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Reservations
COMPLAINT: Spirit Airlines: Now assessing a charge for online seat selection

 
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  #1  
Old Jun 3, 2008, 5:48 PM
jmccusker jmccusker is offline
 
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Spirit Air is now charging a fee (between $5 and $15 depending on the seat) to make a seat selection online. In my opinion, this is an unreasonable and very deceptive practice. I have email correspondence from my reservation confirmation that explains how to go online and choose your seat selection. Nowhere in this email does it state there is a charge for selecting seats in advance. They don't disclose this fact until you are on the website and try to select a seat! I am so mad about this that I would cancel my whole reservation if I knew I could get my money back.

I made travel reservations for my entire family, a party of five which includes three children, and Spirit just wants to nickel and dime me to death with seat selection charges? I can assure you as I'm writing this email that THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL EVER FLY ON THIS AIRLINE. Between the seat selection charge and the baggage fees (another $10 in advance or $20 at the counter) there's no value add or incentive to fly a discount carrier like Spirit. You are saving absolutely nothing flying with Spirit because of all the add on charges.

I would like my family to be seated together, and I don't feel I should be charged a fee for this, this is common courtesy and they taking unfair advantage of their (soon to no longer be) customers.

JM
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  #2  
Old Jun 3, 2008, 8:59 PM
Corbel Corbel is offline
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with gas prices the way they are i dont blame them. its do this or raise up the fares. if you dont want to pay the fee, dont select your seats and get to the airport 2+ hours early to get seats! spirit is not the only airline doing this, NW does it with some of their seats and allegiant does it with all of their seats, ($11 each way or free if you wait and check in at the airport) and on occassion a family of 6 is split BUT thats because they check in at the last minute.
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 9:09 PM
jmccusker jmccusker is offline
 
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Personally, I'd rather they just raise the fares. At least then you know exactly what you're paying for up front instead of having all these little "hidden fees" that get sprung on you after the fact.
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 9:35 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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But what fare did you pay on Spirit to begin with? This is why they do some of these things, as well as charge for each bag you check. At the same time most of their fares are dirt cheap. It's a lot like Ryan Air in Europe. Let me put it to you this way - you can't pay for hot dogs and expect a filet mignon.
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 12:53 AM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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Get ready for this to become the normal on ALL airlines. As mentioned, Spirit isn't the only airline doing this. NorthWest, Allegiant, and AirTran, along with Spirit, come to mind. I expect others to follow, with fuel prices. Already they are all charging for 2nd bags, and American now charges for 1 bag. I also expect, along with the nickel and diming, fares will increase.
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 1:51 AM
Corbel Corbel is offline
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dont also be surprised if most major carriers (american, unitel, delta, etc.) sooner or later start charging for onboard beverages like spirit and allegiant do, its not that their trying to nickel and dime you, its what the costs of fuel has led them to do.
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 2:11 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Here's the school of thought on this:

Used to be that when you bought your ticket you were buying two things - a seat and space for you bags. (Yes I know - other things weren't charged either - we are just looking at this from it's most basic point right now)

What they are doing is now only selling the seat - so you only pay for the baggage if you are going to use it. By raising everyone's fare, you make everyone pay for what only some use. On the other hand, this method only makes those that actually use it, pay for it.

The other part is this:

Spirit and Northwest both serve Detroit. So let's say you are flying to Detroit. Northwest is much more dependent on these fees than Spirit. So Spirit could raise the fares and do away with the fees. Northwest does not have that option. But the problem is that the smaller airlines like Spirit and AirTran and JetBlue have a what is called fare elasticity. What this means is that they can go ahead and raise the fares, but there comes a point at which the fares get close to what Northwest is charging. NW's fare will be more, but it's still close enough that people will just go ahead and book NW instead of Spirit. NW just has the better perception between the two as a larger airline, etc. So in this case Spirit stands to loose customers.
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Old Jul 16, 2008, 6:54 PM
abutterfinger25 abutterfinger25 is offline
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Originally Posted by Corbel View Post
with gas prices the way they are i dont blame them. its do this or raise up the fares. if you dont want to pay the fee, dont select your seats and get to the airport 2+ hours early to get seats! spirit is not the only airline doing this, NW does it with some of their seats and allegiant does it with all of their seats, ($11 each way or free if you wait and check in at the airport) and on occassion a family of 6 is split BUT thats because they check in at the last minute.
I think the main point here is that Spirit failed in notify about the cost associated with reserving an actual seat.
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Old Jul 31, 2008, 5:30 PM
juless1 juless1 is offline
 
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not sure where this post should be - customer service or here...
but since this airline does not have any real customer service......
I booked 3 seats to Cancun in March. Got a great fare of 300 roundtrip including all taxes!! Low fares is one of the reasons I fly with Spirit...but not anymore.....
When I booked the flights - I tried to reserve seats and was advised it was too early. When I tried again a month later..the same reply.
Time goes on..life gets busy..Yesterday I go in to reserve my seats and lo and behold....it will cost me $100 to have assigned seats!! $100 !!!
First - if they are going to do this - they need to charge per way not per segment. I happen to be on a connection to Cancun only because
Spirit changed my direct flight with a stop in FLL to a connection via FLL each way. Needless to say - I was ******.

The policy should also be that any tickets issued before the change in policy takes effect should be excluded from this ridiculous fee. In the very least...Spirit has a responsibility to advise their ticketed passengers of this new policy and allow them the opportunity to reserve their seats prior to effective date.

I called reservations and as everyone knows = GOT NO WHERE!!
Forget the language problem - the agents speak very poor English and understand even less. I demanded a supervisor and was told they do not transfer calls to supervisors!! Unbelievable!! They told me I could simply wait and get my seat assignment at the airport the day of the flight...yeah right - like I want to fly to Cancun in middle seats with a kid and a husband with a very bad back.....
I called back - and got the same run around...
I too sent them an email...we'll see what my automated response is.

Why **** people off!!?? Why not bury that charge in the fare - everyone else does..,.,,

This has left such a bad taste in my mouth for Spirit - I doubt I will fly them again.....

I want to contact the press or someone about this......any ideas??

A former fan of Spirit
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