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Another cancellation
Posted by on
On July 3rd, I had scheduled my vacation with my family to go to Panama (Canal). Now I had never flown on Spirit Airlines before this trip, my wife and other family members had flown numerous times to this destination and back. On this faithful day, we were in route to Orlando Fl, to catch our first flight from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale Fl. It was about 3pm when I received a phone call from a peron from Spirit. Now, I've dealt with numerous companies over the years and I know a lot of them now outsource their customer service help to overseas locations, and well, it seems so has Spirit. It took me almost 45 minutes to decipher what the person was trying to tell me. Basically, he was calling to inform me that my flight from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale had been delayed. He gave me 2 options to start with. To reschedule the flight until the next day, or cancel it completely. I informed him we were already traveling from Valdosta, Ga. and were already on the way to Orlando. So, after a bit of arguing, he gave me a 3rd option, that he could schedule me on another airline so I could attempt to make my connecting flight from Miami to Panama. The problem though was the new flight was earlier than what we had initially planned, thankfully, we had left early, planning on searching for a low cost parking situation. We arrived with only a few minutes to spare, parked in a high cost parking area, but we made it through security and to our flight on Southwest Airlines. We get to Fort Lauderdale, and have we have quite a wait for our connecting flight. We have arrived at the terminial with several hours to wait. Finally, the time arrives and, the flight is delayed. (twice in one day???) The time comes and goes, when I notice everyone packing up their belongings and going further into the terminal. I checked and they have changed the gate the flight is going out through. We move with the rest. Finally, they start boarding the flight they get through a couple of the zones, of course, ours was next, when all of a sudden, there is an announcement and we are told that they were going to stop the boarding process. It seems the Pilot hadn't arrived. They waited for over an hour before they finally cancelled the flight, and had to go back to the check in where we were given vouchers for hotels, meals, and for airline tickets on American Airlines. So, we get our bags, and go wait for the hotel bus. It arrived and we are taken to our hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, I looked at what we were given and I noticed that our ticket was for a flight only a few hours away. We'd barely get 4 hours of sleep before we had to head to Miami International Airport. Another thing I found out was that all the rest of the people on the flight were given a voucher for all the same things we were, with one exception. We were not given a voucher for the Taxi. See, we were currently in Fort Lauderdale, and our AA flight was out of Miami. A $70 dollar taxi ride away. The rest of the passengers it seems were given this also. We were not. So, while at the hotel, I called Spirit. The poor guy I got on the line didn't deserve what I dished out, but, I had not just one flight, but two flights cancelled in the same day. Then top off the missing portion of the voucher. Well, I was eventually put on indefinet hold, so I hung up and got 3 hours of sleep. We took advantage of the free breakfast, and I don't know why they gave us all vouchers for free lunch, because our flight was at lunch time. Anyway, our AA flight was uneventful, we arrived in Panama without a single problem. But, this is not the end of our story. I'm writing this from the Fort Lauderdale Airport where we have arrived after our flight back from Panama. When we arrived at the ticket counter in Panama to get our boarding passes, we were informed that the flight was delayed. This delay would be about an hour, but, it would mean we would not make our connecting flight in Fort Lauderdale to Orlando. So, here I am, waiting for the new flight, 6 hours later. Yes, that's right, I have had 2 flights cancelled, and now one delayed and been rescheduled for the forth. Well, let me add into this the crazy information I have been given. The poor guy that took my first tirade at Spirit kept going on about how I had to go back to Fort Lauderdale Spirit customer service desk to get the taxi voucher taken care of. So, I'm at the terminal, and find the customer service desk, and I go talk to the lady there, and she tells me that I have to call the corporate office to get the taxi cost taken care of. Yes, you read that right. Catch 22. Corporate say I have to get the voucher taken care of at the issuing office, and the issuing office says they can't reinburse me, it has to come from the Corporate office. They supposedly put in a note so the corporate office will reinburse us. I won't hold my breath! I have never flown Spirit Airlines before this trip, and until today, I hadn't ever flown Spirit Airlines (I flew Southwest and the American to get to Panama). I will "NEVER" fly them again. This has been the most disappointing travel I have ever made. My actual time in Panama was a blast, although cut short by a day, because some Spirit Airlines pilot decided to take an extra day off.
     
