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Aug 27th 2007 11:20AM I want to let everyone know how UNACCEPTABLE Spirit Airlines is, and what a bind they put me and my family in on our vacation which should have been a relaxing worry-free time. I will NEVER fly with them again, and hope all who read this will choose other airliners and not give them business, which is the only way to make Spirit notice or change.
My Husband and I had roundtrip tickets from Tampa to St. Thomas USVI. We get to the airport the morning of our flight with plenty of time, and it is chaos at the Spirit Ticket counter. Finally a ticket agent told everyone that the one plane we were all scheduled on to Ft. Lauderdale was "Down for Maintenance" and we would all miss our connecting flights to our destinations. People had connecting flights to Cancun, Nassau, Kingston, you name it, we were missing their connections. Spirit said they would try to get all 100+ people on the same flight the next morning, or the day after. Yeah, right. I knew those flights were booked solid too! So I took the ticket agent aside and asked him to be real with me and what should we do to get to St. Thomas today (my husband had just come back from Iraq and we not only really neede the vacation, but he only had a few days until he had to be back at work). He said if it were him, he would check if another airline had flights to St. Thomas today, fly with them, and when we get to St. Thomas go to the ticket counter and they would notate our reservation, so our return flight wasn't canceled as a no-show, and give us travel vouchers for our inconvenience. Sounds like the procedure for any airline, Right?
WRONG! we found a flight on American ($700), got on that flight, got to St. Thomas, went to the ticket counter, and there was no one. So I stopped a custodian, asked him if Spirit Airlines had any agents on duty, and he showed me to a back room where there were three agents sitting gabbing, NOT working. They all rolled their eyes at me when I told them my issue, and said they were closed. It was 1:30 PM in the afternoon. I said I was told to fly here by the agent in Tampa and that you would help me. They said I should call back to that agent in Tampa and have him help me. I said that's impossible and you should be able to do the same thing for me. They said they couldn't help me and I should call the 1-800 number.
So, I left them to their chat, and called the 1-800 number. I was told by that agent that there was nothing they could do for me, because they were in India, they could only look at the computer, and that only a ticket agent could help me. I told them I'm standing in front of the ticket counter in St. Thomas and they are closed. He said they should be open until 5 PM and it's only 1:30PM. I said I know but they are refusing to help me and say they are closed. Then there was a long silence....
He then told me that it is Spirit Policy that the customer FORFEITS their ENTIRE RESERVATION including their RETURN ticket, if they do not fly the outbound flight. I told him that flight we were scheduled to fly was down for maintenance and we would have missed our connection, and it was on advice from the Spirit Ticket Agent in Tampa that we flew another airline. He just kept repeating the same policy (off a cew card probably) and told me there was nothing I could do. I said that was so unfair, nothing is wrong with our return flight, it was unaffected by today's flight, and how could they just cancel a flight I had already paid for, when it was no fault of mine in the first place? Not to mention now we were actually in the USVI - how are we supposed to get back? What if we were in another country, an unsafe country at that? what if I didn't have the financial means to buy another ticket for us to get back home? The operator also had no one else I could talk to, no complaint procedure, and said I could not speak to the floor supervisor because they were too busy.
We bought our return tickets (another $600, and barely got on a flight because of Hurricane Dean coming) and made it back to Florida. I have never seen such a blatant lack of basic customer service and unprofessionalism in an airline. And if that is their policy (they said it was "buried on their website somewhere" but I still haven't found it) It is unfair, unsafe, and downright illegal! Their terms are unconscionable! You have to agree to them to buy your ticket! It is absolutely unacceptable to leave someone stranded in a foreign country. I have had plenty of flights delayed or cancelled in the past with other airlines, but my return flight was NEVER cancelled too! And they always attempted to make some type of compensation for the inconvenience. That's BASIC customer service - don't they want people to come back and use them again?
I thought they were a bargain because their rates were cheaper than the other airlines, but now we have paid more than 2 times the cost of that one ticket. No Bargain There!
So EVERYONE, please do not experience what we did - save your money and stress and don't buy a ticket on Spirit Air!
By the Way, even though I know it's probably in vain, I am on hold now with Spirit Airlines Customer Relations. The phone number is not on their website - I called information to get it - it's (954) 447-7828. I've been on hold for 2 hours and 16 minutes now...