We had a round trip ticket with Spirit Airlines to Las Vegas departing from Denver May 9, 2013, returning May 12, 2013. We arrived at DIA at 9:30 am. Our flight was to leave at 11:50 am. We boarded the plane 40 minutes late, made it out to the runway and were told we were returning to the gate for an issue with the hydraulics. We were told this would take about 2-3 hours to repair. Our depart time was changed to 2 pm. At 2, we were told it was now 3 pm. At 3, we were told it was now 4 pm. Finally around 5 pm, we boarded the plane. Just an aside, the flight attendants were very rude.
The woman next to me was told “you need to put your bag under the seat”. She was Asian and didn't understand English very well. When she asked for clarification, she was told “you need to put your bag under the seat now!!” This woman just spent 5 hours sitting in the airport waiting for a flight. I think a "please" was in order not a barking command. We again made it out to the runway and were told we had to return to the gate as there was an issue with the braking system. Passengers became very upset (not unruly or out of line) at this point and Spirit had the DIA police waiting at the gate when we returned. The supervisor came over the intercom.
Several of the passengers could not hear and he was asked to speak up, he told us “this is as loud as it gets folks”. He was non-apologetic as were all of the Spirit employees. They were actually intimidating toward us, telling us to be quiet and not cause trouble. The employees consistently had the attitude that the passengers were out of line . We were not offered food, drink or anything in the 12 hours we spent at the airport. My companion and I had serious reservations about the safety of the plane and decided to cancel our flight and book another.
We were given our refund and assured that our bags would be taken off the plane and would arrive at carousel 5.
When we and several other passengers that had cancelled their flights were waiting for our bags, a Spirit employee came up and informed us that our bags were on the way to Las Vegas and wouldn't be back until 11:45 the next morning. Many of us live hours away from the airport and could not go home and come back the next morning. When we asked about hotel vouchers, we were told no vouchers would be issued. The employees were extremely arrogant and indifferent toward our complaints, treating us as if we were in the wrong.
We were hesitant to book another flight as our bags would be headed back to Denver. When we were still in the airport trying to figure out what to do, we noticed the Spirit airlines ticketing had a line of people. It turns out the flight went out again and came back to the gate for a mechanical problem. The flight was finally cancelled. We did get our luggage back that evening. Then we felt safe booking another flight but by that time the seats were full as they were taken by other passengers from the Spirit flight.
We booked our own hotel room as it was 10 pm by the time we left the airport. We saw another passenger at the hotel. He said Spirit did get him on a flight out in the am with Frontier however, would not give him a hotel voucher. The Frontier employee was very sympathetic and gave him a hotel voucher. Now that is customer service. When we called Spirit the next morning, we were told we would be issued a 50$ voucher to fly with Spirit again but they could do nothing more for us.
I am a nurse at Children's Hospital and a single mom. It is very rare for me to get time away to go somewhere for R&R. I had been looking forward to this trip for 2 mos. Thanks to Spirit Airlines, my rare 4-day weekend away was ruined. The arrogance and indifference displayed by the Spirit employees was appalling. I have never, in my 48 years, experienced such poor customer service.
FT LAUDERDALE, TEXAS -- I would like to let it be known about my first trip with Spirit Airlines. I am a very dissatisfied customer and never been treated so rudely and as if I'm incapable of following rules well. On my trip to Ft Lauderdale, FL I wanted to save some money so I decided to fly with Spirit Airlines. I purchased my ticket through CheapAir.com which I have used before but this time was not aware baggage was not included. I did my research to find out after paying $232.00 for a round trip ticket that it would be an additional fee for baggage. That was a little disturbing due to it was not brought to my attention and I had the impression baggage fees was included.
Needless to say I end up paying $70.00 for my luggage to ride round trip which is ridiculous. That's not all; I was on time for my flight that was departing to Ft Lauderdale. I received my boarding pass and went to check my bag and then I get to security. The security checked everything and just because I had skin lotion in my bag that was an ounce bigger than the 3 ounces that they allow I had to make a choice to throw it away or put it in my luggage.
