Spirit Airlines is known as a low-cost carrier based in the United States. The airline has established itself as a prominent player in the aviation industry.

Being a budget carrier, passengers can expect limited amenities, and customer service. But when it comes to safety, it always remains the top priority for passengers, and aviation regulators.

In this article, we are addressing the question ‘Is Spirit Airlines Safe?’ by analyzing the safety ratings, operational procedures, crew competency, aircraft maintenance practice, and other safety protocols.

Throughout this blog, we will examine Spirit Airlines’ safety record, its compliance with industry regulations, and the initiatives it has implemented to ensure a safe and secure flying experience for its customers.

So, let’s get started.

Understanding Airline Safety Standards

All airlines worldwide need to adhere to the strict regulations, and standards set by the aviation regulatory bodies. Safety is always the top priority when it comes to the aviation industry.

The aviation industry and its operations are executed under the supervision of international, and national regulatory bodies. 

For instance, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is the global aviation regulatory body responsible for implementing safety standards worldwide. The safety standards cover several aspects of aviation, including aircraft design, operations, maintenance, air traffic management, crew training standards, and more.

Likewise, there are national-level aviation regulatory bodies responsible for implementing aviation safety protocols inside the respective nation. 

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the primary regulatory body responsible for overseeing aviation safety and ensuring that airlines comply with the established guidelines.

Safety protocols in aviation cover a broad range of topics, including aircraft maintenance, flight crew training, operational procedures, and emergency preparedness. 

Airlines are required to keep detailed records of maintenance activities, crew training, and safety incidents. This helps to create a culture of transparency and accountability, which is essential for ensuring the safety of air travel.

What is Spirit Airlines Safety Rating?

To operate flights, airlines like Spirit must obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from FAA. This certificate signifies that the airline has met the necessary safety requirements and is authorized to conduct commercial air operations. 

Regular audits and inspections are conducted to assess an airline’s compliance with safety protocols, ensuring continuous adherence to the established standards.

Regarding Spirit Airlines, there are no fatal incidents or accidents recorded over the course of its operations. There were a few incidents in the past however, they didn’t result in casualties.

Spirit Airlines has had a few minor incidents in recent years. In 2017, one of its planes had to make an emergency landing after a bird strike. In 2018, another plane had to be evacuated after a smoke alarm went off. However, none of these incidents resulted in any injuries.

As per airlineratings.com, Spirit Airlines is rated 6 out of 7 in safety rating. The Safety Rating criteria are listed below.

    • Fatal Crash in the last 5 years
    • Record of numerous serious pilot-related incidents
    • Has the airline passed all the major audits including IOSA Audit, ICAO Country Audit, FAA, and so on?
    • IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Certification Status.
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    Spirit has got full scores on fatality, and incident rate, however, airlineratings.com has crossed marked the audits criteria due to which the score is 6 out of 7.

    In this blog, we are particularly focusing on safety ratings. When it comes to customer satisfaction, services, and amenities, Spirit Airlines could lose some scores.

    As per skytraxratings.com, Spirit is certified as a 3-Star Low-Cost airline for the quality of its airport, onboard product, and staff service.

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    How safe is it to fly Spirit Airlines?

    Before knowing how safer it is to fly Spirit Airlines, let us first go through the fleet, safety measures, and initiatives implemented by the airline to ensure the well-being of its passengers, and crew.

    Fleet Modernization and Maintenance Procedures

    At present, Spirit Airlines operates an all-Airbus Fit Fleet. As claimed by the airline, they have one of the youngest, and most fuel-efficient fleets in the U.S. with the aim to add more in the future.

    The following table shows the three different Airbus fleet types operated by Spirit.

