I’m afraid that by writing this open letter to you I may very well incur a reading fee. As you seem to charge a fee for anything you can think of, I would hardly be surprised.
Typically I fly on another airline on which I am a “million mile flyer”. I am admittedly spoiled rotten as I pay no baggage fees, no carry on fees and don’t have to wait in long lines at security. Yes, there are blackout periods and double mileage requirements at times but nothing that is too unreasonable. This other airline however, does not fly to Myrtle Beach, SC where we go regularly. We usually fly into Charlotte, NC, rent a car and drive 4 hours to get there. But that gets old. Really old.
I googled airlines that fly there and Spirit popped up. I was thrilled! I booked four round trip tickets for a total of $670.00. I thought I’d gotten the deal of the year.
Closer to the trip I realized that when I booked I had not been directed to seat assignments. So, I went back to your site to take care of it. We like to sit together. Call me crazy. Now, if it said anywhere that only random seating was free, I will declare myself legally blind. I was directed to a page that gave me a seating chart and rates. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I had to pay for my seat! I could pay $35 per person each way to get a nice big seat in the front. I guess that’s your version of first class but with no free booze. Or, I could pay $25 for a not so big seat. And if I was going to be really cheap, I could pay $1o for a crappy, small seat near the back of the plane. One that only realistically should be reserved for small children or people with really short legs. I took the $10 seats and that alone tacked $80 to my fare. $10 x 4 people x each way. Ridiculous.And sat with my knees practically shoved into my throat.
I was then directed to check my bags. Now, I realize airlines do charge for bags and I expected it. But usually it’s a $25 fee. Yours was $28 when I first looked but went up to $33 by the time I paid for them. Then the charges for carry on popped up. You’ve got to be kidding! $35 for a carry on bag. If we each had one suitcase and one carry one we would have to add $73 per person each way to our fare.
So, suddenly my $167 round trip fare was $313. And this was only if I booked online. At this point my husband and I decided we would share one bag and my girls would share one bag. We had to pack very carefully to ensure we didn’t go over the usual 50 pound weight limit. But wait!! Spirit has a 40 pound weight limit. Imagine that. And if a bag is 41 pounds another $25 is added and so on and so on.
So we emptied and weighed and emptied and weighed. Since we had waited to see how many bags we would actually have I didn’t pay till the night before and had to pay the extra $5 per bag. None of us took a carry on, I just took a large purse that probably weighed close to the 40 pounds my suitcase weighed as I stuffed whatever I could into it.
I made sure to pee before I got on the aircraft as I was certain you had converted your toilets to a pay per use. And we didn’t need to worry about drinking anything and filling our bladders: you don’t even give your passengers a cup of water without charging. $3 for a bottle of water. You should be ashamed.
I now hear that your fees are going up. For poor schmucks that don’t have a printer at home they are really screwed as you will make them pay to print a boarding pass at your kiosks! $2 there and $5 if they print with an agent. And the grand daddy charge of them all: $100 for a carry on bag if you check in through an agent.
Just for grins I have calculated a round trip ticket for someone who shows up at the airport to check in with an agent. One carry one, one checked bag. A front seat and a ticket counter printed boarding pass. $507.
Yes, you have your $9 fare club for $59.95 a year. When you really look at your availability and the lower prices for joining, there isn’t really much of a savings.
So, stop advertising that your fares are a bargain. And please, hold off for awhile on the pay toilets, cause I know that’s on its way.