I was not going to throw anything away my hard money paid for; I decided to put it in my luggage. That means I had to get out the security line I waited in for 30-45min to go to the customer service line to call for my luggage that took another 10-15 min for them to bring back up. Once I received my luggage I had to start all over again which was making me later and later. I reached customer service representative finally to check my luggage again that I waited in line another 15-20 min for and to find out my plane left. Then the customer service advised me due to me missing my flight I would have to pay an additional $70.00 to reschedule my flight.
At that point I was livid but still remained calm and paid the fee of $70 just to enjoy my trip to Ft Lauderdale, FL. I do say I enjoyed my trip and then I had to return back to Dallas, TX! My flight was supposed to leave out on a Saturday morning and do I remind you I was on time again at least 2 hrs ahead of schedule.
I received my boarding pass and check my bag, the customer service representative advised me due to my luggage being 51 lbs I had to pay an additional $25 to another customer service representative in a whole different line. Which mean I was waiting again all together a little over an hour which I was still calm and charged it on my card so I can get home and to never use this company again. In the process guess what??? I miss my flight again and the representative told me that she can reschedule me due to I was already there when the plane was departing and there will be no additional fee.
Now that really top the cake, so you mean to tell me I came out of pocket $70 to reschedule my first flight when I was already at the freaking airport? The customer service rescheduled and I went ahead and checked my bag so I don't have to deal with any more lines when I returned. I returned that night to catch my flight and this time I made sure I was 4 hrs early. I sat by my gate the whole time and the boarding time came up and when I looked at the screen the destination was changed.
I ask an attendant what was going and these are her exact words "Dallas was boarded at another gate and I announced it on the intercom and if you was listening you would have known that!" I walked away to go speak with a supervisor which I had to wait another 45-60 mins to get assistance. I tried to explain my situation and at this point I am livid and entirely fed up. I ask "When is the next flight and am I able to leave ASAP due to my bag was already in Dallas?" The supervisor told me that was nothing she can do, the soonest available flight was on Monday. Do I remind you this is Saturday and I have 'NO' clothes.
I advised her that was not acceptable and I will need to be accommodated for my needs. She said She cannot offer me anything but to reschedule for Monday; she will not refund me and will not provide a hotel room. I have a choice to take the flight Monday or nothing at all! That's when I snapped, she was very rude and I thought you supposed to do your best to satisfy your customers. I myself am a Supervisor and I would at least advise the customer to allow me to see what I can do to assist you and not there is anything I can do. I was unable to bring to her attention on the rude attendant because after that she walked away.
There was an attendant that was standing there and I wish I would have taken her name down cause she tried her best to assist me and put me on standby for Sunday morning and submitted a request for my refund I had ask the supervisor for. I have never flown with any other airlines and received this horrible service before and I will make it my purpose to bring this to everyone that I know attention. They will never get my money again and I will make sure I let everyone know mainly after seeing 15-20 customers pissed off at the airlines for whatever reason.
Thanks for listening. They will never get my money again.
FT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- Had a roundtrip flight and coming back was a mess. Sunday - our 9:30 pm flight was cancelled at 7 pm. They made us go get our luggage which was down stairs in open area. Then a Spirit representative told us we had 3 options - 1st to stay and get a 9:30 pm flight out Monday or take ground shuttle at 11 am to ft Meyers for 3:10 flight. or get money back. 31 of us took the shuttle to ft Meyers. They put us in hotel for the night and gave us a 7.00 food voucher. We made it to ft Meyers at 1 pm and checked our bags and went to get plane. It was delayed till 4:30 then at 3:30 it was delayed till 5:37. That's where it stayed till they cancelled the flight at 6 pm.
The Spirit lady said that she would not lie to us that it had been cancelled due to the Strike, before it was weather issues but, everyone knew that was not true. So again everyone went to get there luggage in hall again and went to Spirit ticket counter. A lot of people left unsure of what was going on. The lady was very rude and short with everyone she yelled out "I have a flight going to Chicago international that leaves in 20 minutes and you need to make up your mind and book it to talk to customer service when you get there to get to your destinations." When we asked questions she looked pass us and said "next".... so we had to go to Chicago!!
