What is the Spirit Airline Drone Policy? We’ve been examining airlines and their drone policies here at Best Travel Drone. In this post we are looking at Spirit Airlines and how to fly Spirit with a drone.
Be sure to check out all of our Airline Drone Policies here.
So, you’ve dropped a grand on a sweet new drone. Maybe you bought the DJI Mavic Pro (rated as the best overall travel drone). Now you’ve scheduled your first trip! You’ve done all your research about your destination but only one question remains!
Can I bring this expensive drone on my Spirit flight? And if so, how!? These are great questions and exactly what we cover below. So read on, fellow drone enthusiast!
Background on Airlines and their Policies on Drones
Previously, we took a detailed look at the the TSA’s policy on drones. By way of review, the Transportation Security Administration leaves drone restrictions up to each airline. As such, there is a wide variety of approaches that airlines have taken (or not taken, as the case may be) regarding flying with a drone.
Case in point: American Airlines, by example, has a fairly well defined policy for traveling with your drone. You can read all about it here.
Delta, on the other hand, has no formal policy (although they indirectly deal with the issue in other policies). Read our full analysis on Delta’s Drone Policy here.
Discount airline Spirit doesn’t directly have a drone policy formally spelled out in their traditional airline policy areas, but they do address the issue of bringing a drone on a Spirit flight in their customer support section. Let’s examine.
Looking for a drone to take on your next trip? You might be interested in our drone review page that examines popular travel drones in great detail.
Spirit Airlines Drone Policy
As noted previously, Spirit does not explicitly call out any formal guidance about drones in their formal policies. You know, the ones that talk about baggage fees and special items, etc. They are silent on drones there.
However, in the Customer Support part of Spirit’s website they address the drone question pretty clearly. Here’s what they say:
- Passengers can carry on or check their drone – depending on size
- If you carry it on, it must comply with the baggage restrictions for carry on bags and it must, of course, fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat
- If you check it, you must house it in a hard shell travel drone case
- Always carry your LiPo batteries (Lithium batteries…aka your drone’s batteries) in carry on luggage (see more on batteries, below). Never check your batteries, says Spirit.
- Drone batteries must not exceed 100 watt hours (typically this is NOT an issue for drone batteries, but you can always check the tech specs on your battery)
- They note that a reasonable number of individually protected LiPo batteries can be carried on, but they don’t give us a number. Just “reasonable.”
Regarding batteries, Spirit also notes:
“Each spare lithium battery must be individually protected so as to prevent short circuits (e.g., by placement in original retail packaging, by otherwise insulating terminals by taping over exposed terminals, or placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch).”
So, in short, Spirit Airlines Drone Policy is pretty consistent with other airline’s approaches on drones.
- You can bring it on or check it.
- If you check it, protect it.
- Never check your batteries
- Comply with general guidance on batteries (e.g. same thing as you laptop battery)
Pretty straightforward really. The only are of concern with the Spirit Drone Policy is regarding the number of batteries you can bring with you. And my concern is about the ambiguity of it.
A reasonable number is highly subjective and this only creates the potential for issues down the road with passengers being pissed off. It would be better if the Spirit Airlines Drone Policy told you could bring 3 batteries or 7 or whatever it is. Just spell it out.
You can read the Spirit Airlines Drone Policy here. Or just look at the snippet I’ve provided, below:
Drones, Batteries & Airplanes
When it comes to traveling with drones there’s really not much to be worried about. It’s pretty much like any other piece of electronic equipment. The only real issue is a battery issues.
Airlines have fairly prescriptive policies regarding batteries and specifically LiPo batteries.
For example, Spirit’s policy on Lithium Polymer batteries is pretty clear:
Basically, batteries can catch fire at altitude so airlines have enacted some rules around traveling with them (they need to be in the pressurized cabin with you and not too big).
The good news is that most of the drone batteries you will be dealing with will be far less than the 100 watt hours (as is the case with Spirit). But, if concerned, just check your drone battery and it will tell you. As an example, aforementioned DJI Mavic Pro’s battery is a mere 43.6 Wh.
So can I bring my drone on a Spirit Airlines flight?
The answer is simple: yes.
You can bring your drone on Spirit Flight. No issues.
Only question you have to ask yourself is do I carry it on or check it?
As a general rule, we suggest travelers NOT check their drones when traveling on a plane. Given the value of the drone you invested in it’s far too likely it could get damaged or (worse) stolen. Instead, carry it on the plane with you for safekeeping.
They are pretty small and with a nice soft case you won’t have any issues on the plane. And you keep that expensive device near you… 🙂
Take the most popular and well regarded travel drone, the DJI Mavic Pro, is a mere 9.7 x 8.9 x 4.7 inches (unfolded) in size (readers can check out the sizes of other popular travel drones in our Travel Drone Comparison table, here). When folded, the DJI Mavic Pro is even smaller.
Even with a drone travel bag (like the DJI Mavic Shoulder Bag) which is a mere 7 x 5 x 9 inches (roughly) You will be good to go.
Final Thoughts on Spirit Airlines Drone Policy
We hope you enjoyed this short discussion of Spirit’s drone policy. Like many other airlines they don’t have a lot of guidance about traveling with your drone. But that’s not that big of deal! So, go, have fun. Take your drone and send pics!
Be sure to check back for future airline drone policies! And, please, check out all of our great travel drone related content, including:
- Best Travel Drone – comparison & analysis of the top drones for travelers
- What’s the TSA Drone Policy?
- American Airlines Drone Policy – can I take my drone on an American Airlines flight?
- Delta Drone Policy – there is no policy!
- Top 5 Drones on Amazon.com
- 147 Travel Tips – the ultimate list of road warrior tips & tricks
- 7 Tips for Traveling with a drone – the experts weigh in