Sunday, May 31, 2015

Don't Fly Spirit Airlines!

I love good deals, just like the next person. But sometimes something you think is a good deal, ends up costing you a lot more.  I'm sorry to say that I was lured in by Spirit's so-called "cheaper prices," but never again! Don't be fooled when you do a comparison of Spirit to other airlines.  Spirit charges unsuspecting customers for everything from an undersized carry-on bag to printing boarding passes. The next thing you know, they will be charging for going to the bathroom!

And it's not just the ridiculous charges that are infuriating, but their customer service is non-existent! All of this will end up costing you MORE.  Let's hope these unethical and deceptive practices don't cause other airlines to follow suit.

Yesterday, after a 4-hour delay in my flight, I go to pick up my bag (which was only checked because Spirit's "definition of a carry-on bag" is different from every other airline) and the flight was not listed anywhere on the arrival screens, so I didn't know which carousel to go to.  I followed signs to the Spirit carousel, but the flight listed on that carousel did not include my flight, so I went to seek out someone who could tell me which carousel would have my baggage.

I finally found someone who told me that all Spirit flights unloaded at carousel 5, but that carousel was empty by this time.  There were no Spirit representatives in sight on the baggage level, and I was told to go up to Spirit's ticket counter to find out about bags.

I didn't want to cut into the very long ticket line, but I wasn't about to wait in another long line when I wasn't even sure if this was the right line..  There were no signs anywhere that indicated where to go for baggage issues.  When I did finally talk to the ticket agent, he told me the bags probably hadn't arrived yet and to go back to Carousel 5 to wait for 15 minutes and if my bags didn't show up, to come back up.

Another couple who also were missing their bags went down with me, but it was very clear to us that no bags from our flight were going to show up.  On the second trip up, I described my bag, but the ticket agent said he couldn't find the guy who was supposed to handle bag issues.

Finally, after over an hour of trying to find someone who could tell me anything about missing bags, I did find the "bag guy" who said my bag was in the back.  The couple who had lost their bags weren't as lucky, and were writing a description of their bags on a piece of paper.  No forms or process for this airline...   Apparently, Spirit is too cheap to invest in any of that.

In the end, I was lucky to get my bag and only got home about 5 hours later than originally planned, so not a big deal for me.  But what was more incredible to me is that Spirit Airlines could get away with this type of service.  Do I really want to trust my life to fly on an airline like this? If they can't figure out how to display the Arrival information on the monitors, what else is missing? Safety checks?

And with such poor customer service, their poor staff is invariably taking the brunt from dissatisfied customers.  I know I had trouble keeping my temper in check when I had to keep interrupting the harried guy at the ticket counter who was undoubtedly having to deal with angry flyers finding out that their so-called "cheap" flight was costing a lot more than they'd bargained for.  It's just a matter of time before these employees go postal...

When I went to write this blog post, I googled "I Hate Spirit Airlines" to find an image and found that this sediment is so popular that even Spirit has made it into a marketing ploy! They put out a video mocking Spirit hate tweets and offer up 8000 Spirit points for your airline hate story.  Don't do it, people.  Using Spirit points would mean flying on Spirit, and that will end up costing you, not only in money, but in frustration.  I'd estimate 8000 Spirit points is worth about -$200 to the consumer.  But worse, it will keep this sleazy airline in business.

It's amazing to me that any business with such poor customer service can be profitable, but, apparently, Spirit airlines is making money from their deceptive marketing and cheap practices. I was pleased to see that there are already groups that are working at spreading the word, letting people know what to do to help shut down Spirit.

Check out
and this Facebook Page to Boycott Spirit: