After years of being far and away the airline with the highest level of passenger complaints, Spirit now says it wants to begin the healing by offering to “hug the haters.” Of course, what this really means is the company just thinks it can do a better job of explaining why it charges a fee for just about everything under the sun. [More]
that’s the spirit
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]
More than a week after a man with terminal cancer took his gripe with Spirit Airlines public — and after several stern statements by Spirit that it would not, under any condition, bow to public pressure and refund the man his $197 — the airline has bowed to public pressure and is refunding his $197.
Spirit Airlines once again proves that it was only pulling our legs when it called itself the “most consumer-friendly airline.” This time, the fee-happy carrier isn’t just telling a dying passenger he has to suck up the cost of his $197 ticket, but are somehow equating being near death as a form of rule-breaking.
In spite of Spirit Airlines’ hilarious belief that it is the “most consumer-friendly airline,” it beat out the much-bigger Delta to make it through the first round of the Consumerist Worst Company In America tournament. But the airline says the people voting for Spirit have obviously not flown the discount carrier.
You may recall that earlier this week, bottom-dollar carrier Spirit Airlines launched an e-mail campaign to convince customers that the new FAA regulations requiring truth in airfare advertising was really just a ruse by the federal government to hide taxes and tax hikes in airfares. Well, that didn’t go over well with Senator Barbara Boxer of California, who threw off the gloves and sent a bare-knuckles letter to Spirit in response.
In recent years, the Dept. of Transportation has been cracking down on airlines, especially discount carriers, for advertising airfares that don’t actually represent what consumers will end up paying. With the latest round of rule changes having just kicked in, low-budget airline Spirit is fighting back, telling its customers that this is all about the government trying to hide higher taxes in airfares.
The Dept. of Transportation rules about airfare transparency don’t just apply to carriers’ websites and ads, but also to their Twitter feed. Just ask Spirit Airlines, which was slapped with a $50,000 fine for Tweets touting its $9 airfares.
Perhaps upset that its decision to begin charging fees for carry-on bags was not enough to make into this year’s Worst Company In America bracket, the fee-happy folks at Spirit Airlines have begun making their case for next year by adding a surcharge for passengers who wait until 24 hours before departure to pay the airline’s base fees for checked and carry-on bags.
Yesterday, we wrote about how the CEO of Spirit Airlines thinks he’s doing consumers a favor by charging for carry-on bags. Now, Big Ben Baldanza is saying that he wants to start charging passengers for the right to talk to a real human being at the airport.
While everyone’s been raising a hoot and a holler about Spirit Airlines’ recent decision to begin charging for carry-on bags, the budget carrier has quietly been rolling out planes with “pre-reclined” seats. At least you don’t have to worry about being chided by a flight attendant to sit up while the plane prepares to land.