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How to change or cancel a Spirit Airlines flight

April 16, 2022
5 min read
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Editor's Note

Shortly after we published this story, we added a quote from Spirit regarding the non-refundable carrier fees the carrier charged when the author canceled a Spirit flight.

Plans change, which means you should be aware of cancellation policies when you travel. Spirit Airlines did not join the club of airlines that eliminated virtually all of the fees associated with canceling or changing a flight during the pandemic. And, since Spirit's prices and add-on fees can be fairly high for an ultra-low-cost carrier, you'll want to understand the Spirit Airlines cancellation policy before you book.

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Spirit cancellation policy

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Whether you're trying to cancel a Spirit Airlines flight or change it, the policies are the same. Spirit Airlines has a sliding scale of fees based on how many days before departure you cancel or change your flight:

Days before departureFee
60-plus daysFree.
7-59 days$49.
3-6 days$79.
2 days or less$99.

Related: I canceled my first-class ticket home for a Spirit Airlines flight with $3 Wi-Fi — and loved it

It's worth noting that you may be inadvertently charged other fees when you cancel a Spirit Airlines flight. I was charged $22.99 in "non-refundable carrier fees" when I canceled a recent flight on Spirit:

(Screenshot from spirit.com)

I reached out to Spirit's media relations team to ask about the non-refundable carrier fees. A spokesperson responded, noting "the $22.99 was the Passenger Usage Charge from your reservation. This is not typically deducted in addition to the cancellation charge, so it may have been a bug."

So, look carefully when canceling a Spirit Airlines flight to ensure you're only being charged the cancellation fees.

You'll get the remaining balance as a reservation credit valid for trips booked within 90 days of issuance. You can use reservation credits to pay for fares, bags, seats, fees and taxes.

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Related: Is the Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat worth it?

Change your Spirit Airlines flight for free with Flight Flex

Flight Flex allows you one opportunity to change your flight after booking without a fee. This option allows you to change the date and time of your flight as well as your origin and destination. But you can't change the name on your ticket with Flight Flex.

You can purchase Flight Flex when you book, although prices vary and you must purchase this add-on for all travelers on an itinerary. Unfortunately, you can't add Flight Flex after your initial purchase. Flight Flex is a complimentary benefit for Free Spirit Gold members.

(Screenshot from spirit.com)

Related: Everything you should know before flying Spirit Airlines

Spirit refund policy

Spirit Airlines may have the simplest refund policy in the airline industry. The airline clearly states on its website, "We do not offer refundable fares — it helps us to keep prices low for all of our passengers."

Spirit Airlines does offer very low fares on certain routes, so we're not surprised the airline has a strict refund policy.

Related: Watch as we review 2 very different ways of flying Spirit Airlines

How to change a Spirit Airlines flight

To change a Spirit Airlines flight, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Spirit Airlines account or click on the "My Trips" tap on the Spirit website and enter your flight information.
  2. Select the flight you want to change.
  3. Scroll down until you see the "Change flights" option on the right-hand side.
  4. Follow the prompts to select a new flight.
(Screenshot from Spirit.com)

If you're not entitled to a refund, you'll get a reservation credit for the remaining balance of the original purchase after Spirit deducts change fees and any other nonrefundable charges.

Bottom line

Compared to larger legacy airlines such as American, Delta and United, the Spirit cancellation policy now seems somewhat stingy. Of course, before the pandemic, a cancellation or change fee of less than $100 would have seemed like a bargain.

There was a time when a $99 change fee would have wiped out the entire value of many Spirit Airlines tickets. But, as Spirit has grown its route network, prices have increased. So, with change fees of less than $100, you still may have enough credit left over after you cancel your Spirit Airlines flight to get started on your next trip.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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