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Weedwhacked on 2010-07-18:
Spirit airlines doesn't have the number of planes as the major one's do. It sounds obvious that if the MCO-FLL was cancelled so was the FLL-Panama. It was most likely the same aircraft. If you buy cheap, you're going to get cheap.
Helpful on 2010-07-18:
Amen Weedwhacked.
thsniper on 2010-07-19:
I have a couple of more major complaints, my first is about everyone saying Spirit airlines is cheap. It is not. By the time you pay for your tickets, the bags, the seats, any food, drink, blankets, pillows, or anything else, now including carry on's, you will have paid darn near the same prices as any other airline. So, cheapo, is not cheapo. Next, is the customer service. They couldn't care less about you. I've called their support, and was brushed off. They are not helpful at all. When I dealt with the Customer Support lady at Ft Lauderdale, she was the first person that even took an interest in my problem. I haven't called into the HQ side to try to get my Taxi costs re-imbursed yet, so I don't know if what she did will help there yet. Will post about that call when I can keep my eye's open. Need Sleep!
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Actual Email Response to Poor Customer Service Complaint
Posted by on
Below is a string of emails between myself & Spirit Customer Service regarding the total abandonment of their customers during the strike. This is a warning from a formerly loyal customer- NEVER & I MEAN NEVER FLY ON SPIRIT AIRLINES!!!!! Their lies to the press that they were helping stranded customers while they were actually totally abandoning us was terrible, but then to receive an email with their latest ad campaign about their STRIKINGLY low fares, what in the hell is wrong with them? I can only assume this lack of concern combined with their nickel & dime attitude will eventually effect the maintenance policies of their aircraft as well. This company used to be great, but their CEO clearly doesn't believe in customer service. After I sent my complaint email, I did a little research on the company & I believe the following says it all-
This is an email their CEO was dumb enough to send when he hit reply all to a customer complaint- Please respond, Pasquale, but we owe him nothing as far as I'm concerned. Let him tell the world how bad we are. He's never flown us before anyway and will be back when we save him a penny.

Here is a copy of my communication w/ Spirit Customer Service:

Customer 06/18/2010 11:05 PM
For at least 10 years, Spirit has been my chosen airline. I used to tell anyone talking about travel how great Spirit is...no more. It will be quite the opposite from now on; I will warn everyone NEVER to fly Spirit. I would like my $9 Fare Club membership refunded, as I will never deal with such a poorly run company again.

I was one of the thousands of travelers stranded & abandoned during your strike. No matter the changes made to your Contract of Carriage on 6/15, Spirit is in material breach. The flight cancellations are within your control. Spirit has been in negotiations w/ the pilots for 4 years, therefore a strike was completely foreseeable, yet nothing was done to mitigate passenger damages.

It was bad enough dealing with the ridiculous cost of last minute one way flights home, the cost of extra days for car rental & hotel, not to mention the vacation ruined by worrying how we would get home. Now your brilliant new marketing campaign touting STRIKINGLY low fares is a total slap in the face! Clearly Spirit thinks harming their passengers & ruining their vacations is a joke.

Do you have a clue as to what the passenger experience is like now? It used to be pleasurable; now you just end up feeling ripped off. Charging for seat selection, charging for beverages, charging for bags...the fees just don't stop. I flew Southwest on the way home & had a completely opposite experience. Their employees were happy & friendly, they didn't charge for every little thing. Nor did I hear a flight attendant rudely contradict the captain over the announcement system, implying that he doesn't know FAA regulations. That's comforting to hear as a passenger!

I don't know what happened to Spirit as a company, possibly a new strategy or management. Whatever it is, it has cost me thousands of dollars extra & left me with an utter disdain for Spirit. Refunding my $39.99 will do little to compensate for my loss, but it would be nice to have a show of good will from Spirit instead of adding insult to injury w/ an ad campaign.

On Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 5:34 PM, Spirit Airlines wrote:

Subject
Strikingly Low Insult

Discussion Thread
(Soraya Hyppolite1) 06/20/2010 05:34 PM
Dear xxxxxx

Thank you for your correspondence with Spirit Airlines. We welcome all inquiries, comments and complaints.

We understand the frustration that accompanies the disruption of travel plans. And we regret to have been in that position. We continue to be receptive to criticism and choose to focus on once again offering our valued customers excellent service coupled with the lowest fares possible.

The terms and conditions state membership is non-refundable, non-transferable, and auto-renewed yearly. Because you agreed to the terms and conditions, I cannot honor your request for a refund.

Thank you,

Soraya Hyppolite
Consumer Relations
Spirit Airlines

Date: Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: Strikingly Low Insult [Incident: 100618-000432]
To: Spirit Airlines

I more than understand the terms & conditions of a contract, that is the reason I requested good will. However, this is just the response I expected from such a pathetic company. Contrary to the opinion of your pudgy little CEO, people will not continue to fly with you just to save a penny. I have always been able to find flights with other airlines that were +/- $50 Spirit's price, yet I went with Spirit because I preferred to patronize "the little guy" plus security at DTW was always faster at the smaller terminal.
You regret the position Spirit was put in? That is your problem. You should regret what you did to your customers through your 4 years of inept labor negotiations. Instead of helping the people you screwed, you tried to cover your a*s by lying to the press about arranging alternative airlines & management pilots covering routes. Meanwhile we believed you because none of us could get through on the phone, and all the while you wouldn't go to the bargaining table, nor would you cancel flights in a timely manner so that passengers wouldn't have to by ridiculous last second replacement flights. I already canceled the membership, the $39.99 will be well spent watching your company crumble due to all of your ridiculous add on fees & shoddy treatment of passengers. Too bad your CEO doesn't understand that people are loyal to companies based on their customer experience. I never considered Spirit to be a low-rent airline, until now.
     
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Anonymous on 2010-06-21:
Firstly, that email by the CEO is old news but actually spot on. He hit the nail on the head with that statement and probably doesn't regret at all that it leaked out.

Secondly, you should really learn how to write a complaint letter. Hurling names and insults will surely not endear you to the reader and has about a 0% chance of getting what you're requesting.
Been There on 2012-01-24:
I feel your pain
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Bargain?? More like RIP OFF!!
Posted by on
NEVER AGAIN!!! That's all I can say when it comes to Spirit airlines. At first glance, they may seem like a bargain airline, but when it comes down to it, they're nothing but a RIP OFF!!

