Spirit Airlines Complaint - Poor Security Regulating Baggage Personnel
QUEENS, NEW YORK -- On July 6th 2007 I checked into Spirit Airlines at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, NY for an 11:20 AM flight to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. During check in, little to my knowledge when i purchased airline tickets, there was a hidden baggage fee of ten dollars per bag. At time of check in I legally declared a legal firearm in my luggage being that I am a Law Enforcement Officer and was travelling with my firearm. Airlines only let Law Enforcement Officers carry firearms on planes if they are on official business and have a legal form proving such. Long story short the firearm was declared, inspected by Port Authority Police and escorted by Port Authority Police to TSA for screening. Having had faith in our "Homeland Security", I trusted my bag would be treated as High Security/High Priority and would be in safe hands and escorted onto the airplane; WRONG! Upon arriving at my destination in Myrtle Beach South Carolina at approximately 2 PM I opened my bag to inspect that the firearm was still there, which it was. Unfortunately, my one thousand dollar Movado watch which I placed in the bag with the firearm was missing.
(As a side note: During the flight, the attendants were rude and sarcastic. Soda was a dollar and CASH WAS NOT ALLOWED. In order to purchase a one dollar soda you had to use a credit card! - This was also not brought to my attention when I purchased the airline tickets.)
Upon returning home to NY on July 15th I filed a report at the Spirit Airlines missing luggage office located in LaGuardia Airport. Immediately the attendant got defensive and stated that Spirit Airlines is not responsible for lost Jewelry and that I should have carried the watch on the plane. FINE!, but my comment to them was then I should be able to carry my firearm on the plane as well, so much for "Homeland Security." Who will be responsible for a firearm missing if that was the case?, I asked. Of course their attitude changed and they filed a pilferage report and told me to contact corporate - GOOD LUCK! Ive been calling for the past month. The number states they are busy due to call volume and it directs you to a voicemail which they claim an agent will respond to you in 24 hours - its been 24 days and I still haven't received a phone call. Maybe Eyewitness News or Fox 5 News will be able to get their attention.
To date I have filed a report with Port Authority Police and TSA as well as have a Detective from Port Authority Police investigating the claim. TSA claims to treat all bags equally (no level of priority) and turn them over to the airline employees to be boarded onto the plane after screening. It has been found out that airling baggage handlers are not under video surveillance nor go through any security screening upon arriving or leaving work. Basically, they have full control over our luggage and can walk away hassle-free with loaded pockets containing your belongings, or even worse...Drop something harmful into your bag and board it on the plane....How's that for "Homeland Security?"
As far as the watch is concerned I will probably never see it again, nor did I have insurance on it. The person responsible for taking it will most likely not be caught and Spirit Airlines will most likely not reimburse me for my loss or inconvenience for this month long hassle of paperwork and dead end phone calls, letters, faxes, and emails.
FLY JET BLUE, BY FAR THE BEST AIRLINE, I MEAN IT!!
Spirit Air is one of the only direct flights to Myrtle Beach from NY thats the only reason I flew on it. I suggest to all Avoid it if you can the cheaper flights May cost you more in the long run, just go online and read all of the horror stories.