I was on a red eye flight from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale on board a plane operated by Spirit Airlines. It was on August 29, 2008 flight number 310. After the flight took off, the passengers were informed there is a charge for drinking water and there will be a charge of $ 3.00 per bottle of water and they only accept credit cards and not cash. This was the first time I ever heard of such a thing. It was my first time flying on Spirit Airlines. It was a long flight of over 5 hours. I fly regularly and have seen that other airlines do charge for bottled water but they still serve regular drinking water in small cups free of charge.
I was thirsty before I even got on board. When the flight attendants started their "beverage service" I asked them to give me a small cup of regular water. They demanded that I give them a credit card and buy a whole bottle of spring water. I informed them that I am not carrying any of my credit cards and that I would be happy to pay cash. They refused. I didn't even want a whole bottle of water. All I wanted was a small cup of water to help me with my thirst.
During this long flight I suffered from thirst. It was like a torture. Approximately three and a half hours to four hours into the flight, I started feeling dizzy and could not breath and was extremely dehydrated and had chest pain. I could not wait any more. I finally walked to the back of the plane where two of the flight attendants where sitting and happily chatting. I nicely requested that they give me a small cup of water. Again I informed them that I do not have a credit card with me and I am willing to pay cash. But again they refused despite my repeated statement that I am very thirsty and severely dehydrated. The one flight attendant (Diana) told me that if she gave me water she would be doing something against the airline's policy and that she is working for the airline and she has to observe her duties, and then she simply ignored me and left. I asked the other remaining flight attendant and she again refused to give me water. I remained calm and went back to my seat.
After over five hours, when the plane landed, I could almost see nothing. I had almost completely lost my vision from thirst, dehydration and severe dry eye, and I could not breath. I had severe chest pain.
I strongly believe that how they treated me was extremely unfair and perhaps illegal. There must be some laws to stop this sub standard airline to treat people like this. I felt like I was imprisoned by them inside a plane for five hours without access to the most basic necessity for sustaining life which is water. The fact that they refused to give me a small cup of water amounts to torture, and I think that their act is probably illegal under some federal, state or international laws. I wasn't asking for alcohol or food or even a full bottle of water. I was asking only for a small cup of water and was also willing to pay for it. They still refused.
I believe that if the flight is longer than a certain period of time, then the airlines must have the responsibility to provide water for passengers. At the very least, if they want to charge for the water, then they should not limit the type of payment a passenger can make. If the passenger can only pay cash, then they must accept it. They should not be able to limit the type of payment to only credit cards. They should have also given prior notice of their policy before someone gets on board and not after.
I am very determined to find out if there are remedies for me against Spirit Airlines, and I would appreciate any help I could get from anyone knowledgeable in this area. I have already retained an attorney to do research to see the legality of the Spirit Airline's policy and the actions of its flight attendants, and if we find a cause, then I have every intention to file a lawsuit against Spirit Airlines for torturing me and disregarding my physical health and causing damages to my body and consequently my mind and perhaps even file a class action lawsuit by inviting other passengers who have suffered. I have also filed an official complaint with the Department of Transportation.
The fact is that, even if their actions may not have been illegal, at the very least, they were immoral an unconscionable. Spirit Airlines must be ashamed for its inhumane policies. Their policies should show anyone how they really feel and care about their passengers.