NPR’s Planet Money economics reporting team did all of the normal stuff that reporters do when writing about an airline: they researched the company, and visited its headquarters to interview delusional CEO Ben Baldanza. To get there, the reporters sought the full Spirit experience. They boarded a Spirit flight from New York City to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and talked to passengers and staff.
They found that there are really three kinds of passengers on Spirit: those who know exactly what they’re getting into and enjoy the no-frills experience, those who don’t and are horrified to learn that they need to pay to put items in the overhead bins, and the hate-flyers.
See, many Spirit passengers know exactly what they’re getting into, complain about it, and then come back anyway. Team Planet Money calls these customers hate-flyers. You know, like hate-reading: visiting a website or picking up a magazine again and again because it makes you so mad that you get a perverse joy out of it. That’s how many of Spirit’s passengers feel about “the dollar store of the skies.”