Spirit Airlines / awful airlines
Airline travel isn't what it used to be. And that's especially true at spirit airlines. My flight experience with spirit airlines yesterday made it very clear that the 'spirit' of this airline can be summed up in four words — we just don't care.
Spirit passengers are permitted to carry on 2 bags, weighing no more than 14 pounds each. Most people travel with more luggage than that. So, in an effort to cut operating costs, spirit airlines now charges its passengers $25 to check a bag. That's a lot of money, and most people (Including me) don't want to pay it.
I had arrived at the airport with 3 bags — 2 small carry-on pieces (A briefcase and a tote) and a small wheeled suitcase. I went to the desk and paid $25 to check the small suitcase — but the fee gave me no 'privileges' — I still had to personally carry the bag across the airport lobby to the loading area by myself. Not much 'service' for that $25 fee! I was unhappy about the $25 fee to check the bag, and unhappier still to find that spirit made me do all the 'work' myself.
My dissatisfaction increased when I got to the boarding gate. The flight was full, so when the majority of passengers showed up at the boarding gate with too much carry-on luggage it created a big problem — all those bags were not going to fit in the plane's overhead luggage bins. Some people brought 3 carry-on bags instead of 2. Others brought huge, over-sized bags through that clearly did not fit within spirit airlines' size and weight requirements (14 lbs.) for 'carry-on' baggage.
But no one had stopped these passengers from bringing the extra bags through to the boarding gate where the excess baggage caused a great deal of congestion and confusion. The baggage issue delayed the boarding process and caused our flight departure to be delayed. So passengers like myself who had followed the baggage rules were penalized, having to wait at the boarding gate for an extra 40 minutes while the situation was sorted out.
And if that wasn't bad enough, spirit airlines then rewarded these passengers for breaking the rules. Since the luggage would not all fit in the overhead compartments, spirit employees required that it be checked in there at the boarding gate before these passengers could board the plane... And their bags were checked free of charge!! These people had created havoc by ignoring the rules, but they were rewarded by not having to pay the additional $25 luggage charge like I had to pay. That just wasn't right.
I was outraged by the situation so I called spirit airlines today to tell them about the problem and to request a refund of my $25 fee. After 20 minutes of heated conversation with a spirit airlines rep who barely spoke english, I was told that there was nothing they could do. The only way I would have been entitled to a refund of that $25 fee was if I had gone back to the airport registration desk where I had paid the fee — which would have been physically impossible. Spirit began checking the other passengers' bags for free as the plane was boarding. If I had gone back to the desk to complain I would have missed my flight. Plus, there was no way to physically get back to the spirit registration desk after i'd already gone through the airport's passenger screening area. Passengers are not allowed to go back beyond that point. I argued this point unsuccessfully, then asked to speak to the man's supervisor.
The supervisor (Benjamin) who also rude and unapologetic, refusing to do anything for me. He told me the same thing — I would have had to go back to the registration desk at the airport for a refund. This was spirit's policy and he had no choice but to follow the it. I explained that doing so would have been physically impossible, to which he replied, 'those are the rules.'
Never have I experienced such an inefficient and mismanaged baggage/loading process, such cavalier treatment, and such a total disregard for passenger satisfaction from an airline. Spirit airlines made it clear that they don't care about their customers, and I will never fly with them again.
Do yourself a favor and heed this warning: do not fly spirit airlines!! They ripped me off, and that's just no way to do business.
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