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Check-in / Boarding
COMPLAINT: Denied Boarding!!

 
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  #1  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 1:17 AM
Sheridan30 Sheridan30 is offline
 
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November 10, 2009
To: Spirit Air
From: November 7, 2009 Denied Passenger
To whom it may concern,
I have been led to believe in my research that there is no customer service department for Spirit Airlines. I read where there were recent cutbacks and one was the customer service department. I find this extremely hard to believe. Last Saturday, November 7, 2009, I arrived at the airport in St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles as I had done before approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes before my flight. I approached the desk of Spirit Air to have a young island girl assist me to the best of her knowledge. She hesitated for some reason and told me to wait a minute. I waited patiently to have her come back and tell me they had just shut down check in minutes earlier. I said, well, this is just me and I am well over an hour early to check in. Can you please call your supervisor or get me on this plane please?” She replied, “There is nothing I can do and we shut our check in 2 minutes ago…” It was 2:45pm at this point. The flight was to leave at 3:50, just upstairs in the airport…steps away. She then said she would call her supervisor to come down. I waited another 10 minutes for this women by the name of Denise (Spirit Air Supervisor) to speak with me. Only to tell me there was nothing she could do. I began to cry and tell her that the plane had not even began to board and how could you possibly deny me to board. She said sorry and walked away. I was stranded all by myself. No concern.. Spirit Airs reply to my problem was rebooking my flight for the next Saturday…one more week. They only fly every Saturday to St. Maarten. I could not believe their lack of concern or assistance. Spirit Air states you should be at the airport 1 hour prior to flight departure…I was there well before this time. Spirit Air never even asked me my information to help me further…Denise just walked away. Now my problem is I have NO ONE to complain to, NO phone number (except to book another flight) NO WAY and NO email to send this letter to……WHAT DO I DO???? HELP!! My only resolution was to book a 926.00 flight from St. Maarten to Atlanta because I had to be home….this was a very expensive day for me…..
Sheridan
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  #2  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 3:23 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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You may never get a dime out of Spirit. Still, I think's it's worth taking them to small claims court and suing them for the cost of that extra ticket you had to buy as well as 50% of the cost of your original ticket. Since this was an international flight Spirit's rules say you must have a boarding pass in your hands no less than 60 minutes prior to departure, and you must arrive at the departure gate no less than 30 minutes prior to departure. You said it was 2:45 when you got your first "no" answer. Was that the time on your watch, or were you looking at a clock in the airport? Spirit will probably deny that it was 2:45 and say you were at the check-in counter later than that. While there was only 5 minutes remaining in which to issue a boarding pass (in order to comply with Spirit's rules) you indicated you were the only one at the ticket counter. In the absence of some unusual circumstance it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to issue a boarding pass. If there were no questions about your passport, and the airport clocks were showing 2:45, then, in theory, Spirit owes you. Unless you have a "disinterested witness" (ie: not a relative, not a friend) this will come down to your word against Spirit's. So how the judge would rule is anyone's guess.
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  #3  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 3:33 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Could they still be sued considering this didn't happen in the US? It's along the lines of some of the things brought up on Kate Hanni's site about what happened outside the US. You can't apply US laws outside out borders.
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  #4  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 3:53 AM
Sheridan30 Sheridan30 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
You may never get a dime out of Spirit. Still, I think's it's worth taking them to small claims court and suing them for the cost of that extra ticket you had to buy as well as 50% of the cost of your original ticket. Since this was an international flight Spirit's rules say you must have a boarding pass in your hands no less than 60 minutes prior to departure, and you must arrive at the departure gate no less than 30 minutes prior to departure. You said it was 2:45 when you got your first "no" answer. Was that the time on your watch, or were you looking at a clock in the airport? Spirit will probably deny that it was 2:45 and say you were at the check-in counter later than that. While there was only 5 minutes remaining in which to issue a boarding pass (in order to comply with Spirit's rules) you indicated you were the only one at the ticket counter. In the absence of some unusual circumstance it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to issue a boarding pass. If there were no questions about your passport, and the airport clocks were showing 2:45, then, in theory, Spirit owes you. Unless you have a "disinterested witness" (ie: not a relative, not a friend) this will come down to your word against Spirit's. So how the judge would rule is anyone's guess.
WOW...thanks for all this help...I wll look into it.
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  #5  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 4:17 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Jetliner:

I don't know how Spirit could, successfully, argue that the small claims court doesn't have jurisdiction. First, I'm assuming the OP purchased a round-trip ticket, from Spirit, for transportation from Atlanta, to St. Maarten and back. Spirit does business in the State of Georgia. Therefor it is subject to the jurisdiction of Georgia courts. The OP is not claiming compensation due to injuries or baggage loss. So there does not appear to be any pre-empting law (Warsaw/Montreal conventions, etc.)

This is basically a sales agreement wherein the seller failed to carry-out his obligations.
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  #6  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 8:13 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Did Spirit offer any explanation as to why they had closed the desk early? Do any of the airline employees know if it is possible to get a print out which would show what time the flight was closed? If so, it may be possible for the OP to demand this. This would show whether in fact the flight was closed prior to the contracted agreed time.
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  #7  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 10:39 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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This sounds like a case of them, maybe, possibly overselling the flight. That would be my one guess. I've missed flights to have the agent tell me that the flight was oversold and my seat was given away. (I'm already late, why throw salt in teh wounds).

However this sounds like a time issue, as sometimes (even here) people state they were there prior to closing, but not exactly at the counter, just somewhere in the building. the OP even states they arrived at the airport 1 hour and 15 minutes prior:

Quote:
, I arrived at the airport in St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles as I had done before approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes before my flight.
this was cutting it close already as most international travelers should be in the building 2 hours before. Mind you the OP states she has done this before, only this time, well... we know what happened.

I don't think small claims will work too well, because we're dealing with a time issue. If the OP can prove they were at the counter, with enough time for check in, that may help, but ultimately it's a he said, she said, which probably won't cut it in the courts, as the agent and the supervisor will most likely write up a statement claiming as such. And let's say, for argument sake, A Spirit rep were to be reading this page, you have the op claiming they arrived at the airport 1hr and 15minutes prior. Any eyes can see that was already cutting it too close.
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  #8  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 8:48 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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From Spirit's website:

Quote:
Airport Processing Times (Outside the United States)
Please keep in mind that for most cities/regions outside the U.S., the approximate airport processing time is three (3) hours.
Contact information for Spirit Air:

Heather Harvey ([email protected])
Manager, Customer Relations
Spirit Airlines
2800 Executive Way
Miramar, FL 33025
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  #9  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 11:36 PM
justme justme is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Did Spirit offer any explanation as to why they had closed the desk early? Do any of the airline employees know if it is possible to get a print out which would show what time the flight was closed? If so, it may be possible for the OP to demand this. This would show whether in fact the flight was closed prior to the contracted agreed time.
Jim, it is possible to find and print out the time that the final paperwork was printed, what time the door was closed, what time the beacon was turned on, so on and so forth. Not sure if the airline would give it to a passenger, even if they demanded, but my guess would be that it could be asked for and received by a judge if it goes to small claims.
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  #10  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 11:41 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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In that case, the passenger, if totally confident that the timings are correct should proceed to small claims court and ask for disclosure of this information.
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  #11  
Old Nov 11, 2009, 11:47 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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"Jimworcs" wrote:

In that case, the passenger, if totally confident that the timings are correct should proceed to small claims court and ask for disclosure of this information.