Where to start? Great price…..but for what? Seats that are fit for someone 5' or shorter. I'm 5'7" (not exactly a giant), but the metal lining of the magazine pocket ahead of me scraped my knees the whole flight. Be prepared for some serious cramped spaces….not to mention the sounds coming from the plane itself that would lead one to believe it's falling apart. You know it's bad when the flight attendant announces overhead, "Don't worry about the noises you're hearing from under the plane. That's just the hydraulics." I've never taken a flight that sounded like something straight out of the Flintstone era!

You'd also better get your drinks and snacks ahead of time. Complimentary NOTHING! Heaven forbid they offer so much as a sip of water without charging you for it! The flight attendants were virtually invisible the whole time…..until of course they're giving us some incorrect information.

We were supposed to stay on the same plane during our one stop in Ft. Lauderdale en route to San Jaun, PR, but apparently Spirit Airlines decided to change that plan without telling anyone. After some questioning, they informed us that they "needed that plane to go to Santo Domingo instead and you're going to have to check inside the airport to see where to go now." Once inside, the digital flight boards were all incorrect-- they stated that the last flight to San Jaun was at 11:20pm……convenient since it was now 11:40! The Spirit gate representative assured us, "disregard those….they're all wrong. You're flight has now been postponed until 2:30 am. They needed your plane for a different route." FABULOUS!

But wait, there's more. Next thing we hear over the intercom, "Now boarding flight to Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico" ?!?!?!?! Seriously?!!! They don't even know where the hell they're going! Santo Domingo is in the Dominican Republic!!

Of course, all four flights that we took with Spirit on our trip were overbooked and delayed-- they requested we check our carry-on bags to save space and save time over and over again.

On our return flight, we were at the airport an exhausting 14 hours before our flight since we had been dropped off by bus following a group cruise ship excursion. Unfortunately, we were told that we couldn't check our bags until 2 hours before our flight-- awesome!! And without so much as an email notice, they had changed the time of our departure a whole week and a half before our flight. I only knew of the reschedule because I called them after I couldn't find our confirmed flight number online anymore.

Hours after our arrival, we finally boarded our plane to our first stop in Ft. Lauderdale. The plane was in the hanger the entire time, but at the last minute, we were instructed to move to a different gate……no reason why. There were 4 other Spirit flights listed in that area all going out within 5 minutes of one another. All five of them were said to be "on time", though NONE of them were even started boarding at their scheduled time of departures. No one communicated to us what was going on! Worse yet, when we finally DID board our plane 1 hour late, we proceeded to sit there in the gate for another hour….no explanation or communication AGAIN!

Bottom line, I don't care what kind of great fares they may offer, the price you pay in hassle, time wasted, checked luggage (not even 1 bag free), drinks, snacks, aggravation, and adjustment of your own schedule once flight times are changed, it's just NOT WORTH IT!!!
     
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Spirit Airline almost ruins our Christmas vacation
Posted by on
Spirit Air lacked Christmas Spirit!

I can’t believe they did this, but three of my children were not allowed to board our flight to December 19th, 2009. I had to leave three family members at Gate D11 while we flew to what seemed a disastrous vacation. My Christmas present for my family of 8 was a Dream Vacation on the new Carnival Dream Ship out of Port Canaveral. I paid over $3,600 for eight seats on Spirit air flight 801 for 9am out of . We paid another $50 to reserve five seats the night before for my two daughters, my wife and her mom to sit with me. My Cruise was another $8,600 on the new Carnival Dream ship.
Spirit Air overbooked our Christmas Flight and bumped 3 of our 8 family members.
It began at 5am with the family getting ready to leave for the airport. We live in and were surprised with a huge line up for Port Huron Customs at the . Slushy roads on Hwy 94 caused more stress. We arrived at Spirit Air Ticket counter at 8:10 am for a 9:00 am flight to find a massive line in front of the Spirit counter. My son immediately approached a Spirit employee at the counter and expressed our concern that the large line up would cause us to miss our flight. We were told by the Spirit airline employee that the line was moving quickly and that there shouldn't be a problem
However, when we finally made it to the front of the line at 8:25am, we were told that four of our seats were no longer available due to overbooking. The Spirit employee radioed to the boarding gate to request any passengers to volunteers to wait for the 4pm flight. Off we go to the security check with my wife’s 80 year old mother in a wheel chair. She had a double hip replacement. The pins in her hips set off the alarms and detains us.
My eldest daughter was the first to make it to the boarding gate at 8:35am, and told the Spirit employee at the boarding gate that the rest of the seven family members were just around the corner, as my mother-in-law was in a wheel chair, and due to her metal pins in her hip replacements, we were slightly delayed in approaching the gate. The Spirit employee at Gate D11 told my daughter that the rest of the family had to be in her presence in order to accommodate them, and with that she called up another woman and her 3 grown children who were the only ones left seated in the boarding area. My eldest daughter watched in disbelief as this Spirit employee told the woman that she and her three children, who were on standby, could get on this flight and proceeded to board them. The rest of my family arrived in time to see the people who were just given our seats walk towards the loading area.
The Spirit employee told me that she now only had seats for all but three family members. We were devastated. Our family was told to decide who would stay and who would continue on to. She unsympathetically hurried us into a hasty division with no time for good byes, and left us with no offer of assistance or alternative options. There was not a speck of concern, care, or customer service extended by this Spirit employee. My eldest daughter, my son, and my son-in-law were left to find another way to get to before our cruise departed at 4pm from Port Canaveral that afternoon. The rest of the family was left on the Spirit flight to worry and wonder what the outcome of their search would be, and whether we would end up all together on our dream Christmas vacation.
After a frenzied search at various ticketing counters (with no help at all from Spirit airlines), and through numerous phone calls for any availability on any airline to, my children were fortunate enough to find the last three seats on a Delta flight. However, these flights, the numerous phone calls to Spirit and Carnival cruise lines, and their newly required transportation to Port Canaveral- minus the rest of their family- came at a huge cost financially and emotionally. A cost that is the direct result of an oversight and lack of sound judgment on the part of a few Spirit Airline employees.
The 3 one way Delta tickets to ($1637.56), alternative ground transportation arrangements from to Port Canaveral ($90 ), and the phone charges acquired due to their search for flights and questions for Spirit( $156.00) totaled $ 1883.56. Thankfully upon returning to at 4:05pm on Dec 26. a Supervisor at Spirit airlines refunded us the cost of three Sprit flights ($1379.60). Upon hearing of our stressful situation and the trauma that was caused due to the unprofessional actions of a Spirit employee on Dec. 19, the supervisor strongly encouraged me to inform of the lack of courtesy and customer service that we received at the start of our journey. At this time I am requesting that reimburses me for the outstanding bills that I have incurred through this horrendous experience, which is $503.96 US.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-12-30:
Unfortunately, being late to the airport can cause that to happen.