When we got to Chicago that flight was also cancelled. We were stuck again.... finally got to counter to talk with someone and she basically called us lying that she got an e-mail from the lady in ft Myers saying that we chose this as our final destination. That was not true and it took a few people to tell her the same story that she gave us tickets to fly out Tuesday at 8 am.
We noticed when we first got there they were giving vouchers to a lot of people that were from Tampa and when everyone was gone there were just us sitting at the airport on their hard benches at midnight. Then we asked for vouchers as well and after a little yelling and frustration they gave 8 of us rooms again. We did make it home Tuesday 9:07 am. I DID CALL SPIRIT CUSTOMER COMPLAINT. THEY ONLY OFFERED A 50 DOLLAR VOUCHER TO FLY WITH THEM AGAIN! PLEASE HELP.
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY -- Hurricane Sandy hit on 10/28/12. From that date on we tried to contact Spirit airlines by cell phone and internet to cancel tickets for 11/2/12. Since we had no power for several days this was not easy. When our power was restored the internet connection to the ticketing office would "bump" you out or fail to recognize the request. No one answered the phone even when I held for 1 hour 35 minutes on the cell phone. With help from a travel agent contact was finally made on November 1. Spirit refused to acknowledge that you could not contact them either on line or by phone and refused to cancel the tickets. Instead they offered a partial refund.
Later that same day they reneged on the refund and said we had to rebook the flight by December 1 or lose the entire cost of the tickets. It's almost impossible to reschedule an entire vacation within that time limit. We couldn't do it and Spirit refused to refund. If the rules are rigged in the favor of the airlines so you cannot cancel or reschedule within the required time frames forcing you to forfeit the cost of the ticket, then I consider that cheating or illegal terms, consumer fraud. The local paper printed an article on several airlines that were allowing people to reschedule or cancel trips due to the storm and Spirit was one of them. That's false advertising.
You offer to refund or reschedule but when a customer opts to do that you make the terms and conditions so restrictive - it's an empty offer and they know it. That's False advertising. We will never book another ticket with this airline. They pile off frequent flier miles, that have so many restriction as to render them useless, will go unused. I hope adding this complaint to the thousands of other complaints I found will eventually put these folks out of business and allow for a reputable airline to take their place.
OHIO -- Spirit Airlines has got to be one of the worst airline ever. First we get on the plane in Detroit and my husband sits in his seat. There is duct tape holding up the tray table and a sign duct taped to the table saying "do not sit in this seat." We talk to the stewardess and she tells us "don't worry about it you can sit there." Then they come over the speaker and say the flight has been overbooked and they need three people to get off the plane. So we sit while they try to get people off and on the plane. Then they say "We have a light out on the wing and can not fly in the dark without it."
So they are going to the hanger to get another light and it will be at least an hour before we can take off. So we sit on the plane and wait. An hour and a half later and the come back and tell us that some people will be missing their next flight and that they must get off the plane and still we sit. I ask the flight attendant if I could have a drink of water she says "yes but it will cost you 3 dollars." ARE YOU KIDDING ME? We have been stuck on this plane at the gate for two hours and they are going to charge you for WATER. OK so we finally get up in the air and land in Fort Lauderdale. We are to change flights and hope we are on our way to St Thomas.
We board the next plane and you would not believe this but once again my husband's tray table is taped and a sign says "do not sit in this seat." Well we say nothing because we already know the answer. It was a very sad flight. All I kept thinking was if they can't fix the tray table how are they fixing the engines? You would think that would be the end of it right? Well no because we had to get home on the same airlines. So we get to the airport and find out that the other airlines are cancelling their flights due to the wind. OK so Spirit Airline make you go in this little room and wait to see if they are going to cancel or not. So we sit and sit.
