It’s not like I didn’t know better or hadn’t been warned. Literally everybody I know who has flown with Spirit Airlines has a bad experience to report. So I expected trouble of one sort or another when I booked a red-eye from MSP to FLL. But as often happens, the trouble I got wasn’t the trouble I expected. Here’s my report to Spirit:
I booked SP 597 (MSP/FLL) weeks ago for my flight today (12/17). At about 3 am, 7 am, 9 am, and several times throughout the afternoon, I attempted to check-in on line but could not convince your website to complete the process. I showed up at the ticket counter in MSP about 7 PM and joined the mob awaiting service. After waiting about 15 minutes, the agent informed me he could not check me in and process my baggage until 9:00. The kiosk device would not allow me to complete the check-in process either.
Without a boarding pass, my access to the airport was limited, and there are no restaurant facilities in the areas to which I was limited. I had been driving for about 6 hours by then, and not eaten or had anything to drink since 1 PM.
At no point was I informed about this limitation regarding check-in: had I known in advance I would have made other arrangements. Had your website functioned properly, I would have at least paperwork to allow me to lug my bags through security and find a place to eat, or at least a concession stand offering bottled liquids. (Please keep in mind I’m 63 year old Floridian who had just spent 36 hours in sub-zero temperatures of Duluth and Minneapolis.)
At 9:00 I checked in successfully. In shaky condition now, I made it through security only to find that the few establishments in the terminal serving hot meals had closed. The flight wasn’t until 1:15 am arriving about 6. So for about 30 hours, my sustenance consisted of one bottle of spring water.
This is poor service and worse communication. Please give me a reason to select Spirit Airlines next time I travel on business.
Really, what I wanted most was alcohol. I would have settled for a beer or three. Seems like this should be readily available as bottled sugar and caffeine-laced poison, ubiquitous at airport vending machines as well as convenience stores. Tough titty.
Anyway, as usual Spirit’s response is incomplete and inadequate. Excerpts:
Thank you for your correspondence with Spirit Airlines regarding your recent experience.
We apologize for the inconvenience you experienced while visiting our website and with our kiosk system. We proactively continue to make improvements that will generate an easier navigational and user friendly website. Please note that we are not experiencing difficulties with our website.
Because we appreciate your loyalty, I’ve created a Future Travel Voucher (FTV) for you in the amount of $25.00. I understand that it will not change your past experience, but I’m hoping it’ll encourage you to give us an opportunity to serve you again in the future. The information pertaining to your FTV is below:
Customer: Squathole T. Blogger
Future Travel Voucher: xxxxxx
Expiration date: 2/17/2014 (Travel does not have to be completed by this date; however a new reservation must be secured.)
Please consider using your Future Travel Voucher and flying with us once again. Everyone at Spirit Airlines is working hard to make sure your next flight experience with us is positive from beginning to end. We hope to welcome you on board a future flight soon.Best,
Mark, Spirit Airlines Support
You missed the mark, Mark. And Mark? It’s moot. I’ll not be flying Spirit any more. I don’t care if I pay three times as much or have to walk. USAir did something like this to me years ago, and sent me a similar coupon. I never used it, either.
In fact, Spirit sort of reminded me of USAir, especially in the early days when they changed their name from Allegheny Air (after the range of mountains in Pennsylvania into which they were fond of flying their aircraft and killing everybody). I used to wonder, if they can’t manage the ticketing process, handling luggage, effective crowd control, in-flight service, or even answer the damn telephones, what assures me they can maintain their aircraft, let alone fly them? Ditto Spirit.
So we’re done. I was warned, and I pass it along. Remember, you can’t spell Spirit without Spit.