Spirit Airlines Stealing Your Money Is "Nonrefundable"

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…

(pictured: Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza laughing because he just took your monies and is going to go buy some cakes)

Scenario of a typical Board Meeting of Spirit Air to encourage new passengers with profitable increase:

“Let’s coerce them to buy tickets (with a price reduction), with us online, for flights that the customer customizes, to their benefit.”

“Then we can go in and change everything so the customer squirms a bit and has to go by our guidelines to fixing the problem we made for them. Then, to top it off, any arrangements or pre-payment of “luxury” items (ie. Pre-checked baggage and seating arrangements) will not be able to be transferred to the new arrangements and we don’t have to give them their money back, but rather keep that money and re-charge them for new arrangements on the new flight, made to our guidelines because of a problem we inflicted upon them.”

“This is great, because we are the Spirit of the airlines, and we have the right to do it. Also, let’s go one step farther… Let’s make the flights un-refundable, so they HAVE to stay with our policies and guidelines. In the end, they will become so frustrated with our customer service that they will either succumb to our rules and live with the delay in destination plans, having to reschedule everything they had planned, or they will go to another airline, where we get to keep their money and they have to come up with new money to pay for that flight. It’s a win/win solution to the economy, and
our longevity within the airline business.”

“To make the customer even more frustrated, we don’t have to contact them with the changes in their flight until 2-4 weeks prior to their flight. We will write this into our policy with a special note for them to be responsible for keeping “tabs” on their own flight, making our job that much easier.”

Now David tells us what actually happened to him. David had sent both sections to Spriti Airlines mutliple times, and hasn’t gotten a single reply.

We pre-arranged everything for our trip to Florida, and now everything has to be changed because our flight was cancelled, and we were placed on a flight with a 5-hour layover in Fort Lauderdale, putting us in our destination 5 hours late and all reservations made that evening will have to be cancelled.

It’s not a matter of how could you do this to your customers, but rather how long you will remain in business once everyone has had an unresolved complaint with your airline, and tell their friends and families not to fly
on Spirit.

We were encouraged by the low airfares as the economy becomes unstable and gas prices soar out of control. We adjust our living to accommodate this, and one of the ways of doing this is by the companies that understand the problem and offer solutions. I assumed your offer to be sincere, in an effort to help people find cost-saving routes to be able to still get out of the house from time to time.

This hassle has caused more headaches than it’s price in gasoline. I thought about cancelling the flight because of the way we have been jerked around, only to learn it is unrefundable. We are stuck. So, we changed our flight from the one YOU reassigned us on, to a non-stop to Orlando again. The time works better for us, as we arrive earlier than originally scheduled, and we get to keep our reservations, but now the pre-checked baggage and pre-paid seating arrangements are void and non-refundable. In order to get the seats we want, we have to pay you AGAIN to remake a new seating arrangement. This flight will have cost us the same amount, in money, as it would have to drive there, minus the time. None of this non-refundable problems would have happened if you hadn’t changed our plans, and as a result, decided not to honor the US dollars we paid already for the necessary arrangements.

I would rather fly with Spirit Air, since my last flight with you was quite enjoyable. This time around, however, has me thinking the first time was a fluke.

How can we find a solution rather than inflicting headaches, lost money, and rescheduling issues? This policy you guys have is wrong and unjust. How many times will we be switched from jet to jet, having been left with having to pay for new seats? I understand it is affordable, but affordable becomes expensive after doing it three or four times.

Think about it, and please help us out, as returning customers. If something isn’t done, we won’t return. Another airline will not only become our new method of travel, but yours will not be recommended to anyone we come in contact with, should they be thinking about flying.

Thank you for your time,

David B

We would say to email Baldanza, but he might just make snide comments about you to his coworkers. Maybe try sending him a message via his LinkedIn profile.