So two hours later they finally tell us that the flight was cancelled and that we need to rebook on another flight. So we stand in line and when we get up to the front to rebook they tell us the soonest they can get us out would be THE NEXT SUNDAY maybe. Are you kidding? They tell us we could go to the small plane airline and pay two hundred dollars each to fly to Puerto Rico and then get on a Spirit Airline plane from there. OK so if we do that when would we get out of Puerto Rico. She says "well we may be able to get you out next Saturday or Sunday". This is no joke. So here we go going from airline to airline trying to get a flight out of St. Thomas.
We get a flight out on American Airline leaving on Wednesday for $1100.00. Then it back to Spirit to get our money back for the flight they could not provide. They gave us back $420.00 but they could not put it on my credit card because we had paid for it through a travel agent. We would have to get the money from them. I ask "What about the money I paid for my bags?" They say "Well that goes back to the travel agent also." I say "but that was on MY CARD." I am told that's their policy "sorry".
So my out of pocket for my three extra days that Spirit Airlines made me eat was $1300.00. That includes the hotel we had to get and the food we had to buy. I'm just glad we had the money in our account to pay. Could you imagine this happening and you were down to your last twenty dollars? So if you value your life and you money do not ever fly Spirit Airlines!
DALLAS, TEXAS -- We flew Spirit Airline from Dallas Texas to Baltimore, to attend my nephew's football game. We chose Spirit to get what we thought to be a cheaper flight. The federal government or whatever regulating forces governing the airlines, should force transparency within this company. By no means, were the tickets less expensive, but were actually more expensive, due to the ALL of the charges that were applied once we got to the airport. I have flown many different airlines and by far, this was the very worst that we have ever experienced. I have never written a review (good or bad) but I felt that if I could save someone else from this company, I should do so.
First of all, my brother, who is off work on medical leave was told that he never purchased a ticket. He was able to show that his credit card was charged, however he was told that if he wanted to make the flight, he had to purchase another ticket and then take it up with customer service. Customer service with this company is a joke and their "customer service" tactics borderline being illegal, considering I have read review after review stating similar incidents, where people were never reimbursed. Where I come from that's called stealing. After paying $205 dollars for another ticket and an additional $142.00 for our luggage, we were able to board the plane.
The seating on the plane was extremely uncomfortable, but what would I expect at this point? What was surprising however, was that we were "offered" drinks and then we were told that we owed $3.00 per drink and were asked for our credit card. This is the biggest rip-off I have personally ever experienced. I hope that others read the reviews and fly an airline that reveal their fees upfront, because trust me you pay more in the end. I cannot not endorse the character of this company and will NEVER fly this airline again.
Needing to be in NJ for my granddaughter's highschool graduation June 13, I booked a flight with Spirit Airlines on April 9, after joining their $9 airfare program at a cost of an $59. I supposedly received the lowest fare for the flight I chose. The very next day, I was sent an email offering "graduation specials", flights for $19. Of course, my exact flight was listed. I was informed that I would have to purchase the tickets and wait until 7 days before the flight to cancel the original tickets I bought.. OK. I continued to receive discount and specials advertising the exact date and flight that I had already purchased. What a slap in the face.
After sending an email to Spirit Consumer services, a response was sent, stating some corporate gobbly gook! 7 days before my scheduled flight I called to cancel my flight, was directed to India, where, when I asked to speak with someone I could understand, was told "I can understand you". Really? After speaking with a CSR who informed me that since I was a member of the $9 fare club, I could not apply any other promotion to flight! WHAT? "I will let you speak with a supervisor" the polite voice stated. On hold again. The supervisor informed me that the tickets, and the $9 fare club were non-refundable. Hmmm. OK suck it up the saying goes.
The flight from Myrtle Beach to Atlantic City was uneventful. The return flight, however was a different story. I was at the AC airport at 5 am 6/19 (for a 6:50 am flight) Along with about 200 other Spirit passengers. We were corralled in a red rope "pen" where we waited, not moving for maybe 10-15 minutes, adding customers, watching the chaos, chatting with other passengers. At some point a Spirit employee - director of traffic asked for a show of hands for Myrtle Beach fliers. Are we in kindergarten? "OK" she said. Lifting the stretchy red rope "Go under the rope and follow me".
