Spirit Airlines encountered an issue with a reader’s ticket but all is well that ends well. Here’s what happened.
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A Reader’s Issue
A reader wrote in (firstname.lastname@example.org) with an issue she experienced with Spirit Airlines. She and her traveling companion had purchased tickets to Bogota via Fort Lauderdale but before heading home on the return, wanted to switch to another Florida airport with direct flights to her departure city.
Surprisingly, Spirit Airlines has always had a fairly generous cancellation policy, allowing flyers to keep as a credit the unused portion of a ticket and apply it to another. In 2020, with COVID-19 waivers in place, it was even easier to switch flights around as and when they suit.
She contacted Spirit by phone, explained the desired change, and indicated that they were willing to pay extra if there was a different base fare from the new connection point. The agent indicated she understood and canceled the pair’s flights from Fort Lauderdale, switching them to her alternative airport.
However, on the day of travel, it was discovered at the airport in Colombia that their outbound return from Bogota had instead been replaced with just the Florida two-hour flight home. They would need to buy new tickets. With no time to argue, they pulled out a credit card and bought flights back to Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
Upon their return, she waited in line to speak to someone, called, and wrote a detailed email to customer service outlining the issue and the costs incurred. While the turnaround wasn’t instant, the airline, in the end, reviewed the call, found the error, and not only issued a refund and an apology, but also a voucher for $100 each for the passengers.
Changing for the Better
Flying Spirit has gotten an undeservedly bad reputation in the past. While almost every airline charges economy customers for checked bags, Spirit complements its “bare fares” with carry-on bag fees (allowing only a personal item included in the fare), charges for seat assignments, and an extra fee for big front seats at the front of the aircraft.
While customers hate fees, they do love the low fares and the overall cost of the flight is lower. Spirit Airlines flights are now more likely to get you there on time, flies newer aircraft, and offer a unique and frankly very valuable loyalty program beginning later this year.
The carrier has made strong strides toward retaining customers and this reader’s example is just such a case. I have had similar issues on a number of carriers, specifically two on American Airlines, that mirrored her experience. But the level of care and service simply wasn’t there. They didn’t review the call, refund me, apologize, and credit me for future flights.
Spirit Airlines seems to be hitting its stride.
One of my greatest pleasures as a writer on LiveAndLetsFly is when travelers are able to report back that though not everything went perfectly, sometimes companies do the right thing. Spirit Airlines has come a long way from its reputation as one of the worst airlines in the US to one that cares about its customers. From the flight attendants to the customer service agents, Spirit has turned over a new leaf, and I look forward to flying with them as the world re-opens.
What do you think? Have you had a similar experience? How did yours get resolved?
I am surprised that after speaking to the agent on the phone to make the change, the customer did not go online to review the new trip itinerary. Passengers have the responsibility to “garden the itinerary”.
Spirits airline is the worst company in the world because they cancel my brother flight and move it to another day with out notified me. I just find out when I was ready to check in the flight.So I had to buy and paid another ticket in order to come back from El Salvador to Houston. Also I wonder why all the customer services are from India?
I was kicked off of a flight on the 5th due to a nasty airline stewardess named Dustin he asked me to move my seat so someone can sit together I move my seat then I’m braving my things he’s like come on make it snappy and I told him you don’t have to be ignorant I’m moving he called security I was put off the plane I don’t know where my luggage is once I got downstairs they said they would put me on another plane then they told me they’re not putting me on another flight I will have to do what I have to do and wherever my luggage ends up at the ends up there they were very nasty disrespectful I just lost my husband and a brother I am calling the media I have everything live video recorded So Spirit Airlines will be exposed to what they are there’s no social dishes in the plane was over packed and they are some nasty people I also have pictures of three Spirit airline stewardess who were supposed to be checked into a hotel room due to a overly flight they slept in the hotel lobby so Spirit don’t care about their employees or their customers and I can’t wait until this hits the media I put it on social media I’ll send it to my cousin who works for a television station Spirit Airlines need to be shut down and correct it did not following the guidelines of the social distancing all they just want to do is pack the flights be ignorant and do them but they going to pay this time because my lawyers are from the NAACP and his last comment before leaving off of the plane was so she should have been at the Trump rally at the Capitol then she would have got what she was looking for
I’m still waiting on a refund for 3 adult tickets and one child, it’s approaching one yr. Several emails and texting, covid related with all the proper documents, well over 700.00 still in their possession. To make matters worse Spirit pulled service from our local airport so our tickets are useless.