Be thankful you got some money back for the flights and everyone was able to make it to the cruise ship.

dan gordon on 2009-12-30:
Your not going to get a penny. You can't even get most cariers to accept luggage if its within 60 minutes of departure and you need to be in the boarding area 30 minutes before. I never understand the stress people who plan to leave somewhere at a specific time create by not leaving the day before a cruise.
Anonymous on 2009-12-30:
Like Dan says arrive the day before AND leave the day after.
Ben There on 2009-12-30:
Ben There on 2009-12-30:
It is not the responsibility of the airline to pay for expenses created because you got to the airport late.
Anonymous on 2009-12-30:
Ditto to the above and more. I was the gate agent (not in this case) many a time when situations like this happen. It's unfortunate it happens but gate agents become immune to this. We feel bad in the beginning but when it happens time and time again, we (at least me) just get fed up. There was a family in the gate area waiting patiently for seats. They were there and on time. It was within the time to release seats to give to standbys. One of your eight family members was at the gate saying the other seven were just around the corner. As a gate agent, we've all heard that before. The gate agent did NOTHING wrong in clearing the family that was there. People need to learn to arrive at an airport early, ESPECIALLY during a holiday and ESPECIALLY going on a cruise. No sympathy in this corner.
Anonymous on 2009-12-30:
You were late. I heard it over and over again how family members were "just around the corner" when I worked at the airport in Chicago. By the way, it doesn't matter whether it's a cruise, emergency, death in the family, etc. If you're late the seats go to standby passengers and the flight gets pushed as an ontime departure.
Ytropious on 2009-12-30:
You knew the roads were slushy, you could have very easily left early. If I was with a big group you'd best believe I'm making sure I leave in time to get to the airport to SIT at the airport for an hour. I have no sympathy for stories like this because all of it was 100% within your control.
Anonymous on 2009-12-31:
If they had reached the check in counter by 8.25 a.m. they were not late. The check in cutoff is 30 minutes before departure. There is a recommended arrival time [Note: recommended] of 60 minutes or sometimes 90 minutes before departure. The OP was told that the flight was overbooked which is why the 3 family members were bumped from the flight. If this was the case they are entitled to denied boarding compensation. To allow an airline to sell the same seats twice is not acceptable in my opinion.
Anonymous on 2009-12-31:
James, the OP did get the tickets refunded. They want the airline to reimburse them for ground transportation and cell phone costs, which they are not entitled to. No airline will compensate for those fees
Anonymous on 2009-12-31:
Littleyaya, OK the airline did not sell the same seats twice if they refunded the fares, but denied boarding compensation is $400 per bumped passenger, plus free flights on the next flight out. These people paid Delta for another flight. The denied boarding compensation is not specific as to what it covers, but it must be intended to cover all the hassles including wasted phone calls.
Ben There on 2009-12-31:
I don't see where they did not offer seats on the next available flight, but since the OP booked the flight and cruise so close together the next Spirit flight probably would not have been early enough. Spirit is very upfront that they do not reprotect passengers on other airlines. If you want that protection, you need to book on a legacy airline.

