Welcome to the slippery slope of air travel fees. Today, discount flier Spirit Airlines announced that they will begin charging anywhere from $20 to $45 for you to carry on your own bag. [More]
Jeremy received a solicitation from Hilton to donate his points from the chain’s loyalty program, HHonors, to the Red Cross in order to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti. He thinks that this e-mail blast was in poor taste. Do you? [More]
Spirit Air, home of fees for everything from buying your ticket online to being a victim of a plane crash (OK, they dropped that one), has been hit with a record $375,000 fine from the Department of Transportation for, among other things, false advertising, adding extra fees to its fares (toldja) and taking as long as 14 months to compensate passengers for lost luggage. Spirit’s response? Some perks are bound to fall by the wayside when you’re an “Ultra Low Cost Carrier.”
Update 3:10pm ET: the airline has said it won’t charge the men after all.
Spirit Airlines wants $90 each from Rob and Jeff Kolodjay, two of the passengers in last week’s U.S. Airways flight 1549, because they’re not using the return leg of their tickets. Rob and Jeff were on flight 1549 in the first place because Spirit canceled their original flight.
Kick open the exit doors and release the inflatable slides, Spirit is outfitting their entire fleet with cabin-saturating ads. Billed as Spirit’s “latest innovation,” the ads will litter “seat backs, window shades, overhead bins, tray tables, drink carts, napkins, cups, menus (what menus?) boarding passes, trash bags, soap dispensers,” and probably even barf bags.
As quietly as it came, the $10 “web convenience fee” Spirit levied for the favor they were doing you by letting you book online, has gone. The fee no longer appears in Spirit Airlines’ contract of carriage. A small victory for common sense, though they’ll probably just figure out a way to make it up somewhere else. How about $5 fee for takeoffs and landings?
Got an unresolved complaint with Spirit Airlines and regular customer service not working out for you? Then you might want to make use of the Spirit executive contact information we’ve got posted inside (especially the info for the CEO’s assistant). Reading these posts about how to write a good complaint letter, how to send an eecb, and how to deal with executive customer service may also come in handy. With this info, you’ll go from frowny consumer to jet set in no time.
Our network of spies and informants have penetrated every major American corporation. The following is dialog from a recent Spirit Airlines board meeting, as imagined by reader David, whom they screwed over. The first sentence of this post is therefore a non sequitor, but that’s ok. What’s not ok is Spirit’s policy making its various fees and upgrades non-refundable. So if they screw up your ticket and then have to issue you a new one, you don’t get to keep the upgrades you bought. They just take your money, because of their ironclad policy against refunds. Now let’s join that imagined Spirit Airlines board meeting, already in progress…
One of the major points of having your customers order online is supposed to be that it makes it a more efficient and convenient process for everyone. Not so at Spirit Airlines, which is now charging $10 roundtrip extra fee if you order your tickets online. They’re calling this the “web convenience fee.”
When you fly an ultra low budget airliner, you expect ultra low service, but even under that business model, it seems reasonable to assume that calling customer service won’t take you to a phone sex line. Reader Barbara would agree. She writes:
Spirit Air will raise its fees for checking one bag, according to an email from the airline. On June 20th, Spirit will increase the fee for checking one bag from $10 to $15 if the checked bag is declared online, and from $20 to $25 if it is declared at check in. And Spirit’s belief that any publicity is good publicity continues.
Spirit Airlines, holding a “Threesome Sale”, is apparently desperate for attention and I guess we’ll just have to give it to them. In this sale, members of the $9 Club get fares from $3 each way, seat upgrades for $3, and $33 for 33 hours. This comes on the heels of their last titillatingly titled marketing push, the “M.I.L.F sale,” which simply meant “Many Islands Low Fares,” and in no way, shape, or form, referenced American Pie. Now, before you get all outraged, remember that this is called “targeted marketing.” If you’re buying tickets for $3, classiness is probably not the first thing on your mind. I can’t wait for their next sale. I hear their marketing teams is busy coming up with clever acrostics for “gangbang.”
If you buy a ticket on Spirit Airlines’ website, the purchase screen has the nasty habit of prefilling options to buy travel insurance and join the Spirit Airlines fare club. And those fees? Nonrefundable, even if you cancel your membership. How nice.