In-flight Issue
COMPLAINT: Worst (Avoiadable) Inflight Experoence

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Old Dec 14, 2011, 10:53 PM
AirplaneGuy23 AirplaneGuy23 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1

Having flown my first flight with spirit on Dec 8th 2011 LGA-FLL, i was anxious to discover the thrill of a low fare airline. At the check in counter the employee weighed my bag that i paid $28 for (each way) and measured it to be 44 pounds, 4 pounds over the limit. To my surprise, the employee refused to allow me to check in the bag until my bag weighed an acceptable amount. I pleaded with respect to let me go but the employee was very stubborn. I gave in and removed an item from my bag, i was disturbed by the fact that i had to open my suitcase in public and argue about 4 pounds. Nevertheless, i remained calm as i was eager to get to my destination. Once i boarded the plane, a 4 month old A320 i was highly impressed with the cleanliness and inviting setting. the flight attendants seemed pleasant.

However, towards the end of the flight i realized how wrong i was. The flight attendants were a bunch amateurs. One of them was reading off the announcements like a warranty for a car. It didnt stop there, the pilot announced himself in the beginning and thats it, the only indication of direction we had was on our ticket!

Finally one of the flight attendants annouced that we were heading for landing and that we should sit upright and tray tables up etc. Unfortunatley, there was terrible turbulence as the plane descened through the clouds. The word terrible is an undertstaemnt. The plane shook violently and dropped extremely quickly. This happened for about 5 min, although it felt like an hour. The problem is that the staff on spirit have no clue how to deal with a situation like that. THE PILOT OBVIOUSLY KNEW IT WAS A CLOUDY APPROACH, A PROPER WARNING SHOULD HAVE BEEN STATED. Lets give the pilot the benefit of the doubt that he was unaware of the oncoming turbulence. That still doesn't explain how the flight crew managed this particular situation. While we were shaking and rolling through the sky, everyone was holding on for dear life. Women were crying and hugging each other as if their last seconds were approaching. During this extreme moment the chief flight attendant, a male prob in his early 60's got on the pa system and had the unprofessional balls to announce "UH, WHOEVER IS SHAKING THE PLANE, PLEASE STOP!". Even more so, the other flight attendant says out loud "IT FEELS LIKE A RODEO". All these comments are now comical but im sure you all agree how unprofessional such comments can be, especially when no prior turbulence warning was issued! Finally, during landing the pilot brakes normally and then braked extremely hard! i never experienced such a hard landing before!

Overall, i understand somethings are not in your control. If we, the passengers had prior warning about the oncoming disturbances i think everyone would have been able to deal with it with greater ease and comfort. Therefore, the lack of such a warning further proves spirit airlines to be a highly unprofessional, disappointing, and less than decent airline.

P.s its extremly annoying for us Americans to speak to Indian customer service agents! They are slow and difficult to understand. There is a limit to how cheap you can be before you lose all customers. Take a few tips from Jetblue or Southwest, 2 thriving airlines doing it right!
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 12:35 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

I agree about JetBlue and Southwest, but I don't agree about the turbulance. I think the flight attendants were trying to reassure passengers with some light hearted jokes.. it was harmless and while it was clearly not to your taste, doesn't mean the airline is unprofessional.

Entering cloud almost always generates a few bumps, but they are not necessarily predictable as to how severe they will be. Once it has started, if it is very severe, I prefer the Captain to focus on flying the plane... the announcements are perfectly appropriately left in these circumstances to the FA.

Spirit are a nightmare and very aggressive about their rules and attempts to generate revenue for ancilliary services. I would avoid them.. but I don't think your criticism of their handling of the turbulance or landing is valid.
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Old Dec 16, 2011, 10:05 AM
Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 42


I'm a little on the fence about the 4lbs.. Spirit does pretty well tell you the limit.. and there's no indication on your part that you weren't aware of that.. So, to me, I don't see any issues with spirit enforcing the standards they publish.

Is 4# a lot of overage? Well, that's naturally all in the eye of the beholder.. 4# from 40 limit is 10% over.. and I also think that by doing so does 'open the door' to others claims that "You waived 4# for him, why not me too?" and that's a slippery slope.

To me, I'm a fan of one consistently and evenly enforced policy.. I don't like it when the rules are only enforced at City A and not in City B, and the like..

As far as the landing and other related matters, I do agree with Jim on this issues alone.. While it would be nice for announcements to be made.. the reality is that their first and primary function is that of safe operational command of the aircraft.. I can't see any real failure or fault in that regard.

The other part of this is the notion that it's not always possible to control how and where your landing occurs.. As most know, there are defined approaches patterns to the airport, and while some adjustments can be made- with the concurrence and approval of either XXX airport approach or the equivalent, it's not always possible to avoid it in it's entirety.

As to your claim of such announcements not being made a "... highly unprofessional, disappointing, and less than decent airline." I think is not supported by most carriers SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) nor a realistic assessment of what can be foreseen and done and the time frame in which this is all happening.

but I can appreciate that a 'rough' (for lack of a better objective term) landing can be unnerving.
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Old Dec 16, 2011, 9:15 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 745

The three rules of aviation:


When a plane hits turbulence, the crew first and foremost makes sure the bird stays in the air, then the make sure where they are and where they're going. THEN they tell you what's going on. I would prefer the flight crew concentrate on flying the plane.
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