As for the phone charges, how does anybody incur $156 in phone bills on calls within the US? Were they driving to Canada and using pay phones? Sheesh, they need a new cell phone plan.
Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
Ben There, in cases of overbooking, the DOT regulation requires the airline to "arrange substitute transportation" for the passenger. It does not say it has to be on the same airline. If the arrival time of the passenger in the new flight is under one hour of the original flight, there is no compensation. Arrival time between 1 and 2 hours of original flight - $400 compensation. And if no arrangements are made by the airline, as in this case, the compensation is double the airfare up to $800 per passenger. The OP's remedy is to file a complaint with DOT which can be easily done on line. The airline can be fined and Ordered to pay the $800 compensation per passenger less what they were already paid by way of refund. The $156 for phone calls does sound exhorbitant, but the OP does not have to list his expenses. He claims the double the airfare or $800 per passenger, plain and simple. Spirit cannot be "very upfront that they do not reprotect passengers on other airlines". This is a DOT regulation and they don't have the liberty to be upfront about not abiding by it. If they don't have a flight within 2 hours later, they make the arrangements with another airline or pay the $800. Here is the excerpt from the DOT regulation"



"* If the airline arranges substitute transportation that is scheduled to arrive at your destination between one and two hours after your original arrival time (between one and four hours on international flights), the airline must pay you an amount equal to your one-way fare to your final destination, with a $400 maximum.

"* If the substitute transportation is scheduled to get you to your destination more than two hours later (four hours internationally), or if the airline does not make any substitute travel arrangements for you, the compensation doubles (200% of your fare, $800 maximum)."

Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
j236...you mentioned that if they reach the counter at 825, they were not late. Not exactly true. We might be splitting hairs a bit but the 30 minute cutoff time means you must be check-in 30 minutes ahead. Computers are sometimes programmed to lock-out at 30 minutes before. Checking in a group of 8 is not something that happens at the snap of your fingers. They have to count their bags (yes, I know, they should know already but many groups don't) bags need to be weighed, ID's have to be produced. It takes a bit of time to check in 8 people in a group.
Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
Judge, I'm told by a check in agent that once the reservation was made together, once you click on one name, the 8 names come up. Weighing 8 bags at 10 seconds per bag is 80 seconds. Looking at 8 IDS at 10 seconds per ID - 80 seconds. But you don't have to accept my calculations. The fact that 5 were checked in and 3 were bumped (presumably put on standby) shows that the computer did NOT lockup on this group. The problem with the three had nothing to do with being late, since all 8 presented themselves together. The other three did not have seat reservations and so were first to be bumped. A clear case for denied boarding compensation.
Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
I wanted to comment on j236's compensation numbers as well. The 400/800 figures are maximum amounts. The true rule reads that between 1-2 hours late (1-4 internationally) the ticket-holder is entitled to 100% of the one way fare, maximum 400usd. More than 2 hours (4 hours internationally it's 200%, maximum 800usd.
Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
Not true in all cases. If all the names are in one reservation, it's easier. If names are in different reservations, an agent will have to do several entries and make sure each bag is checked under the appropriate name. A good agent could do it in 5 minutes but not all are good.
Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
Yes Judge, I know they are maximum amounts. I thought I said so We can get the one-way fare from the review itself. They refunded $1379 for the 3 persons. They owe him another $1379. . This must have been a good agent because in the 5 minutes, he checked in 5 and bumped 3.
Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
And so you did.......my apologies. I failed to read your whole response. :)
Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
Perhaps the OP should confirm if the $1379 refunded represented double the one way air fare for the 3 persons or just the air fare. If it's double, then he is not entitled to more.
Ben There on 2010-01-01:
James236, some airlines have agreements with other airlines which allow them to transfer passengers to other carriers and some don't. Legacy carriers like Delta, American, Continental, USAirways and United do. Low cost carriers like Southwest, Jetblue and Spirit don't. It is just a fact of life that they won't rebook you and it is very legal despite how you want to interpret it from the sidelines. Maybe Southwest, Jetblue and Spirit's massive legal teams have missed the DOT rule you are referring to... You should contact them and explain your interpretation of "arrange substitute transportation".
Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
Ben There they didn't miss anything and they know of the rule. The words "arrange substitute transportation" applies to all carriers. If the OP complains to DOT it would be for Spirit to explain how they interpreted the rule. I happen to know that Spirit has no legal team far less massive. The words "arrange substitute transportation" is subject to no other interpretation but that they must arrange substitute transportation or pay the double fare as compensation.
Ben There on 2010-01-01:
Right, so Spirit would only have to book them on the next Spirit flight or give twice the ticket amount back. They don't have to pay for the Delta tickets or rebook them on another airline.
Anonymous on 2010-01-02:
Ben There, Spirit would have to book them on any flight out that takes them to their destination within 2 hours of the arrival of their original flight, or make a double refund the same day by check or cash. They don't have to pay the Delta tickets or rebook them on another airline if they choose to pay the double refund. But if they have any sense, it would be often cheaper to book them on another airline and avoid this denied boarding compensation. DOT regulations apply to all airlines including Spirit and I've checked and Spirit is too cheap to have any in house lawyer far less any legal team. Much of what they do when they pretend they are not liable is illegal and they have found themselves on the wrong side of lawsuits and DOT over the last few years for this very failure to pay denied boarding compensation. In 2007 a passenger Jane Waun sued Spirit successfully in a Michigan court for denied boarding comnpensation when they cancelled her flight. They never turned up for the case (anyone surprised?) and she got judgment by default of $1350. In September 2009 on complaints by passengers to DOT for a number of infringements including delayed/lost bags and denied boarding compensation, DOT fined Spirit $375,000. Spirit regularly disregards the DOT rules, but not because their non-existent legal teams missed it, but because passengers let them get away with their nonsense.