    AIRBUS A319 
    (145 Seats)
    10 big front seats at the front of the plane
    135 deluxe leather seats
    9 seats reserved for passengers with disabilities
    2 non-window seats in the last row
    6 exit seats over the wings
    2 galleys  – 1 on the right of the front and 1 on the right of the back of the plane
    2 lavatories – 1 on the left of the front and 1 on the back of the plane
    6 exits – 2 in the front, 2 over the wings, and 2 in the back
    AIRBUS A320 
    (182 Seats)
    8 big front seats at the front of the plane
    174 deluxe leather seats
    12 seats reserved for passengers with disabilities
    12 exit seats over the wings
    2 galleys – 1 galley on the right of the front and 1 galley on the right back of the plane3 lavatories – 1 lavatory on the left of the front and 2 lavatories at the back middle and left of the plane (these two lavatories combined can become one wheelchair-accessible lavatory)
    8 exits – 2 in the front, 4 over the wings, and 2 in the back
    AIRBUS A321 
    (228 Seats)
    4 big front seats at the front of the plane
    224 deluxe leather seats
    12 seats reserved for passengers with disabilities
    6 exit seats before the wings
    6 exit seats behind the wings
    2 galleys – 1 galley on the right of the front and 1 galley on the right of the back of the plane
    3 lavatories – 1 lavatory on the left of the front and 2 lavatories at the back middle and left of the plane (these two lavatories combined can become one wheelchair-accessible lavatory)
    8 exits – 2 in the front, 2 before the wings, 2 after the wings, and 2 in the back
    AIRBUS A320
    (174 Seats)
    4 big front seats at the front of the plane
    224 deluxe leather seats
    12 seats reserved for passengers with disabilities6 exit seats before the wings
    6 exit seats behind the wings
    2 galleys – 1 galley on the right of the front and 1 galley on the right of the back of the plane
    3 lavatories – 1 lavatory on the left of the front and 2 lavatories at the back middle and left of the plane (these two lavatories combined can become one wheelchair-accessible lavatory)
    8 exits – 2 in the front, 2 before the wings, 2 after the wings, and 2 in the back

    Analysis of the fleet

    Spirit Airlines features a young fleet of planes with an average age of 6 years old. So, we can conclude the fleet used by the airline are relatively new.

    Spirit is also investing in new technology to improve the safety of its planes. Modern aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art safety features, enhancing their ability to handle various situations and ensuring a higher level of reliability.

    Moreover, Spirit’s commitment to safety is reflected by the regular inspections, maintenance checks, and adherence to manufacturer-recommended servicing schedules.

    Pilots, and Flight Crew Training, and Qualifications

    Highly trained and qualified pilots, and flight crew are the most crucial players for safe operations.

    Spirit Airlines maintains a comprehensive training program that covers various scenarios, including emergency procedures, adverse weather conditions, and handling complex flight situations. 

    Pilots undergo regular simulator training, enabling them to sharpen their skills and make informed decisions in critical situations.

    In addition, Spirit Airlines has strict hiring criteria for flight crew members. This ensures that all crew members have the necessary qualifications, experience, and skills to perform their jobs effectively. Ongoing training and evaluations help to continuously improve crew performance and safety standards.

    Compliance with Industry Safety Protocols, and Guidelines

    Spirit Airlines executes its operations by following all the guidelines, and regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

    Moreover, the low-cost carrier shows active participation in industry safety initiatives, and collaborates with other airlines, and organizations to share best practices, and enhance safety across the aviation industry.

    Emergency Preparedness and Response

    Being prepared for emergencies is a critical aspect of aviation safety. Spirit Airlines places significant emphasis on emergency preparedness, equipping its crew with the necessary training and resources to handle various emergency scenarios. 

    From medical incidents to unexpected turbulence or severe weather, the airline ensures that its crew is well-prepared to respond swiftly and efficiently.

    Communication with Passengers on Safety

    Spirit Airlines prioritizes passenger safety awareness and education. During pre-flight briefings, passengers receive important safety instructions, including the proper use of safety equipment, the location of emergency exits, and what to do in case of an emergency. The in-flight safety cards also provide visual aids to reinforce these safety instructions.

    The airline also maintains open lines of communication with passengers, encouraging them to report any safety concerns they may encounter during their journey.

    By implementing these safety measures and initiatives, Spirit Airlines demonstrates its dedication to providing a safe and secure travel experience for its passengers. In the next section, we will explore how the airline communicates safety information and responds to past safety incidents and customer feedback.

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    Addressing common safety complaints and issues

    There might be several safety-related concerns raised by passengers such as turbulence handling, lack of communication during emergencies, clarity of safety instructions, cabin cleanliness, condition of safety equipment, and so on.

    These types of concerns might not sound serious however, they are crucial to ensure the well-being, and flying confidence of the passengers.

    Spirit Airlines is well-maintaining customer satisfaction, and safety practices. The airline takes prompt action to investigate, and address each matter carefully when safety concerns are raised.

    The airline also focuses on continuous improvement in safety communication and training. If issues with safety briefings or information clarity arise, Spirit Airlines works to enhance its pre-flight and in-flight safety communications to ensure passengers receive the necessary instructions and information in a clear and concise manner.

    Furthermore, Spirit invests in ongoing training for its pilots, flight crew, and other staff to address safety-related issues.

    Opinions from Frequent Flyers, and Travel Bloggers

    There are mixed reviews from frequent flyers, and travel bloggers regarding Spirit’s customer service, flight performance, onboard experience, food and beverage, check-in, boarding, and so on.