Dutifully we followed her, to stand in wait for another 10 minutes while she ran around like a crazy, disorganized woman. We should have been on the plane by this time. Hadn't even checked in. I, as well as the people around us were informed that the flight was overbooked and we should go to the gate telling them that we did not have a seat. Oh, that's right, I did not PURCHASE my seat when I booked my flight. The people in front of me had bought their tickets 2 weeks before at a cost of $38.50!!! The gentleman behind me said the same. Neither were members of the $9 fare club by the way. The humiliation still doesn't end. More chaos at the gate.
My name was called and I was assigned a seat. I took a deep breath and went to my seat, which, did you guess it? was already occupied. I tried to maintain my composure, making a joke about sitting on someone's lap. Now I am standing at the front of the plane, waiting for my next direction. The people before me, and behind me were already seated. The "gatekeeper" then came in calling a man's name. No one answered. Still I stand, with the entire plane watching me, knowing we should have already been in the air. The gatekeeper returned, saying she had made a mistake, and although the 1st name was the same, the last name was **, not **.
Mr ** got off of the plane and I was assigned to his seat. Embarrassment, humiliation, exhaustion. This is how Spirit treats its customers. As I stated in previous correspondence with Spirit, When I read that Spirit has filed for bankruptcy, I will nod in understanding.
FT. LAUDERDALE/LATROBE, FLORIDA -- I would like to begin by saying that prior to adding all the new routes, Spirit actually didn't suck. However, it seems to me that their route to plane ratio is off….by A LOT. I am forced to fly Spirit due to my family situation. My mother has stage 7 Alzheimer's and my father is her caregiver. They can't drive to Pittsburgh to pick me up from the airport so I have to fly into Latrobe, which means I have to fly Spirit. However, I would like to warn any potential new Spirit customers as to what they can now come to expect from this airline.
I have flown on Spirit the 4 times this year and with all four flights, I have been delayed and there has been a SEVERE lack of communication on the part of Spirit as to why/how. Spirit has had inaccurate information posted at the airport, with the desk people and also on their automated phone system. My most recent flight was on the 20th of April, returning the 23rd.
Every single flight Spirit had at Ft. Lauderdale airport was delayed INDEFINITELY (they actually switched gates once – changed the flight departure time thrice AND even threatened cancelling once) and the best excuse Spirit could come up with was that the planes just hadn't arrived yet. I AM NOT KIDDING. Apparently, when Spirit offered the flights and posted the times online, they actually didn't check how long it takes their planes to get from point A to point B. Then, adding insult to injury, they gave a lousy $7 food voucher as compensation. YOU CAN'T BUY A SANDWICH AT AN AIRPORT FOR SEVEN DOLLARS IN 2012.
As I mentioned, all other flights were delayed as well, due to aircraft just not being there! After waiting 5 hours, we finally boarded the plane, and again the only reason given was ‘well the plane is coming from South America'. That's awesome but I'm pretty sure they should have been able to plan for that, seeing as they make the schedule. On the return flight things got even more fun! I phoned Spirit to ensure my flight was still as scheduled and the automated system told me (over and over and over) that the flight was CANCELLED! It told me to hold on for a customer service representative.
When said representative answered he informed me that there was a 15-minute delay only. Interesting. Then I phoned the actual airport and the man at the Spirit counter told me there was NO DELAY AT ALL. I asked him to double check and he returned telling me it would be over an hour delay. I ended up going to airport at scheduled time JUST IN CASE. Now, I realize that there was a freak snowstorm on this particular day (which is the only reason I phoned Spirit upon waking up) however, that was not the reason given for my delay. In fact, I asked if it had anything to do with the weather and was told no.
This is not the way a business should be able to act and remain in business. I have never, ever witnessed a business that relies on its customers yet cares so little about them. It is disgusting. Now, I am currently waiting on my aunts to arrive and unfortunately they made their reservations with Spirit prior to my issues with the airline. Guess what!? THEY ARE DELAYED WITHOUT CAUSE! Wow – what a surprise!!! Spirit needs to understand that they will cease to exist if they don't cater to the people who buy tickets. Pretty simple logic but, obviously, Spirit doesn't have intelligent people at the helm.