The problem is Spirit has a strong motive to falsify this information. If they do, how could the plaintiff (the OP) prove it's false? I don't think it could be done. Spirit could, effectively, commit perjury and probably get-away with it.
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  #12  
Old Nov 12, 2009, 1:52 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I am not so sure that an airline would risk perjury. They might refuse to provide the evidence, in which case the plaintiff could ask the court on the balance of probabilities to find in her favour. Afterall, the airline has the means to dis-prove the passengers statement and has chosen not to. Small claims has a lower civil burden of the balance of probabilities. I would take a chance and take them on.
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  #13  
Old Nov 12, 2009, 4:10 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Oh brother....an airline will falsify information. Where is your proof?? A passenger has just has much motivation to falsify info as anyone, more probably. What a completely un-helpful comment that was.

Knowing the airlines like I do, I strongly believe this info would NOT ever be given to a passenger if asked for and only to a court official on receipt of a subpoena.
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  #14  
Old Nov 18, 2009, 6:10 AM
Sheridan30 Sheridan30 is offline
 
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Well after posting my complaint here, Spirit Air has given me a customer relations contact that told me they would take up my issue of being denied boarding in St. Maarten with the Spirit Air employees that denied me. GREAT, but what else?? As the replies read on my post, it would be their word against mine and I lost. There was not an apology or offer of even a portion of my flight. This airline is going to go under if they continue to get all the complaints that I am reading. Looks like Spirit needs to do a little more customer service relations and make some customers happy and not ****** off.....the best answer they had for me was to contact Travel Guard which is a separate company that I purchased the travel insurance from...they made me think they were doing me a favor by directing me to some more hope that I might get some of my hard earned money back. NOT!! Spirit Air....if you are reading this....VERY DISAPPOINTED....so far, i am going to be your worst critic...I find this very unfair treatment to a potentially very good customer....its not too late. My hard earned vacation turned into a very expensive tragic ending...
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  #15  
Old Nov 18, 2009, 6:27 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Thanks for posting the update. So very few do and sometimes we wonder what happened. In your case with Spirit, however, we pretty much predicted the outcome. I just pulled an all-nighter at work and then got exactly 4 hours of sleep so I apologize that I'm not in the mood right now to go tracking down old posts. If you so desire please surf around the previous posts about Spirit and you'll find I posted a quote from and a link to an interview with Spirit's CEO. He has no desire to do anything above and beyond for the sake of customer service. His motto is, and I'm paraphrasing, Spirit is a discount airline and you get what you pay for. If the customer's expectations are too high that's their problem. When they need to save a dime to fly somewhere in the future they'll be back. (That last statement is pretty close to his original quote) I think you'll find that even among the unwashed, untouchable caste of "Airline Sympathizers" on this forum that even we agree Spirit's customer service is abominable.
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  #16  
Old Nov 19, 2009, 12:11 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Spirit and Ryanair are kindred spirits. They operate on the basis that people will always look for a bargain and that there will always be customers if the price is low enough. So far, they have been proved right.

In your case, if you were late, you have no chance whatsoever, and you should drop it. Spirit are not concerned about repeat customers. They know that of all the passengers who say they will never fly with them again, only a small proportion will follow through with the threat.

However, the amount you had to spend was high. If you are certain, a small claims court case is not costly to file. Write to Spirit by recorded delivery and file you claim. Don't worry if they don't answer. In the letter state the circumstances and ask them for a copy of the print out, showing the official time that the flight was closed.

They will not supply it and probably won't reply.

Then file in smalls claims court. In your claim, state that Spirit have refused or declined to respond to your requests for evidence that the flight was closed after the contracted flight closing time.

In those circumstances, I think you have a reasonable chance of winning. But you should only do this, if you are CERTAIN that you did not arrive after the closing time. These boards are littered with cases of people who say they got there 2 mins, 4 mins, etc before the time. If you were late, but were just irritated at their attitude and resented their unwillingness to help, you are better to chalk it up to experience and let it go. Then follow up on your threat.. and never fly with them again.
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Old Nov 19, 2009, 4:02 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Sheridan: At a minimum, taking Spirit to small claims court would force them to produce SOME type of documentation, true or fabricated, to support their side of the story. As one poster on here indicated, airlines NEVER lie--only customers do. That's why, in some instances, airlines have been fined--like for lying about the weather!