    Regarding service, the majority of Spirit customers are unsatisfied but as a budget or low-cost carrier, it is quite normal to get such feedback.

    Let’s take a look at the reviews from TripAdvisor users.


    Among 27,277 travelers flying with Spirit, 40% of them rated the Spirit service as terrible. On the other hand, 27% of travelers rated it excellent. 

    This review criterion is based on factors including legroom, seat comfort, in-flight entertainment, onboard experience, customer service, value for money, cleanliness, check-in, boarding, food, and beverage services.

    However, when it comes to safety rating, travelers are happy, and confident of flying with Spirit Airlines.

    Conclusions on ‘Is Spirit Airlines safe?’

    Throughout this comprehensive examination of Spirit Airlines’ safety practices, we have explored various aspects of the airline’s safety profile. By exploring historical safety incidents, safety measures, passenger experiences, industry evaluations, and expert opinions, we aimed to provide an objective assessment of Spirit Airlines’ commitment to safety.

    Based on our analysis, Spirit Airlines exhibits a strong commitment to passenger safety and maintains safety standards in line with industry regulations. 

    The airline has taken measures to enhance safety protocols, invests in crew training, and actively encourages passenger feedback to drive continuous improvement.

    In a nutshell, Spirit Airlines is considered safe to travel with. However, it is crucial for travelers to remember that safety is a collective effort involving passengers, crew members, and the airline itself. 

    It is essential to remain attentive to safety briefings, follow instructions provided by the crew, and report any safety concerns promptly.

    As responsible travelers, let us prioritize safety and make informed decisions when choosing airlines for our journeys. 

    By staying vigilant and supporting safety initiatives, we can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable travel experience for everyone.

    Let’s end our discussion with some important points listed below.

    • Spirit Airlines has demonstrated its dedication to safety by implementing robust safety measures and initiatives.
    • The airline has recorded fewer incidents in the past without any major fatalities.
    • The airline prioritizes fleet modernization and maintenance procedures to ensure the reliability and safety of its aircraft. 
    • The training and qualifications of its pilots and flight crew are continuously upgraded to meet industry standards. 
    • Spirit complies with strict safety protocols and guidelines set forth by regulatory bodies, fostering a culture of transparency and accountability.
    • Passenger safety experience on Spirit Airlines has been positively influenced by clear and concise safety information provided during pre-flight briefings and through in-flight safety cards. 
    • The airline’s response to past safety incidents and its efforts to address passenger feedback demonstrate its commitment to continuous improvement in safety communication and practices.
    • Spirit Airlines proactively addresses safety concerns raised by passengers, investigating incidents thoroughly and implementing corrective actions. 
    • The airline’s customer service team is responsive to safety-related inquiries and complaints, emphasizing open communication with its passengers.
    • Industry recognition and safety awards, along with external assessments and evaluations, offer valuable insights into Spirit Airlines’ safety performance. 
    • The perspectives of aviation experts and industry analysts further contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the airline’s safety standing.

    FAQs on Spirit Airlines Safety Rating

    Is Spirit Airlines a good airline?

    Spirit Airlines is rated a 3-star low-cost airline by Skytrax, which is a good rating for an ultra-low-cost carrier. The safety record of the airline is also top-notch. In terms of safety, Spirit is a good airline however, all travelers may not satisfy with the customer service and amenities.

    Is Spirit Airlines safe to fly?

    Spirit Airlines holds a good safety record and is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). No fatal accident has been recorded in its entire history. Airlineratings.com has provided a safety rating of 6 out of 7.

    How well is Spirit Airlines rated?

    In the case of safety, Spirit Airlines is rated 6 out of 7 by airlineratings.com however, the scores for customer service are quiet low (2/10) as mentioned by airlinequality.com.

    Is flying on Spirit worth it?

    It depends on your budget. Spirit is cheap but extras cost more, and there may be long lines and poor service. Consider your needs carefully. If you are looking for safe travel, Spirit is totally worth it.

    What are the top complaints about Spirit Airlines?

    Hidden fees, long bag drop lines, poor customer service, unreliable flight schedules, no amenities, cramped seats, and long delays are some of the top complaints about Spirit Airlines.

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    Suman Karki
    Suman Karki is the founder of the AviaTech Channel blog and YouTube Channel. He is a passionate aviation enthusiast and holds experience working as a Ground Operations Officer for Swissport International. He is currently serving as a Flight Data Feeder for FlightAware (a US-based company for Flight Tracking). Besides, he has worked as an aviation content editor for various aviation media.