Spirit needs to up their customer service in a big way and begin to offer free tickets as compensation when a flight is delayed, you know, like other airlines. Nobody wants to be delayed, however, the sting is dramatically reduced if a free trip is offered and the airline has another chance to change the first (or in my case) most recent impression(s). I will fly with them until my mother passes, but I promise that it will be the final time I fly with Spirit unless things change drastically. So, please – the extra $80-$100 you may save by choosing Spirit probably won't be worth it when your flight is delayed, without reason, without compensation and without a care.
Our first time flying with Spirit. We are retired and live in a 407 unit retirement community. We departed on July 30th from Tampa to Ft Lauderdale to Costa Rica flt 571 to 755. The flight was pleasant and we realized I needed to upgrade my seat on return flight on August 4th flt 756 CR to Ft Lauderdale. Then Ft Lauderdale to Tampa flt 574. So I paid the 60 dollars extra and I changed my seat from 24B to seat 1C. My wife remained in 24C (she is a small lady and the jammed rear seats were okay for her).
On departure day the gate lady said in broken English "oh your wife is not sitting with you, would like her to sit with you?" I said "Sure but will it cost me more to have her sit with me?" She said "no extra charge" and moved us to 4D and 4E. I thought how nice an upgrade for my wife at no addtl charge. However when we boarded the flt 756 we found that 4D and 4E were NOT upgraded seats - that only row one was upgraded seats. So I approached the lead flight attendant and told him that my upgraded seat had been changed at the gate and I paid the extra money for NOTHING.
He said we are 2 1/2 hours late on our departure (flight 756 left at 2:40 pm not at 12:30 due to the door being damaged) and he said you must talk with my manager.. He pointed to a lady who walked on plane with a walkie talkie, but she said "sir I am busy with the flight delay, I will try to help you later." Well as the flight departed the lead flight attendant motioned to a black male and white female to the rear of the plane and allowed them to sit in 1C and 1D. I approached this attendant again once we were in the air and told him "what is going on?" - that I had paid for that 1C seat and he gave it to the black male.
He said very rudely he doesn't have anything to do with seating and that it was" tough" for me - I shouldn't have switched seats! I said "The gate lady did it, why would I pay $60.00 dollars more for the seat and then give it up to sit in standard seat?" He again said "That is your problem. Take it up with Spirit when we land.", again very rudely. I asked for his name and he "refused" to give it to me..his name badge was covered by his smock.
He said "they do not have to give out their names!" (I missed his name when he had initially said the crews name at departure) but he refused to repeat it to me. The other crew members also refused to give me his name. (I saw him speaking to them as he pointed at me). So I got out my camera and during the flight I took his photo. He walked over to me and said very nastily "you are not allowed to take photos in this plane!" I then hid my camera as I thought he was going to take it from me and I said nothing back to him, I was afraid he would hurt me. (I am a 63-year old disabled American War vet and I was afraid he would start a fight with me).
The lady passenger in seat 2A witnessed and heard most of what he did and said to me, she told me to contact Spirit and they could contact her upon her return from New York and she would back up what I have told you. She was a 10-year veteran airline stewardess and never heard of any regulation that a passenger can't take photos in the plane and she also saw this lead attendant give the row 1 (one) seats to that black male and white female in spite of me informing him that I had paid for the seat. I had the flight documents that showed the seat upgrade and still have all documents.
I have the photo of this lead attendant who was identified by your ticket personnel at Tampa airport that his name was **? He is a black male, bald headed, clean shaven, slim build and maybe 5'7". Your Spirit staff at Tampa airport listened to the entire issue, looked over my documents, confirmed on their computer and were wonderful in their understanding and issued me the credit for the 1C seat upgrade with an apology and polite attitude. They also confirmed that he should have given me his first name, that the other attendants should have as well and that there is NO regulation about me taking photos on the plane.
