flight Attendant is away from his or her base, he or she shall receive $2.68 per hour or fraction thereof beginning at check-in time and ending at release time. The previous rate was $2.20.
Per Diem information can be found in the current agreement in Section 4 Travel Expenses. Provide below is some of the contract language regarding per diem:
- Effective on date of signing of this Agreement, when a Flight Attendant is away from their
base, the Flight Attendant shall receive two dollars sixty-eight cents ($2.68) per hour or
fraction thereof beginning at check-in time and ending at release time.
- Per Diem rate shall be increased, annually in accordance with the prevailing Consumer
Price Index (CPI) rate (rounded up to the next cent) on each May 1st.
Spirit Flight Attendant Payroll
Pay periods for Flight Attendants will be the 1st through the 15th and the 16th through month-end.
The 1st through the 15th pay period will be paid on the 15th. This check will include one-half (1/2) the Flight Attendant’s minimum guarantee from the current bid period plus the per diem, overtime, junior assignment pay and all other amounts above guarantee due from the prior bid period.
The 16th through the month-end pay period will be paid on the last day of the month. This check will include one-half (1/2) of the Flight Attendant’s minimum guarantee from the current bid period.
Spirit Airlines Flight Attendant Salary Compared with JetBlue Pay Scales
The potential merger between JetBlue and Spirit Airlines aims to create the fifth-largest carrier in the US, but it is currently facing opposition from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). However, there is still a chance the deal will go through. If approved, the merger would have an impact on the employees of both airlines, especially flight attendants.
While the specific effects may vary, flight attendants may experience changes in their job roles, routes, working conditions, seniority and pay. It is crucial for the airlines to ensure that the merger process is fair and transparent for the affected employees and this can only be achieved with the support from the unions that represent each workgroup as well as having as many flight attendants engaged, educated and informed along every step of the process.
Besides the thought of a merger mess, another thing that may come to mind is how flight attendant pay rates may be affected. Provided below are the airlines pay scales compared next to each other. The rates are currently in effect as of 2023. An example “blended” rate at 85 hours has been calculated for JetBlue to show what the actual rate is when calculated for those exact hours.
It seems that JetBlue flight attendants who fly 85 hours while choosing the premium scale are making a few dollars less per hour when compared to Spirit’s rates of pay. This is just one of many pay scenarios that can be calculated using JetBlue’s two pay scale offerings. Do the flight attendants at JetBlue have to fly more hours to earn the equivalent wage received at other airlines? More pay calculations and debate would be needed before rushing to such a judgment.
Spirit flight attendant hourly rates are paid for each hour of flight time up to 85 hours. Hours above 85 are compensated at 1.5 times the rates shown. JetBlue Straight pay scale is paid for all flight time up to and above guarantee until the maximum is reached. There is no overtime component while on the straight pay scale unless it is offered by the company, usually to incentivize flying during low staffing or operational recovery. JetBlue premium pay scale has rates defined for the first 70 hours then provides 1.5 times those rates for all flight hours above 70. It can be confusing but nice to know you get to choose between two pay scales. It can be debated whether or not this choice has more positive results for the flight attendants or the company financials.
Reported Spirit Flight Attendant Salary Information as of 1/26/2022
Career and employment related websites use different sets of data and user submissions to come up with the numbers so the salary information below cannot be completely accurate. If salary information was collected from all the websites that offer them we would have estimates all over the place. Salary estimates from CareerBliss and Indeed are as follows…
CareerBliss reports a salary of $41,000 which is based on 20 salaries submitted.
Indeed reports $28,882 as the average salary which is an estimate based on submissions from 13 employees and other related data collected the past 36 months. Additionally pay and benefits has a star rating of 3.1 out of 5 based on 192 reviews as 1/26/2022.
Spirit has one of the lowest flight pay rates in the industry, along with JetBlue. The hourly flight pay is the main pay component that determines the yearly salary of a Spirit Airlines Flight Attendant. It would be accurate to expect salaries that are below average based on the current pay scale. The only way to achieve a higher salary is to fly more, which is nice if there is the ability to do so but for some it’s not always healthy. While on reserve you are guaranteed hours but getting hours beyond that depends on many factors such as the time of year, staffing levels and what is healthy for you.
Retirement Saving Plan (401(k))
Spirit Flight Attendants are eligible to participate in the Company’s 401(k) plan after sixty (60) day waiting period from their Date of Hire. A Flight Attendant is permitted to enroll at the beginning of each month. Spirit Airlines matches one hundred percent (100%) of the Flight Attendant’s first six percent (6%) contribution to the Flight Attendant’s 401(k) on a monthly basis.
Profit Sharing Plan
All Spirit Flight Attendants with one year of service are eligible for any Company Profit Sharing Program.
Benefit information can be found in Section 18 Benefits of the 2023 Spirit Flight Attendant Contractual Agreement.
Standby travel refers to the ability to travel on a flight as a non-revenue passenger, meaning you do not pay for the ticket. As a flight attendant, when you are on standby, you are essentially on a waiting list for available seats on a particular flight. Spirit offers its Team Members and their qualified dependents standby travel benefits on all Spirit routes. After six months of employment, standby travel privileges are upgraded to include agreements with other carriers.
In addition to standby travel privideles, Spirit flight attendants are awarded 12 one-way Buddy Passes each year. A buddy pass is a travel benefit that allows flight attendants to provide discounted travel to their family members, friends or whomever they authorize to use the buddy pass. Spirit charges $15 (+ international taxes) for each pass.
Spirit Flight Attendant Requirements:
- Must be at least 21 years of age.
- Must be at least 5’0 (without shoes).
- Must be able to lift 50lbs from floor to shoulder level, ability to reach aircraft overhead bins and storage areas.
- Must have valid passports/documents with the ability to travel in and out of the USA and to all cities/countries served by Spirit Airlines.
- Must be eligible to work in the United States without sponsorship.
- At least 2 years of experience in the Guest Service, Hospitality and/or Sales/Merchandising industry.
- Must be dependable, energetic, outgoing, a team player, and demonstrate leadership and exceptional interpersonal skills.
- Must be flexible and willing to relocate to a base assignment at your own expense in any current or future crew bases.
- Required to attend and successfully complete a 4-week Initial Flight Attendant training held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
- Ability to work flexible hours, days and holidays.
- Ability to work in close quarters with service animals as well as all snack items, including but not limited to peanuts.
- Ability to communicate effectively. Must be proficient in the English language; bilingual in Spanish a plus.
- Must maintain a polished, professional and conservative appearance at all times.
- High School Diploma or GED required, College degree preferred.
- Driver’s license is preferred.
To learn more about becoming a flight attendant at Spirit Airlines go here.
What is the minimum age and other requirements to become a flight attendant at Spirit Airlines?
To be eligible for employment applicants must be 21 years of age, 5’0″ tall without shoes, and must be able to fasten a four-point jump seat harness without the use of extension devices. A four-point jump seat harness consists of four straps that secure the flight attendant to the seat. These straps typically include two shoulder straps and two lap straps. The shoulder straps go over the shoulders and attach to the back of the seat, while the lap straps go across the lap and attach to the front of the seat.
How long is flight attendant training at Spirit Airlines?
Flight attendant training at Spirit Airlines takes about 4 weeks to complete. During this training period, aspiring flight attendants will undergo a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on training, and practical exercises. Hotel accommodations are provided for the duration of training which takes place in Orlando, FL.
How many buddy passes do Spirit flight attendants receive?
After six months of employment Flight attendants are awarded 12 one-way Buddy Passes each year.