Spirit Airlines: You've really done it this time

Spirit Airlines: You've really done it this time

Dear Spirit Airlines,

I don’t really mean “dear”, I mean come on, there is nothing dear about you. A couple years ago I flew on your airline and I swore to the Gods above that that would never happen again. I wrote about that episode as well. However, I made the mistake of forgetting that promise to myself.

Our daughters were flying your airline to meet us in Myrtle Beach. We had our own flights on American, who since their acquisition of US Airways, allows us to use our miles to fly there. Yes, there’s a layover but it beats flying into Charlotte, NC and driving four hours. But they had to work up until the last minute and there were no AA flights when they needed. So, we had little choice but to choose Spirit.

The girls had to pack anything they needed in a backpack, lest we have to dish out additional charges for carry-on bags. They risked not being able to sit anywhere near each other to save the seating fee. We felt we were pretty darned savvy after our last experience. Their flight to Myrtle went off without a hitch. We were shocked; even excited. Maybe you weren’t so bad after all.

HA! What were we thinking! It’s like Stranger Danger offering candy, you should always say no. But we took the bait and we paid.

On Sunday I received an email that the flight back was delayed by 4 hours. You suggested we still come to the airport “an hour prior to the original departure time”. Sure, let’s sit at the airport for 4 extra hours. I think not. It was the prettiest day of the weekend; we almost considered the delay a gift. Until we didn’t.

Upon arrival at the airport, everything ran according to the late plan. Boarding went smooth, takeoff was imminent. Only one problem you announced: There are no pilots. Small details.

Your pilots had gone over their hours and were napping or something. They had to get to the airport and were running late. An hour and a half passed as all the passengers sat and waited. And waited. And waited. Then you had another announcement: the flight attendants were now over their hours and couldn’t fly. And seeing as they are based in Chicago, they really wanted to get home as bad as everyone else.

During this time you didn’t offer even a glass of water. Everyone sat on your dirty plane, which you had boarded, knowing that you had to get everyone on in under four hours so as to not have to offer free vouchers. Nice, very nice. You then cancelled the flight and kicked everyone off the plane.

I called your airline’s number immediately. I only wish I had recorded the call as there were very few details I can remember understanding in the broken English from your agent. She read from her script; she made numerous mistakes. Her first mistake was not telling me that there were no flights on Spirit for today. I explained that we had to get back to work, that we could not stay beyond today. She was too busy telling me that the new flights on Tuesday would be $510.

After ripping her f’ing head off my slight attack on her, she placed me on hold and came back to apologize for her mistake. Not about no flights, but that there would not be a fee to change. You gave us each a $50 voucher you would apply towards the new flight. Golly gosh, thanks.

I asked to be rebooked on another airline to get out today. No, you don’t do that; only at the airport. So, the line was approximately another 4 hours long. Left for dinner, went back and it had barely moved. The people in line were close to a revolt. We left, deciding to go back this morning.

In the meantime I looked at US Airways and saw there was a flight home today at 6:15. I wonder how many people you lied to about no flights being available today. We went to the airport this morning and with no problem whatsoever, we were able to rebook with them, honoring your tickets.

We are lucky, we have a second home here. We didn’t have to pay for a hotel and we could eat a meal at home. However, what about all the people that you stiffed for the night, or possibly two or three? Some people were saying they were told it could be 2-3 days before getting out of here. Some people had sick kids at home they needed to get to. Another had emergency medical equipment that had to be in Chicago last night. What about all that? Oh yes, you could care less.

I am not worried about this happening to us again as there is not a chance in hell we would ever risk your airline again. And I have a feeling all the passengers on last night’s cancelled flight won’t either. And they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on and so on.

And then you shall shut down and we will all celebrate.

That’s the Spirit!

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