Send your "demand letter," and any subsequent court (small claims) complaint, to Spirit's Georgia representative for legal service at:

SPIRIT AIRLINES, INC.
c/o Corporation Service Company
Suite #300,
40 Technology Parkway South
Norcross, Georgia 30092-2924

Notes:

* Norcross is in GWINNETT COUNTY
* In Georgia, Spirit is a foreign corporation incorporated in the State of Delaware

Stand-by folks for all the threatening/dire warnings from the "airline lawyers" on this board!
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  #18  
Old Nov 19, 2009, 7:36 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Originally Posted by BCSH
As one poster on here indicated, airlines NEVER lie--only customers do.
I missed that post. Can you link me to it?
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  #19  
Old Nov 19, 2009, 12:17 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
* In Georgia, Spirit is a foreign corporation incorporated in the State of Delaware
Not sure why you made a point to mention this as many large US corporations are incorporated in Delaware. What was your point?

Stand-by folks for all the threatening/dire warnings from the "airline lawyers" on this board![/quote]

And just what was the point of this post? The only regular "contributor" to this board who claimed to be an attorney was banned a few weeks ago.
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Old Nov 19, 2009, 6:08 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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PHXFlyer wrote...

Not sure why you made a point to mention this as many large US corporations are incorporated in Delaware. What was your point?

In some jurisdictions the court complaint must read:

JANE DOE,
A resident of Georgia,

v.

SPIRIT AIRLINES, INC.
A Delaware corporation


Again, in some jurisdictions, the word "foreign" would be substituted for the word "Delaware" (or whatever state the company is incorporated in.) Usually one of the court clerk's staff is aware of the correct format for their jurisdiction. If the suit is filed in the state in which the company is incorporated, the phrase A domestic corporation would be used.
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Last edited by Butch Cassidy Slept Here; Nov 19, 2009 at 6:10 PM.
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  #21  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 2:08 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Originally Posted by BCSH
As one poster on here indicated, airlines NEVER lie--only customers do.

Originally Posted by The_Judge View Post
I missed that post. Can you link me to it?
I'm still waiting.......
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  #22  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 5:20 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Judge, in post #21, wrote…

I'm still waiting.......

Troy, if I continued a thread in this way, you and your friends on here would be jumping all over me (and probably reporting me) because I wouldn’t let something drop. However, you’re part of the 66% of “airline sympathizers,” et al, the moderator, for whatever reason, allows to do “whatever.” As to the figure of 66%: Since you have time for abusive comments, like “What a load of horse excretion,” you can go-through my previous posts and locate the one where I explained how this number was derived from the “members” list on this board. PHX dismissed it but failed to provide any rational counter-argument.

Judge, in post #21, wrote…

A passenger has just has much motivation to falsify info as anyone, more probably.

So, Troy, I suppose you’re going to say, with a straight face, that the following comment, of mine, is NOT an appropriate “follow” to your post #21. Again, you and your friends on here can save the keystrokes—your comments are predictable, if not very BORING!

As one poster on here indicated, airlines NEVER lie--only customers do.

Troy, if you and/or your friends want to continue this thread in this manner, play amongst yourselves.
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  #23  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 5:55 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Originally Posted by BCSH
you can go-through my previous posts and locate the one where I explained how this number was derived from the “members” list on this board. PHX dismissed it but failed to provide any rational counter-argument.
You want me to go through all your posts yet you mentioned this to another poster in another thread....

Originally Posted by BCSH
OK, Phx, I did the work you should have done and was able to find sources supporting your claim. I don't know why the posting of a link is such a big deal??
Odd.

http://www.airlinecomplaints.org/sho...3&postcount=20
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