Last week I found out about yet another bad experience with Spirit Airlines.
I’ve had a few friends who booked flights through Spirit for vacations and were appalled by the amount of fees that were tacked on when they go to the airport. I’m rolling my eyes just thinking about it.
The most notable bad experience was when my dad was trying to get to my sister who was sick in a Colorado hospital. It was Spirit’s fault that my dad missed his connecting flight and the airline wouldn’t put him on another flight until 9pm the following day – news that made my blue-collar, proud father all but fall to his knees and start crying. After several hours, phone calls from my end and begging on his end, we finally got Spirit to switch his flight to an earlier one on a different airline.
Shortly after finding out about the latest bad experience with Spirit, I came across this article – Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s CEO defending his business model. If you have to defend your business model to your customers, you’re not doing something right. Here’s Mr. Baldanza vacuuming his own office to save money and getting rid of toll-free numbers so that he doesn’t have to spend his own money and all of the costs are on the customers’ end.
And people wonder why Spirit is one of the lowest rated airlines…
Here’s the thing: You can book flights through travel sites like Expedia but you don’t get any warning about Spirit’s “extra” fees – like a carry-on bag, which is not Expedia’s fault. Sure, they look cheap on-line, but they are ridiculously expensive if you don’t know about the fees before you get to the airport.
“Thanks for ripping me off” is probably a common thought at the Spirit counter.
Maybe if Spirit made it more publicly known that they charge extra for common services (like leg room) then they wouldn’t find themselves ranked lowest for customer service (which Spirit believes is great) and the rest of the categories in Consumer Report’s rankings.
And – just maybe – Stingy Ben wouldn’t have to spend so much time defending himself.