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Airlines

TikTok Gets Flyer Reportedly Banned from Spirit

TikTok Gets Flyer Reportedly Banned from Spirit
Joe Cortez

It’s not just the White House that is reported upset by social media forum TikTok. One flyer has reportedly been banned from the airline for a period of two years for showing off a boarding pass “hack” which could get a flyer a free checked bag without paying.

Travel hackers love to share their best tips and tricks on the FlyerTalk Forums and social media. What happens when you show a literal boarding pass hack to get a free carry-on bag aboard Spirit Airlines? Fox News reports the airline banned one TikTok user for doing just that, showing how changing a 0 to a 1 can land big trouble.

TikTok Video Shows Manipulated Boarding Pass, Followed by Ban Letter

TikTok user RobKAllDay, self-identified as Rob K., started his TikTok adventure at the airport. Using a downloaded version of his digital boarding pass, the 18-second video showed him editing the section reading “Carry-On Bags” from “0” to “1.” According to his caption, Rob K. “Didn’t actually do this,” because his bag fit under the seat in front of him.

Unfortunately, that might have been enough to get him banned from flying with the airline. In a subsequent video, Rob shows a letter on Spirit letterhead informing him that he was no longer welcome aboard the airline.

“As you know, you created a video on the social media platform ‘TikTok’ showing how to manipulate a Spirit Airlines boarding pass and fraudulently indicate the paid for a carry-on bag,” the alleged letter from Spirit reads, dated Oct. 2, 2020. “In light of this egregious misconduct, Spirit Airlines has determined you are no longer permitted to fly with us, and have put you on a list for that purpose.”

Spirit Airlines has not publicly commented on the action taken against “RobKAllDay.” However, the letter goes on to read that the carrier will reconsider their decision in two years, assuming that Rob K. gives “unequivocal assurances that you will conduct yourself appropriately.”

Spirit Makes Carry-On Access Easier Through Relaunched Free Spirit Program

Although the viral video shows one of the worst ways to get a free carry-on aboard the ultra-low-cost carrier, the airline is making it easier for their most loyal flyers to get access to free bags. In October 2020, Spirit re-launched their Free Spirit frequent flyer program to add additional elite benefits to their Silver and Gold tiers, which includes free access to the overhead bins.

View Comments (9)

9 Comments

  1. jlc1978

    November 19, 2020 at 5:26 am

    Good for them. As much as i dislike extra fees, cheating the airline out of them is a good reason for a ban. I would think the checkin scan would catch the hack, just as it would a name change, etc.

  2. stefang

    November 19, 2020 at 5:29 am

    If the gate agent scans the QR code during boarding, the computer would still indicate no carry on bags were purchased.

  3. mhrb

    November 19, 2020 at 5:44 am

    lol at calling a PDF editor a hack. Most have this information redundantly coded into the barcode so it won’t work anyway.

  4. Easy Money

    November 19, 2020 at 5:50 am

    Spirit needs to look at itself. If its e-ticket can be changed so easily there is a problem with the e-ticket system rather than the guy that got banned. They should be working on fixing the problem. If the # of bags can be changed so easily does that mean the passenger information can be changed too and that would be a safety risk?

  5. Danwriter

    November 19, 2020 at 7:42 am

    The digital version of hidden city ticketing.

  6. Maestro Ramen

    November 19, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Assuming this is true and he didn’t fake the letter as well, how petty from Spirit. The guy literally just edited a PDF to say 1 instead of 0.
    If this is capable of bypassing Spirit’s checks and processes then they need to thank the guy for exposing this serious flaw, and have a serious look at their electronic security while they’re at it.

  7. VRFast

    November 19, 2020 at 9:50 am

    If that is the actual letter, word for word, I am very disappointed in Spirit’s English language skills. I see at least two issues, so I think I’ll call this fake news and say this dude fake the letter. As others have indicated, the bar code tells the truth.
    “…and fraudulently indicate the paid for a carry-on bag,,…” and this one “..Spirit Airlines has determined you are no longer be permitted to fly with us, and have put you on a list for that purpose.”

  8. MRM

    November 19, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Maestro: TikTok and Twitter are for….so anyone getting banned for such stupidity of “putting it out there” deserves every bit of scorn, ridicule and banning they get – and probably more.

  9. Gizzabreak

    November 19, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Of course Spirit should have a look at their security. And of course a fraudulently altered document (pdf) isn’t going to alter the original booking details entered into the computer. BUT … why should you and I, as fair and reasonable (in the majority of cases) fare paying passengers, ultimately be expected to pay more for our seat due to airlines continually having to devote revenue to reactively ‘plugging holes’ left by those few who attempt to defraud ‘the system’ (and probably any ‘system’ they encounter) simply because ‘they can’, and ‘do’ (and in some cases are silly enough to brag about it AND identify themselves).

    AND … the airlines have only themselves to blame for those kind of situations arising (and drunks, and the various other cabin disturbances that occur with monotonous regularity, often disrupting the plans of hundreds of other travelers and costing the airlines millions in additional operating costs … which you and I pay for) BECAUSE they have no coordinated ‘sit up and take notice disruptive/fraudulent/whatever travelers’ retributive policies.

    SO … how about, for those ‘fraudulent/disruptive/whatever’ passengers we’d rather weren’t on our flight … 1: No more airline travel again, ever, and 2: A coordinated inter-airline agreement that a ‘no fly’ order by any airline will be observed by all airlines.

    Yes, I do understand there would be many ‘fish hooks’ to be ironed out … referring all fraudulent and/or disruptive behaviour for prosecution by the appropriate authorities in which countries in which the offence/s occurred would be a sensible first step, giving a sound legal footing for universal lifetime bans.

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