I’ll NEVER Fly Spirit Airlines Ever Again…

I just got back from Wizard World Chicago. It was a terrific show: well attended, very professionally run and with some of the nicest and most perceptive fans I’ve met in a long time. It was great to also reconnect and spend some time with friends such as Mark Nelson, Ken Steacy and Scott Rosema and his lovely wife Susie.

HOWEVER…

I had the great misfortune to be booked on a round-trip Chicago flight on Spirit Airlines. NEVER AGAIN!

Here’s why:
Spirit has a 40 lbs. limit per checked piece of luggage unlike other the other airlines whose limit is 50 lbs. They also charge more for checked luggage. I got charged about $80 each way, for a total of $160!

PLUS they charge a minimum (sometimes more!) $40 per carry-on!

PLUS they not only charge for soft drinks, they charge for water! I would think this would be illegal on purely health grounds since flying is a dehydrating experience, especially on a 4 hour flight.

PLUS on this 4 hour flight there was only one operable bathroom!

Most (not all, however) of the flight crew were polite, although they never once offered us food or beverages on our flight (probably to avoid conversations and interaction with angry passengers).

Everyone I talked to on the flight was pissed off at Spirit. All said they would never fly this airline ever again. How does such an idiotic and poorly run airline stay in business?

As I was leaving the aircraft a flight attendant cheerfully mouthed the usual debarking pleasantries. I turned to her and simply said, “Never again.”

She shrugged and replied, “We hear that all the time.”

12 Responses to “I’ll NEVER Fly Spirit Airlines Ever Again…”

  1. Jack says:

    Hi William, sorry to hear about your bad airline experience.

    Enjoyed meeting you on Saturday (you asked if my shirt was someone named Penguin, and we talked about the LA punk scene) I did some research: Penguin is a Ms. Cherie the Penguin, or Cherie Penguin. I came up with this http://jennylens.com/runaw​ays-joan-lita-slash-mag1/

    and

    http://www.myspace.com/che​riepenguin/photos/1451417#​mssrc=SitesPhotos_AP_ViewP​hoto

    pretty cool, and I see the resemblance to Soo Catowman’s photo http://www.facebook.com/officialsoocatwoman

    kind of funny about the similarities and the fact that both were just kids in the scene famous (somewhat) for being just there.

    Anyway, enjoyed talking to you. Love your work…as does my 4-year-old daughter who is now digging your A-Z book! Hope to keep seeing you at the Chicago Cons.

    Peace, Jack

  2. Rick Catizone says:

    Bill,

    Glad to hear the con was a good time, and sorry to hear about the flight experiences.

    Her last line is rather astounding, isn’t it?! You’d think she MIGHT have said something like, “I’m sorry to hear that. We are trying to get better, but only so much is in our hands.”

    Nothing worse than knowing you are servicing a bad product. But with the shortage of jobs, I guess they are stuck with the company for the moment at least.

    Best,
    Rick

  3. jim says:

    Hey Bill,
    I have not flown since the mid-90’s, and much of my decision is because of what you experienced with the baggage charges. And it’s forbidden to bring your own water. Plus all of the new security measures.
    They’ve got 100 hostages and we have to follow their rules in exchange for fast transportation. Haven’t they got the kinks out of those Star Trek transporters yet?

  4. Bill says:

    Yup; I remember when flying used to be FUN!

    Actually, it still is on most European and Asian based airlines. The flight attendants honestly make you feel as if you’re welcome aboard their aircraft — and not their enemy! What a concept!

    My last flight on Air France was like a dream…”Of course we serve complimentary beer or wine with your meal, Mr. Stout; your dinner would be incomplete otherwise.”

    Here, I fly Southwest as much as possible; they don’t charge for luggage and their employees still seem pretty cheerful. I’ve had very positive experiences on JetBlue and especially on Virgin America. I was shocked at how pleasant and enjoyable my experience on Virgin America was. I fly them as often as possible, too. Apparently Spirit has forgotten we have a choice of airlines with whom to fly…

    I felt bad for the Spirit pilots and flight attendants (except for one surly and anal little guy). If I were them, I’d start looking elsewhere for a job immediately. I can’t believe Spirit will stay in business much longer with their obnoxious, anti-human policies.

