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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
COMPLAINT: Spirit lied and cheated us out of a vacation

 
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  #1  
Old May 7, 2010, 2:20 AM
bdunmore bdunmore is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3

We were traveling from Detroit to Tampa on 6am flight with our family of 6 passengers. We arrived at the airport 2 hours prior to our domestic flight to find that there was a huge line at the baggage check-in counter. We already had our boarding passes and the lines for security were very small so we just needed to check our bags prior to the flight. All the other airlines had lines at least 70% shorter.

I was not initially worried but after several minutes we saw how slow the line was moving I approached the spirit employee directing the line with 1hour and 10 minutes prior to the flight to inform her that we only had 70 minutes to our flight time and could not make it through the line in time for the flight because the line in front of us was so long. I was told to "just get back in line". I asked if we were going to be OK and was told to "just get back in line" again. I asked if we could do a curbside baggage check and was told that spirit did not have that service anymore.

I have flown with spirit and other airlines several other times and have seen them manage baggage checks so that that people were moved up if their flights were leaving shortly. There were people ahead of us who were leaving on later flights and if I thought the employee was going to make us miss our flight, I would have gladly stayed back with the luggage and allowed the other 5 people in our group board the flight and join them later.



At this point I thought that we would be allowed to check our bags as the flight time neared since the employee was pulling some international passengers out of line and we heard her call our Tampa flight out too but when I held up my hand she again said to stay in line so we did.

With 45 minutes prior to our fight I approached her again and told her we only had 45 minutes now and it was obvious we would never make it to the baggage counter in time since there were still many people ahead of us. Again I was told to "just get back in line" and I did. With 35 minutes left before the flight both me ,and my wife who was in tears now , pointed out that it was 35 minutes before our 6am departure and asked directly if she was going to make us miss our flight. All she said was, "I can't speak to you right now and get back in line". We were relatively close to the front of the line with maybe 20-25 people ahead of us but still were expecting her to not deliberately make us miss our flight. since she had called other people out of the line. We waited another 5-10 minutes and then she called us up to check our bags. We immediately rushed up and the flight was not accepting baggage anymore. The employee deliberately held us back until we could not check our bags.

There was no way she was not aware of our situation since we checked in with her regularly. I asked what we could do now and she handed me the 1-800 number and said she couldn't talk to us.



We then waited with several other families who had been trapped in the baggage line for the service manager. We asked if we could get on another flight that day and she took our boarding passes to get refunds processed. We specifically asked her to make certain not to cancel our return flights. There were no other flights available to Florida that helped us and she also cancelled our return flights and simply walked away.

Now all the kids are crying, we are missing our cruise and now we have to rebook flights down south to Jamaica and back from Florida at much higher prices.

We were told Spirit had the flights overbooked from the day before and were purposely trying to make us miss our flights so they could use our seats and not have to give us any compensation.
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  #2  
Old May 7, 2010, 8:46 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Get witnesses and report this to the DOT. This is getting close to fraud.
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Old May 8, 2010, 5:28 PM
bdunmore bdunmore is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll contact DOT
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Old May 17, 2010, 2:38 AM
bdunmore bdunmore is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3

Spirit Airlines has been fined $375,000.00 due to customer complaints for overbooking flights, lost bags, and poor advertising practices.

Recent story in 2009...spirit treats many the way we were treated!!!
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Old Jun 25, 2010, 10:33 PM
MrsStrict MrsStrict is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1

Remember that under Federal Trade Commission: Fair Credit Billing you can dispute these charges with your credit card company (let's hope you paid with a credit card). Your complaint falls under:
"charges for goods and services you didn't accept or weren't delivered as agreed"
Have everything documented and submit whatever proof you have. If you have travel insurance on your credit card, you may be able to dispute anything else you lost out on. You won't even have to talk to a Spirit rep. just go straight to your credit card company.
I just disputed my entire round-trip ticket when Spirit canceled my flight due to company strike. I won and was given back all of my money.
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  #6  
Old Jun 25, 2010, 10:58 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

This is good advice, although the strike example is not directly comparable with the original situation. Spirit has a similar offensive, anti-consumer culture to Ryanair and Delta. They are really best avoided.
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  #7  
Old Mar 17, 2011, 5:44 PM
HSitto HSitto is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2

For several months we have been planning for a family vacation with our friends and their kids, a total of four adults and 6 young children. We decided on a cruise and the flight with Spirit. As we reach near the date of our vacation, Spirit decides to reschedule our flight by about 2-1/2 hours which will not give us enough time to reach our ship before departure. We called Spirit and they had absolutely no explanation how they could do this to ten of their passengers, and most likely many more from that flight. They offered to put us on a later flight which is obviously stupid. They also offered to put us on a flight the morning prior, but with four working adults, that wasn’t going to work. We trusted Spirit to make this a trouble free vacation that we so desperately needed, not a chance will we trust Spirit.
Now we are scrambling to find a flight on another airline, God knows when our refund will actually post on our credit card, it has been a week. One last thing, if my friend did not catch the email he received that looks like a spam we would have been very early for our flight and for sure missed cruise ship.
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