Worst Company In America Round 1: Spirit Vs. American Airlines

It’s time to take to the unfriendly skies in this afternoon’s dogfight between two of your most-disliked airlines.

Spirit Airlines made its debut in last year’s WCIA tournament, and aside from calling itself the “most consumer-friendly airline,” it hasn’t done much to show why it doesn’t belong in the bracket.

Immediately after last year’s tournament, the airline kicked things off by telling a dying vet it couldn’t refund his ticket because he wasn’t “following the rules.” Spirit eventually backtracked and offered the man his money back, but only after multiple national news reports made the carrier look like a big meanie.

Already reviled for its policy of charging for carry-on bags, Spirit then raised the fees for one of the few things other carriers include in the price of their tickets. Meanwhile, it’s been trying to fight DOT regulations that call for pricing transparency in advertising.

Spirit has laid the groundwork for today’s battle, picking on American for its loose-seat problems, and bumping one of US Airways’ planes on the tarmac.

Meanwhile, American has certainly earned its seed in the WCIA tourney this year. Aside from having to crawl in bed with what some view as a lesser airline just in order to get itself out of bankruptcy — and which could lead to all air travelers being screwed in the long run — American has been taken to task for a reservation system that seems to be pushing passengers into more expensive seats even though cheaper ones are actually available, investigated for allegedly avoiding paying millions in tax dollars by setting up phantom offices to “receive” jet fuel orders, and ridiculed for trying to pay its CEO $20 million to leave a job he’s had for a little more than a year.

You are now free to use approved electronic devices… and vote.


This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2013 series. The companies competing for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. See the entire WCIA 2013 bracket HERE.

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