  5. jim says:

    Yes, Bill, I have also heard very good things about Southwest and, of course, Virgin was founded on creating an enjoyable customer based experience. Good to hear about Jet Blue. Sooner or later I’m going to have to fly again (which, by the way, I really love) and I’ll be looking closely at the flight carrier field.

  6. Nick says:

    Agreed, Spirit is horrible. We spent the last 29 hours in the airport because they couldn’t figure out how to get us back into the tri-state area. How does an airline fly to LGA only once every few days? They tried to tell us to stay in Lima, Peru for an additional 5 days. After we figured out the logistics on how to get home and forced to sleep at the airport, we now have to take drastic measures to make it back. (a $200 train ride because the only flight back is 9 hours from home by train.) In addition we were waived on through with our backpacks trough security in LGA and now have to pay for them leaving FLL. (another fee) I will gladly pay more to fly another airline bc quality service and expectations are very important to me. DO NOT FLY SPIRIT AIRLINES!!!

  7. Hi William.I’m not sure who you are, but you obviously remember(ed) me.I think that B&W pic is in the photos section of my FB…add me as friend.:)
    Cherie
    Footnote: Just read your bio and noticed you worked for Bomp @1976,chances are we met, but my memories are soooooo foggy.

  8. Never again Spirit says:

    True. Spirit airlines should be grounded by the Government. I booked Spirit from Houston to Chicago since it was cheaper than the next alternative ($250 as compared to $650 in United). When I reached the airport, it said the flight was on time (on the overhead monitor). By the time, I go through security and reach the gate, the flight is apparently cancelled (there was no agent at the gate). It took me almost 1-2 mins to realize that it was happening for real. I called up Customer Support and they said it’s cancelled due to inclement weather in Chicago. None of the other major airlines were cancelled (they were delayed by 1/2-1 hour). So, I asked them to put me in some other airlines on the next flight out that day. The agent said nonchalantly that their policy doesn’t allow them to do so and asked me to take up a flight after two days! That’s ridiculous! I was supposed to come back in two days. So, I asked them to cancel the entire trip. They said they can only cancel the onward journey and can’t cancel the return journey. I tried to argue for sometime to convince them that it didn’t make any sense since they are only offering me to put me on a plane after two days when I should be heading back. Finally, I gave up and used a different tactic. I called them up multiple times, I complained to my credit card company (Amex) and since I used my company travel agent to book the tickets, I got them to call Spirit to refund the entire amount. It must have worked since I got back the full refund after a week.

    I also realized that they charge for carry-on baggage and it’s $100 at the boarding gate.

    Shitty airlines. Will never fly this airlines again in my life and would advise others to do the same. Even though it seems cheaper while booking, it will end up costing more for you at the end. Heaven forbid if you are travelling with children.

  9. RC says:

    Interesting read about Spirit Airlines. They are doing fine and are expanding. Their system can work, it works very well for Ryanair. However Spirit Airlines has much more delays than Ryanair.

    You need to read the terms and conditions on their websites and you need to try to minimize your luggage, most of the times you don’t need two big bags (carry-on or check-in), one will suffice.

    I think that a lot of people say “never again” and then still do it again because it isn’t so bad once you understand their terms and conditions and it can be cheap. You can bring your own bag of peanuts.

  10. Bill says:

    My flight on Spirit was booked for me (I was a guest at a comic convention). As I do read the terms and conditions, I would never have booked Spirit for myself. I always bring two 50 lb. bags plus two heavy carry-ons whenever I exhibit at a show, so lessening my luggage or number of bags is/was not an option.

    The Spirit employees’ attitudes were completely obnoxious; they treated me and the other passengers with contempt. It seemed like they were intentionally trying to make us feel stupid for being so dumb as to fly Spirit.

    I’m one of those people who means it when I say “Never again”. I have not flown Spirit since — and it’s been years now and I fly a lot — nor will I ever again fly that disgustingly rude and petty airline in the future.

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