They were most helpful and treated me with respect and dignity not with rudeness, intimidation and poor customer service like ** did. His photo is attached. I am totally upset with Spirit airlines and the fear and intimidation I received by one of your employees, he could have handled it with grace and professionalism but I believe he was upset that I caught him giving up the two seats in row one to a friend of his. I am sure you will do nothing about this incident, but I had to air out my frustration and fear to Spirit Airlines. It is also a shame that you don't provide any phone numbers for Spirit at the Tampa Airport.
I lost my driver's license at the Spirit counter at 9:30 PM on August 4th while I was talking to your staff about the complaint and I also needed a break down explanation on some of the charges to my credit card. Your broken English speaking Spirit rep, at your 1-800 number spoke with me 4 times for about 10 seconds each time then excused himself on 3 occasions to get advice from his supervisor (he placed me on hold). He also refused to provide me with a contact number at Tampa Airport for the Spirit ticket counter or any contact number.
I stayed on the phone for more than 1 hour (one hour) and after the 3rd time he put me on hold he never returned to the phone. Spirit Airlines has the worst customer service I have ever experienced with an airlines. P.S. We were told to arrive at San Jose Airport CR 3 hours prior to departure, which we did but, the Spirit employees arrived 2 hours prior to departure, so we had to wait at the counter for one hour until they arrived.
FT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- I know this is long, but PLEASE read all of it... It could really save you!!! Alright... So I just got back from my week long, much needed, vacation in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (I had a great time down there.) When I booked the trip, CheapTickets.com showed that Spirit Airlines was the cheapest carrier. I had never heard of them, but figured they wouldn't be much different than any other carrier. Boy was I wrong!!! Everything started out a week before my flight. After doing some research online, I learned that Spirit charges for checked luggage (as United now does as well).
At the time, It was $5 per piece in advance, $10 on the day of your flight. (This went up to $10 and $20 on 20 Feb 08.) So, I showed up to the airport on Monday (six days before my flight) to pay for my luggage, so I wouldn't have anything to worry about the day of my flight. The guy initially tells me to just do it the day of the flight, but since I had driven down there and paid for parking, I wanted to just get it done with. As I show the desk agent my ID, we says, "Oh! You're active duty military? We don't charge you guys." So, I'm like, "Okay... Well, can I get your name, so I have you as a contact of who told me this?" He gives me his name and I'm on my way.
Morning of check-in... I show up with military ID in hand. Guess what? They tell me that only applies to people in uniform. Little piece of information that was obviously left out. (On another note, I'm always a big fan of the fact that we in the Coast Guard are told not to fly in uniform because of security concerns, but Army does it all the time... So pretty much, all these discounts are available to Army only. Nice.) They end up not charging me for my luggage and I'm on my way. The rest of the flight is fine, other than the fact that they charge for EVERYTHING on the plane! A can of soda will cost you $2! Not even a cup of water is free!
Return flight... The terminal in Montego Bay is split in two. Our gate is in the half that is under renovation, so there is no air conditioning. Now, Montego Bay is not exactly cold during any time of the year, so it was roasting in there. The flight we were getting on was 30 minutes late getting into Jamaica due to bad weather in Detroit. The plane finally gets there and we all board. 30 minutes late at this point. As the pilots are doing their checks and everything, the APU (External power for the plane during idle) conks out. Now we have no air circulation on the plane.
After 45 minutes of sitting there boiling in the heat, they decide to open a couple doors, this helps minimally. Apparently the ground crew is looking for the correct cord for the unit to connect to the plane with. At about the hour point, the crew actually passes out water. (Just tiny cups, and they actually don't charge us... Surprise!) After an hour and a half, they FINALLY push back from the gate. At this point, I know unless my flight to Washington, DC (DCA) that connects in Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) is delayed, I'm missing my flight. We get into Ft. Lauderdale... Halfway home!
Only problem is, I am the first person through customs, first one with my bags, and first one to literally sprint down the concourse to the flight. G-o-n-e. Why does this suck? Well, there are only two flights from FLL to DCA in a day and that was the last one. No one stood a chance of getting on the flight, it was gone. (Despite the fact that the baggage guy told me that if I ran, I'd make it. After training like I have been, there was no way anyone could have been faster.) So, no dice on the flight and I make my way up to the counter to rebook.
