Back in July, Spirit Airlines announced its “hug the haters” campaign which included an invitation for consumers to share just what they hate about flying with the airline and others operating in the United States. And, as it turns out, travelers don’t exactly want to hug Spirit back.
“Oh, goodie! I get to sit in coach for X amount of hours! I can’t wait to stretch out and relax,” said no one ever before flying, because in economy class, luxurious leg room and a sweet ratio of cushion to rump comfort is not what you’re paying for. That being said, some airlines are better at pleasing our behinds than others, according to a new poll released this week.
Yes, we’ve repeatedly made fun of delusional Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza for his claim that his company is the “most consumer-friendly” airline around, especially when it comes in dead-last in traveler opinion surveys and is the only U.S. carrier to make a recent list of the world’s worst airlines. And a new study confirms that Spirit’s passengers are several times more likely to complain than passengers on any other domestic carrier. [More]
Spirit Airlines has another tasteless email promotion, this time riffing off the crazy phrases Charlie Sheen has been spewing in his latest media meltdown. Unlike their previous ones that made jokes about the BP oil spill, muff-diving and M.I.L.Fs (“many islands, low fares” – ahem), this one does not make me want to punch them in the face. So kudos on that, guys.
We recently received two very different stories of people who had booked tickets on discount carrier Spirit Airlines. One involves a terrible family tragedy and the other occurred when a fading formality turned into a red tape nightmare, but in the end they both ended up facing the stone-faced (and possibly stone-hearted) Spirit refund policy.
In terms of public relations, 2010 hasn’t exactly been a banner year for Spirit Airlines. First, they ticked people off by announcing they would begin charging up to $45/bag for carry-on luggage, then they introduced “pre-reclined” seats. They were shut down for about a week because of a strike, and then there was the ill-advised “check out the oil on our beaches” promo. But the company’s CEO doesn’t understand why travelers aren’t lining up to thank him.
Spirit Airlines is known for pushing its bottom-scraping fees with crass emailed promos, but usually they just stick with dorky sex puns. Now they’re branching out into sociopolitical commentary with their latest “Check Out The Oil On Our Beaches” promotion that leverages the BP oil spill in comedy and marketing gold.
Spirit Airline flights, grounded since the beginning of a 5-day pilot strike,
could will resume Friday, after the pilots union and the airline reached a tentative agreement following 26 straight hours of negotiation. In its typically tongue-in-cheek fashion, coinciding with the announcement was a “Strikingly Low Fares” promotion offering everyone $50 off new tickets plus 5,000 bonus miles.
If you’ve got a reservation for a flight on Spirit Airlines, you’d better start looking into other alternatives. The airline’s pilots have gone on strike after contract talks with management broke down yesterday morning. Apparently, the pilots were upset that they’d have to pay extra fees to carry baggage onto flights. Nah, just kidding. It’s just you getting stuck with those fees, not the cockpit crew.
All those little surcharges to your airline tickets sure do add up. A recently released DOT report states that U.S. air carriers raked in $7.8 billion in fees last year, a 42% increase over 2008.
Executives love to justify price increases or staff reductions by hauling out the customer service argument, because then any complaint you make can be framed as self-defeating. (“Don’t you want better service?”) On that note, Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza told travel blogger Christopher Elliott last week that the new carry-on bag fee is really intended to reduce gate delays. Remember to send a thank-you card to Baldanza.
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.