Spirit Airlines — charge for ticket said not available on website!
I am so disappointed with Spirit Airlines and the way I was treated that I will never book through them again. I was searching for a flight yesterday and found a reasonable price from Detroit to Las Vegas for 69.00 each way. I put in all my information, which I have done many times before as I fly frequently, and pressed submit. I received a message back that the fare was no longer available at that price and it took me back to the screen to pick flights. The price was now 147.00 each way, which was quite an increase. I was disappointed but decided to look at other airlines for airfare. After searching I found a flight for a reasonable price (253.00 but better than the 318.00 Spirit wanted) and I booked it. Sounds like everything was good, right... WRONG!
Today I came home from work and was going to do some things online. I check my email and low and behold... a confirmation email for Spirit Airline!? I open it and realize they did charge me for the 158.00 airfare, which would be great if I hadn't already booked with another airline on a non-refundable ticket. So I do what any rational person would do and call the airline customer service to explain the situation. You would think it would be no big deal, explain the situation and them refund the amount. If only this were the case!
I spent almost an hour on the phone. First waiting on hold after dealing with the barrage of automated "assistance". Finally, after about 10 minutes of holding I reach the customer service rep, Ms. Maui ("You know... like the State", she says... obviously she lives in another country). I explain to her the situation. She, in turn, says all we can do is give you a voucher. I tell her I don't want a voucher, I want my credit card charges reversed. I tell her this is unacceptable. Obviously there was a computer error on the end of Spirit. There was no confirmation page and I was given a message on the screen saying that "This fare is no longer available. Please chose another flight" and it took me back to where you choose a flight. In no way was I ever given any indication that it had gone through. If it had, for god's sake, why would I purchase airfare through another airline that was more expensive? I thought I was clear, level headed and did a good job of explaining the issue and my request to have the charge reversed. Obviously not! Ms. Maui just kept repeating she could only give me a voucher. This ticket is non-refundable. After a few rounds of not getting anywhere I asked to speak with her supervisor. She told me, I can put you through but the supervisor will tell you the same thing that I am telling you, "all we are authorized to do is give you a voucher".
Boy, she was not kidding! After holding for another 10 minutes I was finally transferred to a "supervisor". There was nothing "super" about Emmanuel, employee #7540040. As a matter fact I take that back, he was "super" at talking in circles and repeating his same script about 20 times. He, if fact, as Ms. Maui so preciously pointed out to me, repeated what she had said ten times over. "All I am authorized to do is give you a voucher". He threw in a couple time, "we appreciate your business" and "we are glad you are a customer"... really, I asked, because if you were so interested in my patronage then you would listen to what I was saying and quit repeating yourself. After I said that I was dissatisfied with just receiving a voucher and asked to talk to someone else, his supervisor preferably, he told me he WAS the highest level supervisor. Yet he says he has no authority to do anything but get vouchers? It is a hide and seek game...they hide from having to help you behind their scripts and circle talk and by saying they have no authority and then tell you there is no one else you can seek out to help you. Who does have the authority I ask... I get no response. Just the run around again and repetition of "all I can do is give you a voucher". By this time my blood pressure is sky high and I am extremely upset. He tells me after my insistent questioning that he would have to check with accounting but he doesn't think they will authorize a refund... only a voucher. By now, you can imagine what I want to tell him to do with his voucher! I ask about checking the with technical department about what happened during my transaction. He says he can try, but he can't promise me anything and he will need a week or two to do that. He says he is trying to be good to me and not give me false hope. Unbelievable! This is fraud! You charge me after you tell me it isn't available... that is against the law! On top of this, you aren't willing to look into it, there is no one else I can talk to, and the only thing you are willing to do is give me a voucher. Nice customer service, Spirit! Glad you know how to take care of your customers... they will be sure and NEVER return that way.
It get's better... I am now into my 30 minute conversations with Emmanuel. He starts being nasty to me and short. It is like we are in a boxing match and it is the last round. I have had it but I am not giving in, which I am sure that is what they expect you to do! I start asking about the voucher... what does that entail. Well, guess what, you can only use it for a year. It is restricted to certain dates and people AND... the best part... it will cost you a 70.00 cancellation fee to use! So, not only am I out 158.00 but I will have to pay 70.00 for a new flight sometime this year, when it is convenient for Spirit to have me fly. I don't think so!
The final straw... I get the address for the corporate office from Emmanuel, which he says he is not authorized to give out the phone number for (interesting... what authority do you have... oh, yeah, vouchers... right!). I immediately look it up and find the phone number, which is [protected], and give it a call. Of course, another automated system. There was some hope, there was a button to push for customer concerns. I press it, waiting to tell someone of the atrocity that had just occurred. Guess what... it hangs up. I tried five times in a row... the same thing each time. What a joke! They really do their best to serve their customer... serve them a bunch of stress, aggravation, and loss of time and money!
This kind of "service" from a major airline is UNACCEPTABLE. I should have been treated with respect and been able to talked to someone who could authorize a refund if necessary. This error was NOT mine and I shouldn't have to pay for it. I will be disputing the charges on my credit card. Unfortunately, Spirit has lost all of my future business and I caution others to do the same. It may be cheap but the hassle isn't worth it in the end.