Long story short here, Spirit acknowledge that the delay is their fault and they set us (me and two other women) up with a voucher for the taxi to our hotel in Miami and a voucher for the hotel. They also gave us a $9 voucher for dinner and a $7 voucher for breakfast. They tell us that the hotel has a shuttle that will bring us to the airport in the morning. Upon arrival to the hotel, Spirit has not called and made reservations or anything for the three of us. The hotel ends up taking care of all that, but they advise us that there is no shuttle to Miami airport, let alone Ft. Lauderdale, which was a good 30-35 minutes away.
My patience has worn thin at this point and I call the reservation line because no one answers the line at FLL. I tell the reservation guy about the problem with the transportation to the airport and he asks me for my flight info. I give it to him and he pulls up my itinerary. He starts talking about available flights, etc and I tell him, "I don't care about the available flights, I am fine with my flights, please do not change them." I continue to tell him that I just need him to figure out what they are going to do about stranding us at the hotel. I ask to speak to a manager, he puts me on hold then comes back on the line. He starts in with the available flights again.
He is CLEARLY not listening and/or comprehending what I need from him. I ask for a manager again and he tell me, "No. Because they have the same information." I ask again and he denies me. He tells me that I just need to call the airport in the morning. I ask the agent for his name and he refuses, I ask him again and he says, 'Thank you for calling Spirit" and hangs up on me. Now that's what I call awesome customer service! Morning comes and I wake up at 4 AM, which is awesome because with everything that happened, I didn't get to bed until midnight. I start calling the airport immediately.
No one answers from 4 AM until 6 AM when I arrive at the airport. (The counter opens at 3 AM, mind you.) So, because of this, I had to pay $72.10 for the taxi to get back to the airport. When I go to check in, magically, my reservation is gone. G-O-N-E. Funny, considering that I had a reservation when I left the airport the night before and the only person who had viewed it since was the wonderful person who hung up on me the night before. I find that just a teeny bit to coincidental for my taste, but they do end up getting it back and getting that squared away.
At this point, I ask about reimbursement for the taxi. I am told that I now need to contact corporate (which I emailed prior to writing this) to seek reimbursement. Judging how stellar they have been thus far at taking care of their customers, I'll hold my breath. What makes this even better is that our taxi driver told us that he no longer takes Spirit vouchers because they stiffed him on reimbursement before. Awesome! They won't reimburse cab drivers, how the hell do I expect them to pay me?!? All the better, is that through this whole situation, everyone at Spirit is VERY apathetic towards us. We pretty much get the, "Sucks to be you" treatment.
No apologies, no sincerity, no nothing. One of the ladies I ended up in this situation with even got stiffed paying $50 for an overweight bag! To get us home on Sunday, vice Monday, they flew us on a Spirit flight to Atlanta (ATL), then a Delta flight into DCA. When we got our bags in ATL, we had to recheck them with Delta. This woman had already paid an overweight fee for her bag with Spirit and now had to pay an additional one for Delta. *Note: We wouldn't have been in this situation if it weren't for Spirit, so she should NOT have been responsible for this cost.
The Delta flight went smoothly and now I'm back home. What a nightmare though! I have NEVER in my life witnessed such callousness towards customers and such a complete lack of customer service in my life. I will not fly with Spirit again if they paid me. If another flight was $100 more, I'd take it, that's how horribly we were treated. I just wanted to let everyone know so you can avoid ruining a vacation. Imagine if this had happened on the way down to Jamaica, instead of on the way home! Spirit Airlines does some intra-East Coast flights and A LOT of flights to the Caribbean and Central and eastern-South America. Please take my advice and be warned!!!
Please pass this on! I don't want this to happen to anyone else! If you think my incident is isolated, Google "Spirit Airlines Complaints" and you'll see you yourself that this is pretty much par for the course! I wish I had before this!!!