Everyone Hates Spirit Airlines, Keeps Buying Tickets Anyway

Spirit Airlines is one of the fastest-growing airlines in the country. No, really. Sure, they’re a regular contender in our Worst Company in America tournament, and it seems like everyone who has tried the airline complains about the experience. But many of them can’t resist their rock-bottom fares, and just keep coming back.

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.

Spirit Airlines Taps A Nation Of Hate Fliers [NPR]