Ben There, sorry to have to say this, but you may tell your friends/employers or whoever you have at Spirit that if they can't handle the DOT rules, and if their non-existent legal teams can't understand a simple expression like "arrange substitute transportation", then get out of the airline business!
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Spirit Air - Never Ending Disappointments
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I made a major mistake flying Spirit Air. I flew from Chicago to Montego Bay via Ft Lauderdale. They charged $25 PER BAG. That was bad enough, but upon arrival in Montego Bay one of my bags was missing. When I complained at the luggage claim desk I was told "it is not a big deal. this happens all of the time". I told them that I had medication in my bag and they could not have cared less. I was issued a $25 voucher and sent on my way. After a sleepless night (no meds) I was informed they found the bag in Ft. Lauderdale. They refused to put it on the next flight to Montego Bay. I said they could put the $25 I paid them to another airline to get my bag to me ASAP. All I had in my carry-on was a swim suit, t-shirt, and sandals. My bag did not arrive until 7:30 PM! So the first 2 days of my vacation were ruined. Read on it gets so much better!! When we were checking in upon departure I advised them that one of my bags was paid for since they did not hold up their end of the bargain on the way there. She said either I pay or the bag would not get on the plane. So I handed her my $25 voucher. She refused to accept it stating it could only be used for future travel. I responded asking why would I ever want to fly with them again? She just stood there with her hand out waiting for my credit card. Upon arriving at the gate for departure the airport monitors and gate display said the flight was on time. I heard rumblings of a delay. I inquired at the gate. It was now 4:00 and we had a 5:00 departure. I was told the plane had mechanical problems and was still in Ft. Lauderdale. I asked how long was the delay going to be because I was on the Spirit connecting flight to O'Hare. She said "don't worry about the connection you will be sleeping in Ft. Lauderdale." I said that I would prefer to be transferred to another airline in order to get home that night. She said she would call her boss. I waited 30 minutes and inquired again. I was that they would not transfer me. I checked the Air Jamaica desk and found open seats on a direct flight to Chicago. I returned to the Spirit desk and asked to be transferred and they refused. I then asked for my luggage and said I would buy the Air Jamaica tickets on own. They REFUSED to give me my luggage. I said it was not on the plane, because it was still in Florida, and I insisted they they got my luggage. They continually refused. They did not announce the delay until 2 minute AFTER the scheduled departure time!
We did not get to Fort Lauderdale until after 10:00 and did not get to bed until after midnight only to get up at 4:00 for the airport shuttle. Keep reading it gets better. Our flight left on time. When over Atlanta the pilot came on the intercom. He advised us that one of the flight attendants was not feeling well and we would be RETURNING TO FT. LAUDERDALE!!! We flew back dropped her off, re-fueled, waited for clearance and took off again. So THREE HOURS after we turned around we were over Atlanta again. I called customer service and was told to send this complaint from their web site. Guess what? You can't contact them via email.
     
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Mrs. V on 2009-12-08:
Here you go:

http://www.spiritair.com
2800 Executive Way
Miramar, FL 33025
(954) 447-7965
(800) 772-7117

How to get through to an operator
dial 1 and wait.

Primary e-mail

salessupport@spiritair.com

Primary contact

Heather Harvey
Manager, customer relations
2800 Executive Way
Miramar, FL 33025
(954) 628-4957
heather.harvey@spiritair.com

Secondary contact (*):

Tony Lefebvre
Senior vice president, customer service
2800 Executive Way
Miramar, FL 33025
(954) 447-7965
Tony.Lefebvre@spiritair.com

Chief executive (*):

Ben Baldanza
President and chief executive
2800 Executive Way
Miramar, FL 33025
(954) 447-7965
ben.baldanza@spiritair.com
Ben There on 2009-12-08:
Most airlines charge per bag, so nothing unusual with the fee. Most low cost carriers do not book you on other airlines in the event of a delay or cancellation, so if you like knowing that an airline might rebook you on another carrier, you will want to stay away from Spirit, Allegiant, AirTran and even Jetblue and Southwest.
Anonymous on 2009-12-08:
Most airlines charge for bags so it's not a surprise that Spirit does too. Spirit (like Southwest) are discount carriers so other airlines don't take their tickets for what you called "being transferred to another airline." The only way this would happen is if Spirit paid a full fare ticket on Air Jamaica (that's NOT going to happen.) Also, checked bags are not searched for and recovered once a flight gets delayed or cancelled. You have too many expectations of any airline let alone a cheap discount carrier like Spirit.
fuegodiva on 2013-09-02:
funny how all of the responses to these bad reviews appear to come from Spirit employees....
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Spirit Airlines True and Realistic Review
Posted by on
Rating: 4/51
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY -- Initially, I was extremely skeptical about this airline because of all the bad reviews I've seen. I had so many preconceived notions about this place but I can honestly say that it was not as bad as people made it seem.

Cost/Pricing of flight
My friend and I flew from Atlantic City International to Atlanta Georgia during Labor Day weekend of 2013. The total cost for both of our round trip flights came up to $387.00.

