When Bob Gyurci’s friend dies, he expects the airfare refund to be fast and problem-free. But it isn’t. The money is lost between his airline and online travel agency.
Vash Patel is like most air travelers: He doesn’t like to pay a lot but he also doesn’t like surprises. But that’s exactly what he got when he booked a recent flight from Boston to Atlanta on … wait for it … Spirit Airlines.
Bryan Perilman shoulda known better.
He and his wife were flying from Fort Lauderdale to New York this summer on Spirit Airlines, but the their flight was canceled because of mechanical problems. When a representative offered to fly the couple on Delta Air Lines if they accepted a voucher, he should have known to ask: Is there a catch?
“A Spirit representative offered us two free round trips each,” says Perilman. “More than fair, we thought.”
But they thought wrong.
No American airline thinks of its customers in quite the same way Spirit Airlines does. And the feeling is mutual, as far as many of its passengers are concerned.
If you have any doubts, look no further than last week’s tasteless Anthony Weiner promotion. Seriously, folks. You can’t make this stuff up.
Or, for a more G-Rated discussion, consider what happened to Catherine Migliano when she tried to cancel her $9 Fare Club membership recently. The carrier’s corporate intransigence may have opened the entire airline industry to millions of dollars in damage claims.
Spirit’s “club” offers access to lower fares and discounts, but it is also — and this is clearly disclosed on the airline’s site — a self-renewing membership. It’s a never-ending source of complaints, for a variety of reasons.
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What we’re reading
More leisure fliers pay for seats, food, legroom and Wi-Fi (Wall Street Journal)
What we’re writing
Tagged as a troublemaker by the TSA (TSA News)
Do airlines need to add more humans at the airport? (Consumer Traveler)
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Michael Patterson’s fish story is true. At least that what he says.
Somewhere between Orlando and San Jose, Costa Rica, Spirit Airlines lost a fiberglass fish mount in his checked bag that belonged to his late father. That is a fact.
(Oh I know, some of you have already sniffed, “Spirit!” But give ‘em a chance, will you?)
It is also true that he had all the documentation showing the fish was worth about $4,000, he says.
Further, it’s true that he submitted a claim to Spirit as soon as it went missing, in accordance with the airline’s policies. And that Spirit left him — sorry for the pun — hanging for several months without processing his claim.
What would you do for a cheap airfare?
If you said “anything” then you’re probably going to love flying in the future. It’s a place that will be filled with steals and deals, and for a lucky few who take their time to study the system, you’ll be able to travel for next to nothing.
The rest of us? Not so much.