Horrible experience on Spirit Air

Dec 24th, 2010, 09:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1
Horrible experience on Spirit Air

I recently had a terrible experience wtih Spirit Airlines, and want share it with everyone who may be considering flying on board Spirit anytime in the future.

I was flying from Cartagena, Colombia to Fort Lauderdale, and arrived 55 minutes before scheduled takeoff. Spirit customer service refused to let me check in, claiming there was not enough time to get through security, as the policy was for check-in to take place an hour before takeoff. I pointed out to them that I only had carry on baggage, the security line was empty, and that it was only 100 yards to the gate, yet they refused to listen.

Two members of airport security came into the Spirit office to inform the agents that they were able to easily get me to the gate without any problems, clearly refuting the claim of Spirit agents who insisted we didn't have enough time.

Later, when two more passengers with the same problem asked to be allowed to board, the Spirit customer service representative said that they would have allowed me to board because I only had carry on, but they were going to deny all three of us because the last two people had luggage to check. This is absolutely unacceptable service for several reasons: First, when I was the only passenger involved, they refused to allow me to board. Secondly, why tell me that they denied me boarding access because other passengers have luggage? There is no justification for these excuses.

Because of this completely unnecessary delay, I lost a full day of travel, and had to pay for a hotel as my rescheduled connecting flight was for the following morning. All for no stated reasons that were proved to be false, and because of 5 minutes which made no difference at all to anyone other than the unhelpful people at Spirit Airlines.

To add further insult to injury, my original flight from LGA to FLL was delayed for hours, costing me another hotel stay as I was unable to stay with friends as planned due to the late arrival. Even better, the 5:10am flight back to New York the next morning was delayed for mechanical problems. Did they really not know about these mechanical problems when the plane arrived the night before?

For anyone who may be considering traveling on Spirit Airlines, I strongly urge you to spend the extra money to travel with an airline who actually cares about their customers, and will do even the bare minimum to assist you should the situation arise.
gevan is offline  
Dec 24th, 2010, 02:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,428
From Spirit's website:

>>>International Travel


Check-in begins 3 hours prior to departure at the Spirit Airlines ticket counter.

Spirit reserves the right to cancel the reservation or seat assignment of any customer who does not have a boarding pass at least 60 minutes prior to departure for all international flights. <<<

You didn't meet their requirements. It's your fault, not theirs. I suggest you read an airlines check-in policies for any future flights, but it's really not Spirit's fault that you either didn't read them or chose to ignore them.
kybourbon is online now  
Dec 24th, 2010, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,576
you register to post this rant -- and then show yourself to be a nincompoop (meant in the nicest possible way of course)

>>Because of this completely unnecessary delay, I lost a full day of travel, and had to pay for a hotel . . ."

Just try checking in late on easyJet or RyanAir or other airlines. Not only would you have had to pay for the hotel -- you would not get credit for the flight and would have to purchase a walk-up/full fare ticket.

. . . so maybe next time you'll check in on time.
janisj is offline  
Dec 24th, 2010, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
We are in a new era of travel with all the new security and safety regulations, for one. Airlines are required to pass various security information to The Authorities in advance of flights. If they are going to push back on time they need to adhere to those requirements.

In this case Spirit determined that a hard 60 minute cutoff would be necessary. [I just got papers for a January Caribbean cruise and we must be on board 90 minutes before departure.] If this were a reason for your situation you could not be accommodated without possibly inconveniencing the entire planeload.

I hate to defend Spirit (who I would never think of flying and did not for this cruise even though their flights were cheapest and best timed) but in this case they appear to be correct.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Dec 24th, 2010, 07:30 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,864
I'm sorry, but strolling into a foreign airport at the 55-minute mark is way too cavalier. Sixty minutes is the minimum check-in time for flights to the U.S., period. That's a TSA requirement for the reasons spelled out above. There's nothing you can do about it. Spirit was right to deny you to board.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Dec 25th, 2010, 02:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Sorry for your negative experienc but the fault

was clearly yours not Spirit's as you violated

the terms of your contract of carriage by arriving

WAY too late to begin to board an INTERNATIONAL flight.

Recent personal EXCELLENT experience with www.spiritair.com

to/from Colombia even got upgraded to the First Class

giant leather seats for $25-50 amazing value new planes.

Best econo value in SA/Carib for me.

So the lesson for me might be the early bird gets the worm.
qwovadis is offline  
Dec 25th, 2010, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 23
Either you don't know a lot about airtravel, or you are one of those people who think a plane will wait just for you, so you can show up any time you want. That's not the way it works. Spirit says they close check in 60 minutes before departure ; well, that's what they did.
And saying 'Did they really not know about these mechanical problems when the plane arrived the night before ?' shows some more ignorance.
Ever parked your car the night before, only to find out the next morning it doesn't work ? Same thing goes for planes sometimes !!
mariajohanna is offline  
Dec 26th, 2010, 01:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,100
Next time would you prefer to fly on a plane with unresolved mechanical problems?
gail is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 453
Noflyzone-We are considering flying Spirit to New York City in October for a day in New York before beginning a cruise. Spirit has the lowest fare so far. You mentioned you would never fly Spirit. Please share why. We don't know anything about them. Thanks!
1965 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,587
In a way I can see your point as they could have let you on the plane, but you still have not told us why you arrived so late for an international flight. I thought every traveler in today's world knows the requirement is 2 hours at some airports and 3 hours at other airports. In either case you arrived much later than you should have so that is the root of your problem.

For what it's worth I made the same mistake once. I arrived about 1.5 hours before an international flight but the line at the ticket counter was so long I got to the front just 30 minutes before take-off. I was most grateful that American Airlines kindly rebooked me on a later flight at no charge. They didn't have to do that since I had arrived about 30 minutes later than I should have so I was very lucky. I won't make that mistake again and I hope the same for you.

Thank you for this reminder of how imperative it is that we should all follow the rules and arrive for an international flight at the designated time.
P_M is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
OP is on a spam campaign. Posting his horror story all over th3e internet. It's interesting that there are now new "additions" from another post I read

While I wouldn't pay Spirit if you paid me, OP also shares blame here. Blame he appears to be unwilling to accept. AKA as "the rules don't apply to ME" (why not?)

The OP does have one thing correct. "completely unnecessary delay".... Had he arrived on time it would not have been necessary. And then he expected Sprit to CARE about it's customers? Does he really think that they CARE about internet postings either? LOL!
CarolA is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
To the poster who asked why someone wouldn't fly Spirit.... In an industry known for bad customer service they are the bottom feeders of the US Airlines.

If there are NO problems you will be fine. If there are ANY problems expect lies, shrugs and no assitance. Also before you say "they are cheaper" CHECK the fees. Fees for carryon bags are HIGHER then some airlines checked bag fees. And now they are putting in "non reclining seats" It's not the "recline" but the fact that allows them to reduce leg room even MORE!
CarolA is offline  
Dec 29th, 2010, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 453
to CarolA-Thanks for the info. Even with the baggage fees for checked and carryon, they were between $150-200 cheaper than the next cheapest, at least at this time, for the two of us. They DO sound pretty bad. Less leg room would be nightmareish.
1965 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2010, 09:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 32
I never thought I would do this, but in defense of Spirit Air, I must quote a co-worker: "Your lack of preparation is not my problem!"

I would never fly with them because of their ridiculous fees, but it sounds like they went above and beyond what they had to do by re-booking you for the next morning. It's arrogant to think you can get there way later than everyone else and still get on the plane. Think of it as a learning lesson.
joelingermany is offline  

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