Cost/Pricing of luggage
Now I must say, I'm used to the regular baggage policy where you are allowed to have a free carry-on and a personal bag and any check in bag will cost you about $25. It's a tad bit different at Spirit. The only free bag that you're allowed to carry onto the plane Is your ONE personal bag. Everything else must be checked in. Now I joined the $9 Fare Club which allowed me to only have to pay $25 for a checked bag. Regularly it'll cost $35 dollars to check a bag. It's a little annoying but keep in mind that the flights are super cheap.

The one thing I didn't like is the 40 lbs weight limit for the check in bag. Usually airlines will set a limit of 50 lbs for check in bags. However I came prepared with a rather large tote to use as my personal bag and I just stuffed as much as I could into the bag and was on my way.


The Flight & Customer Service
The flight was pretty good. It took off on time and arrived to the destination 20 minutes before the expected arrival time. Now they don't give you any complimentary snacks or beverages, you do have to purchase all snacks except for water and ice, but that didn't bother me because it was only an hour and 15 minute plane ride. They didn't lose my luggage and it was intact when I received it. The staff at the airport and the plane were very kind and patient. After reading the reviews I was expecting to come in contact with a bunch of monsters, but they were totally cool. No complaints

I'm unsure if others were expecting luxury plane rides for low prices. But for what I paid for the overall flight, the service was up to par. Now if you're used to fling lavishly, you may want to get a jet and fly, but if you're like me and you want to make sure your comfortable, safe, in a clean environment and saving a little money.. then Spirit is definitely the airline for u
     
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cmthru on 2013-09-03:
You did your homework which prepared you in advance. The people who have complained have not bothered to read the conditions and fees pages. Nope, they just click through and are 'surprised' at check-in fees for extras they thought were included.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Absurd Hidden Fees, No Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
The baggage fees are outlandish. I got an email saying that if you checked 1 bag at the airport, it would be $100. It's cheaper if you do it in advance. Fine, I did it in advance. The $100 fee for checking at the airport is much, much higher than any other airline I've ever heard of. In addition to checked bags, they even charge you for bringing carry-ons! Additionally, it appears online that you cannot reserve any seat at all without paying another seat fee. (I understand that most airlines charge you for some premiums seats and upgrades - Spirit apparently charges you extra for ANY seat.)

I tried checking in online and got a message advising me that I needed to call a phone number to get "additional assistance" from a customer service representative I called the number. A recording picked up and gave me a different number to call. I called that number. I got menu after menu of unhelpful automated options. You could not press "0" to get to an operator. After 10 minutes of navigating menus, I thought I was finally about to get to a human on the phone to assist with whatever problem was preventing me from checking in online. I was then advised that "Spirit charges a fee for taking certain phone calls. If you would like to disconnect, press 3." Ridiculous. I hung up.

The flight isn't even until tomorrow and I already utterly regret patronizing this airline. This is my first experience with Spirit and it will certainly be the last. The customer service is nonexistent, and by the time you add in all the hidden fees, it would have been much cheaper to go with a different airline. As I only chose this flight based upon pricing to start with, I feel misled by the cost structure and nickel and dime'd to death.
     
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trmn8r on 2013-08-07:
All airlines have itemized charges to an extent, but Spirit is known to be one of the worst.

All of the fees you mentioned should have been available for you to inspect prior to purchase.
Glen Stewart on 2013-09-11:
Sell your stock in Spirit and buy anything else. They will not last much longer!
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Don't Fly Spirit Air if You Need to Be Somewhere on Time
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PORTLAND, OREGON -- My flight with Spirit Air was delayed causing us to miss a party that had I planned for my husband's 50th birthday celebration. The most shocking part of it was the treatment that I received at the counter. I requested to be rerouted on a flight that was not delayed. The 'customer service' representative Mark demanded to know why he would do that and told me that planes are delayed all the time. When I tried to answer him and tell him why it was so important for me to be there on time, he cut me off and told me that he was not going to reroute me. He did however give me a solution, and that was to give me a full refund so that I could 'go find another airline to fly with!' I told him this was my first time with Spirit Airlines and that I would not be flying with them again. He let me know that he didn't care if I NEVER flew with Spirit again and repeated that he could give me a full refund. The other customer service representative Eden chimed in that it was only a 2 hr. and 40 min. delay. Somehow that was supposed to make me feel better about missing my reservations and the guest of honor not being there for his party. When I went back to the counter and spoke to Eden to find out what Mark's name was, she gave me only his first name. When I asked for his last name, she pushed her eyebrows together and told me that his first name was all I needed to know.

Needless to say, I now have a group of friends in Vegas and we are here at home in Portland. To Mark's surprise, I took him up on his offer for a full refund and called my friends. I am now going to tell as many people as I can reach, pay a little extra and fly with a company who understands customer service and respects their customer's time. It's crazy to me that in an economy such as the one we have, that Spirit Airlines can't find anyone with customer service skills to represent their company.
     
