Old Jul 22, 2009, 3:23 PM
FreeOctober FreeOctober is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1
Default Dispirited in Boston

Four of us were traveling to Puerto Rico through Ft. Lauderdale to participate in our mom's funeral. The flight from BOS to FLL was delayed as the result of mechanical trouble. An American Eagle attendant also announced that we would miss our connecting flight and that we would have to stay overnight in FLL and try to get another flight to PR. We had to press for a Spirit Air supervisor to come to the gate because the American Eagle attendant had been instructed to not offer any vouchers, transfers or alternatives of any sort. The supervisor echoed the same stuff. We accepted a full refund of the airfare, when she stated that it was the only alternative--even when the cause of the delay could not be labeled as an "act of God." We have contacted the Dept.of Transportation as well as Orbitz (through which we booked on this despicable airline) to make sure that our experience is noted in their records. Trying to contact Spirit Air brought us in contact with Kevin and Jim, who spoke more like Patel and Deepak. When pressed, these individuals conceded to the fact that the Call Center is indeed located in Bangalore, India. They were useless in trying to address our inquiries. I will never fly Spirit Air and will make sure that I tell my story to anyone who is willing to listen.
Old Jul 22, 2009, 8:41 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nearest Airports: COD, BIL, WRL
Posts: 577
Default Urgent (non-leasure) travel

If one has an important business meeting; a wedding; attending a funeral, etc. the ideal strategy is:

* Never use a travel agency--online or otherwise. For one thing, the airline will never get your phone number. So if there is a cancellation, or other problem, you'll never be told. Also, using a travel agency gives the airline an opening to tell you to contact the travel agency if there are problems. So, you were very lucky the airline decided to refund you directly.

* Making your reservation directly with the airline, preferably online. Print-out your confirmation e-mail, and have it with your "carry-on" items. US-based airlines are NOT the most honest people in the world. They may try lying about things thinking you don't have the documentation to expose their lies. (Stand-by for the screems from the airline shills!)

* Avoid connecting flights. Use non-stops or "direct" (one, or more, stops) flights.

* Purchase a fully-refundable ticket. This type of ticket is one of the most expensive. Indeed, sometimes, it can be a first class ("YUP") ticket.

* If "travel on the cheap" is unavoidable understand that there is a reasonable chance you will NOT reach your destination in one day. Plan for, at least, two days in transit between your point of origin, and destination. This would include having enough funds to pay for a one-night stay in a motel. Accordingly, depending on your city of origin, and your destination, Amtrak may be an option to consider, particularly during the winter.

* NEVER put clothing you will wear at a wedding; a business meeting; in your checked baggage. Send it ahead by UPS or Fedex. The same applies to important papers or medications. If you can't carry these things on, then send them ahead. Remember the old saying: "There are only two kinds of airline baggage--lost and carry-on."
[B][I][COLOR=navy][FONT=Arial Narrow]We HATE to fly--and it shows![/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=navy][FONT=Arial Narrow][/FONT][/COLOR][/I][/B]

Last edited by Butch Cassidy Slept Here; Jul 22, 2009 at 8:44 PM.
Old Jul 22, 2009, 9:20 PM
rudybjr rudybjr is offline
Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 37

It happens to all airlines. Read the contract of carriage and it will detail what you are entitled to when it does happen.
Old Jul 23, 2009, 12:30 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,366

Originally Posted by rudybjr View Post
It happens to all airlines. Read the contract of carriage and it will detail what you are entitled to when it does happen.
Spirit's COC contains no provision for re-booking on another carrier, sometimes called "Rule 240", in case of a cancellation or lengthy delay. This is because Spirit has no interline agreements to be able to do so. If a Spirit flight is cancelled you basically have two choices. You can wait for the next available Spirit flight which may, depending on where you are, be in a couple of hours or a couple of days. If this isn't an option than you can take a refund from Spirit and make your own arrangements with another airline which we all know is usually means very expensive last-minute fares.

Delayed and Canceled Flights
  1. Spirit Airlines Responsibility for Schedules and Operations Times shown in a timetable or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of the terms of transportation. Spirit may, without notice, substitute alternate carriers or aircraft, and may alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket in case of necessity. Schedules are subject to change without notice. Spirit is not responsible or liable for making connections, or for failing to operate any flight according to schedule, or for changing the schedule of any flight.
  2. Rebooking When a ticketed passenger holding a confirmed reservation on a flight will be delayed because of a schedule irregularity (including but not limited to, a missed connection, flight cancellation, omission of a scheduled stop, substitution of equipment, a different class of service or schedule change), Spirit will rebook the passenger on Spirit's first available flight to the passenger's destination without additional charge.
  3. Amenities/Services for Passengers Spirit will not assume expenses incurred as a result of a flight delay, cancellation, or schedule change. Spirit may provide limited amenities and services, which may be required by certain passengers in order to maintain their safety, health and welfare. Amenities provided by Spirit are provided as courtesy to the customer and are not to be considered an obligation of Spirit. No lodging will be provided to a passenger on any Spirit flight, which is delayed or canceled in the city of the passenger's residence.
This contract reflects the anti-customer "corporate culture" of Spirit and it's CEO. Basically they feel you're paying a low fare so expect nothing more than transportation from A to B.

Here's an interesting article which appeared in USA Today about Spirit and it's CEO Ben Baldanza. He doesn't seem to worry about all of the complaints and bad press his airline receives.

Spirit carried 6.8 million passengers last year, and the Transportation Department received 792 complaints. That's more than triple the number of complaints against low-fare airline Southwest, which carried 102 million passengers. The largest number of Spirit complaints were for baggage, reservations, ticketing and boarding problems. Spirit also received a large number of complaints about customer service and refunds.
Baldanza says more than 99.9% of Spirit's customers are satisfied with their dealings with the airline and blames many complaints on fliers' expectations.
"We're the Wal-Mart or the McDonald's — not the Nordstrom's — of the airline industry," Baldanza says. "No one walks into McDonald's and gets disappointed when they don't see filet mignon on the menu."

If any Spirit passengers feel they've been treated badly, "They should fly someone else," Baldanza says. "That's the way the free market works," he says. "I don't eat at some restaurants when I'm treated badly. Our job is to make sure that doesn't happen to a majority of customers." Two years ago, Baldanza accidentally replied to an e-mail from a customer requesting a refund for missing a concert in Atlanta after a flight delay.
"We owe him nothing as far as I'm concerned," Baldanza said in his e-mail. "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."

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