WELCOME TO THE ULTIMATE
If you ask the online community for their opinion on whether or not to fly Spirit Airlines, the U.S. based budget carrier, advice will come pouring in to run the other way. Sadly, they haven’t earned the greatest reputation, but we think they're pretty awesome!
We recently tested out Spirit Airways on a short flight from Los Angeles, CA to Las Vegas, NV and were pleasantly surprised. Because it was such a short flight and a last minute trip, we decided not to use points and booked with cash (or rather, credit card-- to collect more points, of course!)
At the time of booking, we noticed that they had four first class seats available to upgrade for only $29 per seat! (Spirit calls their first class “Big Front Seats”). If you’ve always wanted a chance to fly first class, but haven’t yet and don't have points, Spirit would be the place to go ahead and give it a try. We enjoyed the seats more than many first class domestic products we’ve flown, including American Airlines domestic first class, and the price is super cheap.
When we first walked in to the check-in area, we were greeted with utter chaos. Apparently a recent flight had been canceled and there was a pack of frustrated fliers crowding the desk trying to get refunds or put on other flights. But after only a short moment of standing there trying to assess the situation and what line we should be in, we were approached by a Spirit Airlines employee who helped us right away. He was able to check us in without waiting in line, weighed, tagged and checked our bags and sent us on our way to the gate in just a few short minutes. He was friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and positive despite the chaos swirling all around. What a great way to start our trip!
The actual hard product of the Big Front Seats is impressive. The seats are large, comfortable, modern and clean. There is a lot of legroom and space. They don’t serve any meals or drinks, even in first class, (nope, not even peanuts!) so be prepared with snacks or prepared to buy. However, the prices to buy snacks are not outrageous, and are actually quite fair. For example, our daughter bought a bag of snack mix for $4 but it ended up being a huge bag that the four of us were able to split. Although there is no personal entertainment, Spirit Airways has recently equipped their entire fleet with WiFi available for purchase.
Keep in mind, that although Spirit can look ultra thrifty at first glance, they do have a lot of hidden fees. So beware, because those fees can quickly add up making your flight more expensive than other options. When researching, be sure to consider all the fees in advance to assess whether the price you see really is a steal.
Spirit Airlines extra fees consist of:
**Note: you are entitled to 1 personal item to bring onboard for free which can be a small backpack. I put my purse inside a backpack and filled them both up, which allowed me to bring on many items without purchasing a carry-on bag, and still allowed me to bring my purse.
We really enjoyed flying Spirit Airlines Big Front Seats and look forward to flying them again in the future. We’ve heard nightmare stories of them canceling flights and always running late, so try them out on a flight when you're flexible. (For the record, our flight was slightly late boarding- about 15 minutes- ,but it was not a huge inconvenience and we made up some of that time in the air anyway. There may be blips along the way, but if you come with flexibility, patience, and snacks, you can score a great flight for a super low price! Even considering we had 3 checked bags (One was overweight), upgraded first class seats, and a few purchased snacks, we still ended up paying less than a Southwest economy flight!
Did you love or hate Spirit Airlines when you flew them? Tell us your experience in the comments!
Frontier Airlines is giving away FREE flights to people whose last name is Green or Greene!
As part of Frontier’s Green Week, the airline is inviting people to fly America's greenest airline.
To claim your free flight, simply book using their promotional website and verify that your last name is Green or Greene.
Your flight must depart on August 13, 2019 and return on August 20, 2019.
This promotion is only applicable for those with the last name of Green or Greene. (Family members, including spouses, parents, children and siblings are not eligible if their last name is not Green or Greene).
Make sure to share this with all your Green (or Greene) friends!
Do you think we have enough time to get our names changed? ;-) If not, don't be too sour! There are lots of other opportunities to win great prizes every day through 8/13!
57 rue de Courcelles, 75008 Paris, France
+33 1 58 36 67 00
Located directly in one of the ritziest parts of Paris- the 8th arrondissement- right off the famous Avenue Champs-Élysées, the luxurious Hotel Du Collectionneur is our top choice of places to stay when visiting Paris. This grand 5-star property has 478 spacious rooms and suites, making it the largest 5-star hotel in Europe! It boasts an idyllic spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, elegant restaurant offering fine French cuisine in a delectable dining room, a sophisticated bar, and an incredible breakfast buffet brimming with lobster and Parisian sweets. The cost to stay in this fabulous hotel is $435/ night. We stayed 3 nights, but we spent $0! Find out how at the bottom of this post.
