How Terrible is Spirit Airlines, Really?

I took Spirit Airlines, the country’s undisputed king of fee-mongering, to Chicago for my college reunion a few weeks ago. If it wasn’t the single worst flying experience of my life, it was certainly the most memorably bad. Among the indignities suffered, I will mention three:

1) Having to pay a $50 carry-on fee ($5 more, amazingly, than it would have cost me to check the weekend bag).

2) Sitting in seats that would not recline—and without a complimentary beverage.

3) Arriving at the Spirit kiosk to check in at ORD precisely 45 minutes before my late-Sunday flight would depart … only to learn that Spirit had canceled my ticket mere seconds before I swiped my card, per their draconian reservation-cancellation policy. I spent the night in a hotel and woke up at 3:30am to make the only morning flight back to NYC.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Spirit airline strikes again

So nearly a month after my wife and I flew on spirit for the first time. We still have not been contacted in person even after several requests.
The problem. After arriving from a trip to Detroit. We noticed that one of our bags was damaged. Several items we purchased on our trip that were packaged inside were broken and damaged. These items leaked all over the inside damaging my suit, my wife’s dress, and other items in the bag. We immediately spoke to the spirit airlines rep who was at the baggage claim only to be told there was nothing they would do. This was on top of how rudely we were treated on the flight there and back and even so we had witnessed even worse treatment of other people on the flight.
After arriving home, I called the customer service number who simply referred me to the website where I spent over an hour looking for some sort of contact on their website until I gave up. The next morning I decided to try again, after several hours, I found a link under help where it would allow you to enter a comment to submit. So I sent in a complaint. Then I found where you could file a baggage claim so I submitted to that.
A week later I submitted another complaint, and a week after that another. It wasn’t until 3 weeks had passed when I finally received an email from someone in customer service apologizing for not getting back to me sooner and claiming they had not received my prior messages and that she hopes I wouldn’t hold this against future flights and that someone from there baggage claim dept would be contacting me shortly. Another week past until I received an email from someone else claiming they just received my message and that they had attempted to contact me prior but the email was bounced back. He then proceeded to to throw out some fine print in which somewhere on their contract it claims that were required to file a complaint at the baggage claim within 4 hours of arriving and proceeded to tell me I hadn’t done that, regardless of the fact that in fact I did when the I spoke to their baggage rep who told me there was nothing they would do. He then proceeded to insult me further by accusing me of waiting a long time before contacting them because we traveled on the 9th and I didn’t contact them until the 16th. Which since I contacted them when I spoke to that baggage rep was obviously wrong, and since I called their customer service after having trouble finding any contact info on the website and then I sent in several complaints on their website the next morning it was negligent of him to even try to use that against me . He then makes things worse by claiming that as a good faith effort he was willing to give me a voucher of $75 which wouldn’t cover the cost of the flight, car rental, hotel, child care, the suit, the dress, the luggage bag, the products that were damaged, nor the time and effort it takes to have a few days off for someone who works in retail. And well even after I replied to him, now over a month after the trip no one has bothered to call me in person and I still haven’t been reimbursed for anything. I sudgest that everyone stay away from spirit airlines. What you may save on the flight will cost you on the long run, so don’t think you’ll be able to save for a new jb iphone or ipad, you will spend the extra money replacing the extra costs. Please feel free to repost and forward on.

Nearly grounded...

The beginning of my trip started out on shaky ground. Spirit Airlines would not check me in with only a one-way ticket…

I knew Peru required proof of onward travel, so I made an itinerary with a “dummy” return trip, but Spirit Airlines apparently checks. As it was not in the system, I had no other choice than to buy a $550 ticket I will never use, just so I could get on the plane. I wanted to purchase a refundable ticket, but since they are a discount carrier, this was not an option. In retrospect, I wonder if showing my Arequipa flight would have made a difference (assuming they didn´t know where Arequipa was)? I couldn´t think clearly with only 2 hours of sleep. If I could do it again, I would have bought a cheap flight or bus ticket out of Peru to another country or created a “dummy” return trip with another airline.

Dear Spirit Airlines

I’m sure you’re “naming” and branding committee had well intentions in mind when giving your airlines such an interesting name, but I worry for you, as well as for your customers. With deep regrets, I am forced to steer away from your “deals” and low prices. No matter how much of a discount you’re willing to give me, I cannot help but picture “Spirit Airlines” as something part of a horror flick, more or less. However, it does sound like an interesting adventure…if thats how I wanted to die. God forbid. 

Please take no offense from the decision our entire family has taken, as we choose to ignore your insanely low prices, and select something less “creepy” for our flight to Chicago. You see…we would actually want to make a physical apparence at the wedding in April, and not just be there “in Spirit”. I hope you understand, and maybe someday re-think possibilities to a different name? perhaps? yes.

thank you.


maybe future customer, probably not


On Jammed Jets, Sardines Turn on One Another

Jad Mouawad and Martha C. White:

Some carriers are taking the smush to new heights.

Spirit Airlines, for instance, uses seats on some flights with the backrest permanently set back three inches. Call it, as Spirit does, “prereclined.”

The low-cost airline started installing the seats in 2010, squeezing passengers into an industry low of 28 inches. While the Airbus A320 typically accommodates 150 passengers in coach, Spirit can pack 178.

And that is a good thing, Spirit says.

Hard to think of another industry that is constantly and consistantly making the user experience so much worse. And the airlines have gotten so good at treating us like cattle that they’re now openly bragging about it.