Spirit Airlines receives record fine for mistreating passengers

A quick search for past posts about Spirit Airlines here on Gadling shows not much more than negative news.

Sadly for Spirit, today’s news is no different. The low cost carrier was handed a $375,000 fine by the Department of Transportation for the way it treats its passengers.

The fine is a record, but the violations also appear to be pretty nasty. They include:

  • False fare advertising
  • Failure to provide compensation on oversold flights
  • Failure to provide baggage compensation claims in a reasonable time frame
  • Failure to accept liability for missing baggage items
  • Failure to retain copies of customer complaints
  • Failure to file customer complaint reports

Spirit Airlines blames their “growing pains” for all these issues, and insists that they are a thing of the past. Of course, when you are selling $9 tickets, you are bound to have cut some corners here and there.

As the lowest cost carriers move towards the “service not included” methodology, customers are always going to find something worth complaining about. Whether or not the issues are indeed a thing of the past remains to be seen, and I’m sure the DOT will be keeping a close eye on their operations.



Spirit Airlines attempts to collect a cancellation fee off flight 1549 passengers

OK folks – it is no secret that airlines use fees and rules to increase their bottom line. If they mess up, you lose, if you mess up, you lose. Either way, the airline always manages to come out on top. And never has that been more clear than in the case of Rob and Jeff Kolodjay.

Rob and Jeff were scheduled to fly from La Guardia to Charlotte on a Spirit Airlines flight. When that flight was canceled, they were rebooked onto US Airways flight 1549.

Of course, we all know what happened next – naturally none of that can be blamed on Spirit, but when Rob called them to cancel his return tickets, the company representative insisted that he charge them a $90 cancellation fee.

That’s right – even after being put on a flight that ended in the water, Spirit stuck to their rule books and demanded more money.

Of course, all worked out in the end when the story hit the press. Once Rob told his story on the local Fox news affiliate, Spirit Airlines issued a full refund. It’s amazing what a bit of really bad PR can do.

Fox61.com, via Consumerist.com

Spirit Airlines to sell ad space on overhead bins

The era of in flight advertising is upon us, spearheaded by our friendly do-anything-for-a-buck carrier, Spirit Airlines. The airline known for its oft lewd fare sale names (see: MILF sale) recently started selling ad space on its tray tables, overhead bins and even, as The Crankyflier reports, on their garbage bags. I do wonder how much it costs to advertise on a garbage bag.

Apparently their first partner, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism will begin running ads today.

Something about the busyness and clutter of in flight advertising doesn’t sit right with me. It’s already stressful enough being stuffed into an aluminum tube shoulder to shoulder with two hundred other people only to be treated like crap. Now, in addition to being uncomfortable, hungry and thirsty, you now get bombarded with advertisements. Sounds like a great recipe for misery.

But as Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza once eloquently pointed out, passengers will do anything to save a few cents. If revenues from these sales case ticket prices to be one dollar more competitive, maybe passenger loads will actually go up.

[I was on the fence about whether or not to post this article until I saw the ridiculous, ridiculous photo that Brett at The Cranky Flier put together formerly illustrating this concept. You sir, are ridiculous.]

Spirit Airlines Return of the Mullet Sale

How all these Spirit Air promotions found their way into my email, I haven’t a clue, but I can tell you the only reason I haven’t removed myself from their mailing list – they’re promotions crack me up! Perhaps, I’ve got a childish sense of humor, but when I saw the Return of the Mullet sale happening, I had to laugh. Someone please tell me what mullets have to do with scoring discount fares? In their cheesy little promo they claim to place business class travelers in the front and the rest of us with the party in the back, much to the likes of a real mullet hair style. Gnarly isn’t it? Well, whether you have a mullet or not or decide to get one on a drunk night in the Dominican Republic check out their low-low fare sale happening right NOW! Their big mullets in paradise, crazy sale ends tomorrow night at 11:59 PM EST and if you’re quick you’ll land a cheap seat. If you’re slow then I guess you won’t go.

I could list a small sampling of what the fares are looking like, but there’s too many to name and you know who you are, where you need to go and how you plan on getting there. Let me say this though: I’ve never flown with Spirit, but I’m told their ridiculously low prices are real.