I have had a few instances where Spirit was very accommodating with issues. The trouble is..they are very hard to get on the phone.
My grandson was in Florida and he was returning to Texas. The day before he was to return we had 8 inches of snow. I contacted Spirit and ask them if he could take a later flight as we have to travel 3 hours to pick him up at DFW and they said yes for 159 dollars. I said I have already paid for the returning flight I just want to change flight times. They said you can for 159 dollars. NOT HAPPY!
I had a bad experience with spirit.. i has schedule for Georgia in Christmas unfortunately me and my family contracted the covid 19. I txt with customer service and told me they would review my case never heard from them…i txt them again seven days later and the other customer service lady told they couldn’t refund my money cuz I don’t qualify to get my money back…
I had the same issue. I was flying to philadelphia from atlanta straight there but I’m my return back to atlanta we post to went to ft.lauderdale lay over for 8 hours then return back to atlanta . They changed my flight to staright back to atlanta ga. If I would call them before departure I would not known it. When you talk to them they play crazy. They have a record of that.
The charge my husband $65 for a carry on bag
They say my purse is a carry on bag not personal. They even let 2 passage fuse after landing. No security
It was bad experience for me . We had to seat with 3 people non the seat touching each other. There is no 6 ft distances between passagers . There not skipping seat between passagers.
We want to change dates on return we had to pay extra money. $150
That’s not fair . If you check them out. The flight is cheap but they charge you extra when you get there $55 for each luggage on wheels. Returning they was $65 each . Same luggage we took was the same luggage coming back. My purse was going to be charge if I did not put it in my luggage coming from Philadelphia
It was bad experience for first time flying.
I actually had the opposite with spirit. Last week i was coming home from florida and although we arrived a little over two hours early for our domestic flight back to baltimore(a layover as our destination hone was boston) and we waited in a line that zigg zagged down the corridor like i have never seen before. As we moved up in line we were randomly moved to another line by the spirit worker. When we got to the front of that line the counter started calling for people behind us… frustrated as hell we started speaking up and when we FINALLY got to the counter they said boarding for our flight closed. Multiple other families and other passengers for the same flight also missed the flight. We had to rent a car and drive two hours to another airport. Weeks before the airline actually changed our flight which added two days onto the trip…we had to call the airline in order to keep our original flight. The day BEFORE our departure home they sent an email asking for volunteers to switch to that flight two days later….whatever happened, i really dont care. Spirit sucks . Spirit is shady. And i will never fly with them again. Id rather pay extra to not deal with their hidden agenda to do whatever they want with my trip.
I’ve contacted spirit to refund me tickets for a flight after the surge of covid cases .. I explained my situation and they only offered me credit which is upsetting .. because I have no intention in flying anytime soon and all they say is that. That’s there policy which I think should change due to the rising of covid ..
Spirit sucks. Cancels flights but gives you $200 in credits for flights only. No taxes, no fees etc. they give out meal vouchers that are void. Oh we’re sorry, here’s another $50 in flight money to use within 60 days. They give back millions, but I bet 10% or less redeemed. They just suck. Give Southwest the extra $20, you’ll be further ahead.
I have been using Spirit for my Detroit to DC shuttle for more than 5 years. I have never understood the bad rap that Spirit gets. I have flown American and United and have found Spirit’s agents and their overall customer service to be MUCH better than the other two airlines. I’m glad to see that they’re beginning to get the positive recognition they deserve.
My kids just lost their flight because Sipit decided to abord one-hour earlier.
This seems highly unusual. Was the flight previously delayed?
I flew yestarday in Spirit from MCO to SJU. My impression is that Spirit is more concern in charge extra cost in carro on item than provide a good or frienly service. In an aisle full of Spirit Flights they where asking all paxs to puede the allowed free carro on in a box looking for opportunities for extra income. Look this is the New standard in 2021 for Spirit. The employes were some kind of rude in the proccess. I Knowles the business model for Spirit. But this so extreme and not so good from spirit. At the end the are not so los costos Carrier. When you adds the extra charles you país the same sale price without the begging proccess to extremely charge for all. I am an Elite FF but no benefits are received for that recongnition. In a snapshot, look for other options when looking for a los cost carriers and get away from desperté was to charge you extra for all.
