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Check-in / Boarding
COMPLAINT: Spirit Airlines - Don't rely on their readerboard info!

 
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  #1  
Old Jun 7, 2008, 1:04 PM
CiminoUM5 CiminoUM5 is offline
 
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Last night my girlfriend and I were supposed to fly from Tampa and Lauderdale for a wedding this weekend. Our scheduled departure time was 9:30pm, we got to the airport and checked in around 8-8:15. At this time the woman at the counter informed us that the flight had been delayed. We went through security check, looked at the arrival/departure screen and all it said was "delayed". Went to the gate to get more specific information and they said they still didn't know how long the delay was.

So, we go to the Chili's in the airport to grab something to eat. Every 10 minutes or so, I got up, checked the arrival/departure list, and each time the flight continued to say "Delayed". Well, we eventually head to our gate, sit down for a bit, and when I go to the counter to ask the status of the flight, they inform me that it already left.

Now, I am aware that technically it is the passenger's responsibility to board the flight (something that was made annoyingly clear to me by the 3 spirit CSRs/supervisors that I just got off the phone with), but in my many years of flying, I've never flown an airline that doesn't update their information on the arrival/departure board. Is this a frequent occurance for this airline?

Anyways, the people I spoke with were basically of no help whatsoever, parroting off whatever standard issue lines they are given to read customers with complaints. Kept telling me that since they were non-refundable tickets, there was nothing they could do. I didn't even want my $$ back, just to be put on another flight to Lauderdale today, but apparently the minimal cost it would take to get 2 people on a flight was not worth this airline losing my business forever (as well as the business of everyone I can convince to never fly with Spirit).

So, our weekend is ruined. Our luggage is in Lauderdale, which has to be sent back to Tampa now since my g/f is no longer going. I have to drive to Lauderdale myself, which will easily cost me over $100 in gas, and that's in addition to the $50 cab ride we had to take from the airport back hope last night.

I guess maybe I should have expected that in order to have cheap fares, Spirit would cut corners in areas like keeping their paying customers updated in the most basic flight information that every other airline is capable of.

Thanks for nothing, Spirit.
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  #2  
Old Jun 7, 2008, 1:18 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Being form Tampa I can answer this one quite well. First of all, those boards are not just for Spirit airlines - they are for all the airlines in that airside (What the Tampa airport calls the concourse). Secondly they get updated by the airport, not the airline. It's done automatically by air traffic control computers.
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  #3  
Old Jun 7, 2008, 1:20 PM
CiminoUM5 CiminoUM5 is offline
 
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Hmm....when the woman contacted me this morning about our baggage, she said I'd need to contact the airline about my issues, not the airport.

Do you think it would be worth my time to call up TPA and complain or would I just be wasting my time?
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  #4  
Old Jun 7, 2008, 7:56 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Probably not a lot of good. The boards don't mess up very often, but it does happen. It is a computer system. But there is an outside company that installed them and takes care of the tech support, so unless it is something that is happening right this moment that they can log in and see, it won't do any good.
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  #5  
Old Jun 10, 2008, 4:31 AM
bah humbug bah humbug is offline
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Originally Posted by CiminoUM5 View Post

So, we go to the Chili's in the airport to grab something to eat. Every 10 minutes or so, I got up, checked the arrival/departure list, and each time the flight continued to say "Delayed". Well, we eventually head to our gate, sit down for a bit, and when I go to the counter to ask the status of the flight, they inform me that it already left.
Don't see the problem here...they told you it was delayed, board had same info. You have to check in with the GATE every 10-15 minutes if you choose to leave the gate area. Doesn't sound like you even went to the gate at all...just straight to Chili's. Delayed flights are subject to leave whenever they get clearance to leave. There is no exact time of departure when it comes to delayed flts. Did you not here any announcement in the terminal? How did everone else know when to board??


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Now, I am aware that technically it is the passenger's responsibility to board the flight
Yours, and only yours!
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  #6  
Old Jun 11, 2008, 3:20 AM
CiminoUM5 CiminoUM5 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by bah humbug View Post
Don't see the problem here...they told you it was delayed, board had same info. You have to check in with the GATE every 10-15 minutes if you choose to leave the gate area. Doesn't sound like you even went to the gate at all...just straight to Chili's. Delayed flights are subject to leave whenever they get clearance to leave. There is no exact time of departure when it comes to delayed flts. Did you not here any announcement in the terminal? How did everone else know when to board??
Um, yes we did go to the gate when we got through the security checkpoint. Apparently you've got some reading comprehension issues because I clearly mentioned that. And there was no announcement in the terminal. We were closely listening to everything that came over the intercom. No announcement that the flight was leaving, no calling of our names when we didn't show at the gate.


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Yours, and only yours!
Unsympathetic, condescending attitudes like this are exactly why people hate airlines and the a-holes that work for them.
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  #7  
Old Jun 11, 2008, 10:16 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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But the thing is, sadly it is in part the airlines fault, however it does fall on you to get updates for your flight. Now initially you went to the gate, but instead of returning to the gate you trusted the boards to tell you about your flight. I think the gate should have informed you intially that they would be making updates, but it also falls on you to check with the gate to get that info. I never trust the boards, because they say one thing, the airline says another, and who do you trust? I'd go with the airline.
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  #8  
Old Jun 11, 2008, 10:19 AM
bah humbug bah humbug is offline
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Um, you checked with the gate 1 time when you first got there...they told you they do not know how long the flight would be delayed...they and the boards just said delayed. You took it upon yourself to leave the gate area and not check back in with the gate for a flight that was delayed, but no one knew how long the delay was. Could have been 10 minutes, could have been 2 hours.