Perhaps the greatest feature of this hotel is its location, with many sidewalk cafes and shops and lots to see within walking distance. This iconic 1930s Art Deco designed hotel is located in the heart of Paris, with everything at your fingertips. The famous Arc De Triomphe is just a quick 10 minute walk away. Located just across the street is the Parc Monceau, perfect for picturesque picnics. It may not be as well known as the Jardin du Luxembourg, but it's just as beautiful and far less crowded. A short stroll away is also the scenic tree-lined Avenue des Champs-Élysées, where you can shop those luxe Parisian boutiques. For sites further out, the Courcelles Metro Station (Line 2) is just a 5 minute walk away, and the Batobus also has a stop located just 1 mile from the hotel. For transportation around Paris, we highly recommend ditching the metro and cabs and buying a Batobus pass instead. Batobus is a hop on/ hop off boat ferry service that runs up and down the Seine river, with stops at all the main tourist destinations in Paris, turning your transportation into an attraction itself.
When we first pulled up to the hotel in our cab from the airport, we were in awe. The facade looks like a true palace, everything you would hope for a Parisian hotel to be. The inside lobby is just as grand, decked out in gold leaf and black marble accents and extravagant purple velvet chairs lined throughout. The generous staff upgraded us to a premium room on a top floor with views of the Eiffel Tower and we couldn't have been happier.
Tricked out in Art Deco-style furnishings, all the rooms have been recently modernized and are gorgeous. The luxury standard rooms have large beds, workspaces, high-speed internet, and a smartphone available in each room to use free of charge for unlimited calling and 4G internet throughout the city. The marble bathrooms are lavish and are fully equipped with posh amenities by French company Le Labo. The upgraded suites also feature private balcony terraces, as well as full living rooms.
The most beautiful feature of this hotel is the gorgeous Andalusian style atrium in the center of the hotel. This pretty rose-filled patio is where breakfast is held each morning and it was absolutely breathtaking to dine in. The service for breakfast was equally outstanding, with wait staff constantly filling our drinks and making sure we had everything we needed. They even saved our favorite table for us each morning once they learned which it was. The breakfast buffet quality was top-notch (Would you expect anything less in Paris?) It included incredible house-baked croissants and pastries, a made-to-order omelet and waffle station, charcuterie, seafood, fresh fruits, and even sushi.
We happened to be in Paris on July 14, Bastille day, France's National Day, which made the location of this hotel even more important. France celebrates this annual holiday with an impressive military parade down the Champs-Élysées ending at the Arch De Triomphe where traditionally the French president and his cabinet watch from above. At night, the Eiffel Tower gets all lit up in a spectacular fireworks show. (Pro-Tip: If you happen to be in Paris on Bastille Day, both the Arc De Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower are closed to the public on this day to prepare for the celebrations. In fact, most of the city shuts down, so plan to either join in on the festivities, or have a low-key day in a beautiful Parisian park).
Because our hotel was so close to the celebrations, we didn't have to bother with waking up at the crack of dawn to fight crowds on the metro, and were able instead to walk down to the parade route right after breakfast and happened upon a fantastic view. We thoroughly enjoyed the Bastille Day hoopla and when it was all over, we simply walked back to our hotel, not having to deal with the traffic mess created by crowds and road closures. Even better, at night we were able to open our windows onto our quaint little balcony and watch the Bastille Day fireworks over the Eiffel Tower, from our cozy room with fresh baguettes in hand. Our kids watched the show in their pajamas and then fell asleep looking out at the city of lights with a cool Parisian breeze drifting in.
How did we do it?
We accumulated points on the Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Card and redeemed them via the Chase Reserve Portal, where every point is worth 1.5 cents.
The total cash value of this hotel stay was $1,305.25
We redeemed 87,016 points, which at a rate of 1.5 cents per point covered the full amount.
Making our grand total to stay in this fabulous hotel: $0!
What's your favorite site to see in the city of lights and romance? Drop us a comment and let us know your favorite hidden gem of Paris!