The worst Airlines it is..I will never fly with them again Never…the attendant was very rude with my questions..the seat are yoooo narrow and they don’t participate in Covid-19 laws…just Horrible
I’ve been a travel agent for 30 odd years specializing in executive international travel. When the pandemic hit our agency contracted many employees to work for a well known online discount agency as a means of gaining revenue and avoiding layoffs.
During that time I worked with many people that booked with Spirit and over all was shocked at the ignorance of those consumers. When the pandemic first hit Spirit along with most carriers offered refunds if you felt uncomfortable flying but months into the crisis went back to standard rules, rules that are plainly stated at the time you book your ticket.
You knew there was a pandemic when you bought your ticket so why would you think that because it hadn’t gone away by your travel date that you should be able to cancel and receive a refund?
I never thought I’d write something in defense of Spirit, I’d never fly them, but you sign a contract when you purchase and airline ticket and being held to that contract shouldn’t be a shock or a valid reason to complain.
What is the email or telephone number to call regarding compensation for a flight. I have been running into a brick wall
1 (855) 728-3555
I had a bad experience with Spirit Airlines earlier this week. I was leaving Las Vegas for a girls trip to return home to Missouri. I missed my flight (my fault, I know, but I’ve been traveling a lot in my 32 years and the 1-2 other times I missed my flight, I wasn’t treated as poorly as Spirit treated me). First, I show up to the desk instead of the kiosk because I knew I was running late. Right away the agent rudely points to the kiosk and tells me to use that. I’d already checked in the night before. I ask if I can just leave my luggage with her and she points to the kiosk again, so right away, I see they’re not interested in helping anyone. It won’t let me get my labels. Keep in mind that this is a good 15 minutes before the gate closes, so they could have let me through if they wanted to. When I went back to the desk, they told me I missed my flight and that I could only get rebooked if I paid $121 on top of everything else I paid for my ticket and luggage. I didn’t have it. I asked to speak to a manager and she was even ruder than the person I spoke to who told one of her coworkers that “the customers are on one today”. She said I could go into TSA if I wanted to leave my luggage there without checking it in, so she’s being sarcastic and dismissive at that point. I talk them into lowering the price for the new ticket to $99, but they told me I’d get home at 3AM, which would still help me go to work the next day. I later found out that it arrives in KC at 3PM, so I ask them to change it and told them I wouldn’t have agreed to it had I known it wouldn’t benefit me. Again, I asked to speak to a manager and nothing changed. One guy I talked to told me it was my responsibility to be there on time and that if I didn’t like it, I could go home on another airline. I asked about getting my money back and he said I wouldn’t get the $99 back. I heard one of the agents mumble under her breath “oh my God” when I came back. I asked for a little empathy for my situation and she stared blankly at me and said “if there are no flights, there’s nothing they can do.” Before I realized I couldn’t use this flight, they said my bag weighed too much, so I had to get rid of some food and alcohol I was taking back. I got it down to one pound over and she still said I would have had to pay an additional $50. Other airlines would have just let it slide. I then talked to Spirit customer service on the phone and in chat. They said specifically that they could get me with another airline, but there would be a modification fee. I demanded it that it be waived since I already paid for the same flight twice. They didn’t budge. I finally talked to someone who waived it via chat, but said I’d have to talk to someone over the phone. I called them back and she was nice and was working on getting me with another airline, but was blocked because the system showed me as checked in, so she sent me to escalations. I talked to one guy who didn’t seem to understand what I was needing. He kept putting me on hold just to tell me he found the flight I wanted changed. I finally talked to someone in escalations who said they can’t connect me to another airline unless it was something Spirit did or weather. I asked why the previous agent told me she was working on it and she said it was misinformation. I took this information to another agent and manager at the front desk. This agent was nicer, even though she still couldn’t resolve my issue. I told the manager what I was told and yes, I missed my flight, but Spirit has been giving me the runaround all day, so I should be compensated because I would have figured something else out had I known the flight times were wrong and that I couldn’t be moved to another airline through Spirit. She was really snooty and said I would have had to pay additional money for missing my flight anyway and that they’re not responsible for agents giving bad information. I eventually asked my brother to loan me money to get on a Southwest flight. I’m writing Spirit corporation a letter and I’m demanding at least some of my money back.