No boarding announcements??? How on earth did everyone else know when to board? Could it have been that they heard a boarding announcement and you did not? Did the plane leave with no one on board because no boarding announcement was made? I don't think so.

Unsympathetic? Damn right! There are 100-150 people on the average flight. Its and airline, not a babysitting service. It is your responsibility to get your self where you need to be. It is your responsibility to be within earshot of announcements. Announcements are not made in bars and restaurants, only in the gate area and the terminal. Airlines do not board at restaurants and bars, they board at the gate. That is where you should have been along with everyone else who did get on the flight.
Take some responsibility for yourself and stop blaming others.
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  #9  
Old Jun 11, 2008, 12:51 PM
CiminoUM5 CiminoUM5 is offline
 
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Silent Bob, very true. I won't be making that mistake again.

Bah, I stand by what I said in my last post. In fact, after reading about the attitude of the Spirit CEO in the infamous erroneous email he sent out, you sound exactly like the type of unsympathic, insufferable pricks that Spirit apparently looks to hire in their customer service department. It's at least comforting to know that you won't have a job for much longer, as any company that has such shoddy customer service practices will undoubtedly be going out of business eventually (this is based on the countless number of complaints I've heard about Spirit on this and other message boards, btw).

The point is that I've been in similar situations before when my flights are delayed and EVERY other airline I've flown did 2 very basic things: updated their arrival/departure board, and made announcements throughout the terminal in regards to the flight status (3 things actually, as they call people to the gate when they haven't boarded yet shortly before departure). Delta, Continental, SouthWest, they've all done this.

And for the record, we WERE at the terminal and they did NOT make any announcement. This Chilis had their tables pretty much right in the walkway of the airport, within 15-20 feet of another gate. We heard multiple, multiple announcements for other flights but nothing was ever said for our flight. I'm sure you won't believe this, but you weren't there, so quite frankly you don't know what the **** you're talking about.

I now know for the future that the Spirit company is a shining symbol of incompetence, from top to bottom. If I ever make the mistake of flying them again, I'll make sure and sit within 20 feet of the gate no matter if it's a 3+ hour delay, since they're incapable of providing the same basic services that every other airline provides their customers.
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  #10  
Old Jun 11, 2008, 1:19 PM
bah humbug bah humbug is offline
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As it says under my user name, I am an airline emlpoyee, but I can assure you I don't work for Spirit. As an "airline employee" for any airline, we all go through the same thing day in and day out no matter what airline we work for. Passengers not taking responsibility.

I don't have to be there to know that everyone else got on the flight but you. You can not board a flight without making announcements. You were not where you should have been. It takes at least 30 minutes to board a flight. If you had been checking in with the GATE every 10-15 minutes, you would have known your flight was boarding.

I can assure you that no matter what airline you fly, there is always someone who missed their flight because they "didn't hear the announcement". It is not just a "Spirit" issue.

Last edited by bah humbug; Jun 11, 2008 at 1:22 PM.
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  #11  
Old Jun 11, 2008, 1:25 PM
CiminoUM5 CiminoUM5 is offline
 
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Ok, let me ask you something then. Is it or is it not standard practice for them to call passengers to the gate that haven't boarded the plane yet shortly before departure? I hear other airlines do this all the time, and they absolutely 100% did not do this. But I'm sure we just didn't hear our own names over the intercom too
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  #12  
Old Jun 11, 2008, 1:35 PM
CiminoUM5 CiminoUM5 is offline
 
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I should also add that my anger in this situation was exacerbated by the incompetence of their baggage department. After talking to someone in Lauderdale on Saturday afternoon, I was told that our baggage was coming back to Tampa on flight ### which was arriving at 7:30. I drive to TPA, show up at the airport at 8:00, and of course our luggage was not there. Had to wait for the baggage claim person to be done with the 5 or 6 other people whose luggage Spirit had lost and drove back home with no luggage. Finally at about 11pm on Sunday, they finally delivered it to my house.
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  #13  
Old Dec 30, 2008, 6:41 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Not to dig up the past, but I just flew out on a Southwest flight recently, and while I was there, your post came to mind. Here's why: Southwest is also on Airside C (same as Spirit). Spirit is on one end of the airside, Chili's is on the opposite end. So while I was waiting, and since my gate was right next to Chili's, I walked from Chili's to Spirit's gate. Now I walked at a slightly faster than normal pace, and it still took a good full 5 minutes to make the trip. This means that from the time you were at the gate to be told the flight was delayed, walked back to Chili's, sat for 10 minutes, then went back, you were gone from the gate a full 20 minutes. And that's assuming you were looking at your watch, and left the table exactly 10 minutes from the time you sat down.

The other part is, Spirit can make an airside wide page, but as soon as another gate keys up their PA mic, it overrides that announcement in that area. And with Southwest operating about 60 flights a day or so, those PA's are quite busy, so even if Spirit did make an announcement, there is nothing they can do about what happens in Southwest's territory, which you were deep within.
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