It's fucking terrible.
But there is something impressive, if not quite admirable, about a business that is equal parts populist and profitable.
No fuck you there isn't.
Any other business observes the social contract between buyer and seller: I give you money, you give me service. More than that, any other airline observes affinity: if I've given you money once, I'm more likely to give you money again unless I had an awful time. Spirit exists to give everyone an awful time.
Delta fleet: 661 aircraft
American fleet: 951 aircraft
United fleet: 746 aircraft
JetBlue fleet: 243 aircraft
Southwest fleet: 706 aircraft
Alaska fleet: 313 aircraft
Spirit fleet: 118 aircraft
Spirit is a tiny, shitty airline that barely operates yet everyone has an opinion about them because everyone has flown Spirit exactly once and then vowed upon penalty of death that they would never fucking hate themselves that much ever again. Because if you fly at all regularly, you recognize that holy fucking shit it's worth $30 to have a seat pitch that allows you to put your knees together, flight attendants that smile at you, overhead bins that you can use without running your credit card and sweet merciful god, a plane that gets there most of the time.
Spirit is a booby trap of an airline. Whereas most airlines make their money from frequent flyers and business travelers, Spirit makes their money from college kids too naive to know they shouldn't fly Spirit.
I have one friend who has flown Spirit twice. I asked him "do you really hate yourself that much?"
"Today, I do," he said. "Today I do."