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clutzycook on 2013-06-22:
I'm personally amazed that they gave you a full refund. Spirit's attitude towards that is usually along the lines of "too bad so sad." Everything else however is par for the course for Spirit.
Ben There on 2013-06-22:
To offer the cheapest fares possible, Spirit outsources most airport employees. Because these people work for companies like ServisAir and not the airline, they have little incentive to go above and beyond what they contractually have to do - which in this case was to offer a refund or tell you to wait... At some airports, these companies do the work for many airlines, so they don't care if you don't fly Spirit because there is a good chance they will check you in for whatever airline you chose next time... just wearing another airline's logo on their lanyard.

About the re-routing... Most low cost airlines - like Allegiant and even Southwest will not book you on other airlines - only legacy carriers like American, Delta, USAirways and United will do that - and even they rarely do it anymore because it cost too much money.

As for just a 2 hour and 40 minute delay... I can tell you that all airlines have delays that long... Personally I would never book a flight to arrive so close to a big event - even on the major carriers - because a big storm or a broken part will quickly cause that time to go away... but that is just my opinion.
CHI-Town D on 2013-07-07:
Why would anybody fly with this (sic) airline? A look at the complaints against all air carriers, should tip you off they want your money, and don't care what you want or think. Not sure when this once upon a time good idea went so bad.
Ed on 2013-08-10:
I have read dozens of reviews and can't believe they gave u a refund! Most people's stories are much worse. Granted the consequences for you were very sad. I'm sorry that u missed what would have been a memorable get together. Spirit truly does not care however as is well documented by the misrouted CEOs email
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StarStarStarStarStar
Spirit Airline Employee Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 5/51
DENVER, COLORADO -- My daughter flew from Dallas to Denver on April 7th 2013 with Spirit Airlines. When she checked in at the Dallas airport, she was told to check her baby's car seat (as it was labeled over sized) with a TSA officer so that it can be placed on the flight that she was on. When she got to Denver the car seat didn't arrive. My husband and I panicked as we live 100 miles from the airport and it was late on a Sunday when businesses close early. Buying a new car seat would have meant driving into Denver and locating a store that sells infant car seats. The Denver airport is located very east of Denver, out on the plains.

After we finally came to the conclusion and the discovery that the car seat was never placed on her plane a Spirit Airline manager named Myrna came to our rescue. To make a very long story short, she told us that she would do whatever it took to locate a infant car seat that we could borrow. She was good to her word. After spending a couple of hours locating the missing car seat (left in Dallas) and insuring that it will still be there when my daughter and our grand-baby returns to Dallas, she was able to locate a infant car seat that we could borrow!!!! She never ever stressed out about the issue and she was very professional and certainly a perfect example of how customer service should be! She made us feel confident that she would take care of us and remedy our problem...and she certainly did!! Thanks so much Myrna! Spirit Airlines need you to teach others how customer service should be!! We will never forget you!
     
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Run Forest Run
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FLORIDA -- My son and I arrived at the ticket counter at 3;30 pm for 5:30 pm flight from BOS to FTL. I tried to print out our boarding passes but nothing comes up on the computer screen. Spirit personnel look into their computer, and informs us we are "no shows" for yesterday's flight 615. I explained I booked for the 28th but their computer insists the 27th.

I asked the flight reps if they could put us on today's day's flight but they say "sorry booked up" No "we will try standby". I ask "any other flights?" NOPE. They did offer to sell us another airline's ticket at $267 each plus, plus plus...

No refunds, no alternative flights, just tough crap, you are screwed. Go back home.

Well,.. we will see. Calling Corporate tomorrow to see what I can accomplish. Otherwise, I have since "disputed the Spirit Charges on my credit card, and will file a complaint with Consumer Affairs as well.. Not looking for a refund, only just the value of my ticket prices for a future flight.

BTW..

Forget customer service. Eastern Indians that you may have some difficulty understanding. I have several close Eastern Indian friends, and I understand the accents very well, but these customer service reps are the worst. They may as well be a robot with a accent that is difficult to understand and decipher. All they do is spout what the computer tells them to say. One can tell they are reading a corporate written response. They always begin: "I understand and I am sorry..............." bla bla bla

We will see if we can get some satisfaction from what seems an otherwise "1984" type institution that claims to be in the customer service business.

Meanwhile, from what I have seen and experienced so far w/ Spirit;

"RUN FOREST RUN..............................."
     
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trmn8r on 2013-03-29:
From your description, a plausible explanation is that your flight was changed (as become more often) and for whatever reason you didn't get notified. If this was the cause, it explains the rest, because this also is what air travel has become. Last minute changes, full flights. I haven't flown since prior to 9/11, and it doesn't sound pretty.
Buddy01 on 2013-03-29:
Did you take another flight? Did you mean FLL? FTL is in Alaska. If that was the outgoing portion of your trip and you have a return flight be aware that since the airline considers you a no-show, your return flight is also canceled.
JR in Orlando on 2013-03-29:
Doubtful the op will get any refund. With most non-refundable tickets, if you miss the flight and don't cancel before the flight, the ticket is valueless.

I don't understand why the OP did not have some document that showed the flight was ticketed for March 28th. Whenever I buy anything on-line, I print out each and every page as I am going along so that I have a paper trail as to exactly what was being purchased, the credit card used, the dates, etc.

If one does not buy directly from the airlines, Orbitz, etc., then Orbitz is the customer and the airlines notifies Orbitz of the flight change and it is Orbitz duty to notify you--their customer.
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