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Spirit Cancels Flight - Makes Passengers Wait 9 Days for Next Flight

Spirit Cancels Flight - Makes Passengers Wait 9 Days for Next Flight

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Old Mar 8, 16, 10:01 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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Thumbs down Spirit Cancels Flight - Makes Passengers Wait 9 Days for Next Flight

Community,

I had to share a miserable experience I had this evening with Spirit Airlines. I was scheduled to fly them from IAH - LAS on Spirit Flight 199 departing at 8:45pm and arriving at 9:56pm.

Upon arrival to the airport, there were some minor delays due to weather, but no airline had canceled flights and you could hear flights taking off and landing. All for Spirit - who cancelled all flights and told us they could not re-book us until March 17 - 9 days later. Spirit blamed the cancellations on weather, yet every other airline was departing and arriving without issues.

There were dozens of passengers stranded - unable to get home for 9 days. They were told that because it was weather, there was nothing they could do or were responsible for.

I can't begin to express how frustrated I am with Spirit. Never have I been so heated. And all customer service could do was offer refunds, flight credits or have you wait 9 days. NINE days - absurd!

If anybody has any connections at Spirit, I would love to speak to a higher up manager at corporate about this as this is just unacceptable. Carriers should not be allowed to take advantage of passengers like this.
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Old Mar 9, 16, 8:31 am
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: DEN
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Unfortunately, as has been established here several times, Spirit does not interline passengers to other airlines under any circumstances. (See here) Because of this, you are bound to wait for the next Spirit flight that can get you to your destination with availability. Upon checking the upcoming flights, there are no possibilities for the next week (even with a connection) to get you from IAH-LAS.

If it is urgent you get home, take the refund, book one of the several AA flights that are showing space today for $400, and consider it a lesson learned the hard way. I always have a backup when flying Spirit - like a later Southwest flight that I can change with no charge - and continue to just push that flight to match my next Spirit itinerary.
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Old Mar 9, 16, 1:10 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Did you make it home already? If so how?
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Old Mar 9, 16, 1:18 pm
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I echo what benfro6 says. If you really can't get home in 9 days just take the refund from Spirit and go book a flight on another carrier, obvious reason is a walkup fare on another carrier will likely be cheaper than 9 days in a hotel + food waiting on the Spirit flight.
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Old Mar 9, 16, 1:50 pm
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Or a couple of day drive if you rent a car.
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Old Mar 10, 16, 6:19 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Originally Posted by benfro6 View Post
Unfortunately, as has been established here several times, Spirit does not interline passengers to other airlines under any circumstances. (See here) Because of this, you are bound to wait for the next Spirit flight that can get you to your destination with availability. Upon checking the upcoming flights, there are no possibilities for the next week (even with a connection) to get you from IAH-LAS.

If it is urgent you get home, take the refund, book one of the several AA flights that are showing space today for $400, and consider it a lesson learned the hard way. I always have a backup when flying Spirit - like a later Southwest flight that I can change with no charge - and continue to just push that flight to match my next Spirit itinerary.
According to some reports. they will put you on another airline in case of a mechanical issue.
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Old Mar 10, 16, 7:07 am
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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A similar thing happened to me in January

The same thing - not 9 days, but 4 - happened to me in January flying from FLL to LGA. We ended up using points to get on an AA flight that same day. Just like you, all the other flights flying that route went out that day. Some minor delays for a couple of hours, but nothing significant. I was/am furious!

When I got home I filed a complaint with the DOT: https://www.transportation.gov/airco...umer-complaint

The DOT emailed this (partial) reply "I will forward your complaint to the airline and will ask the company to respond directly to you. Airlines are required to acknowledge receipt of a consumer complaint within 30 days and provide a substantive response to the complainant within 60 days."

30 days went by with no acknowledgement, so I emailed the DOT, but they said that the 60 days has to pass before they take further action. What that further action is I don't know, but I'm going to stay with this as far as I can.

Even though my spouse & I didn't choose one of Spirit's crappy options (seat on the next flight - in 4 days, credit for future Spirit flight, cash refund), they did end up refunding to my credit card the one way costs of the flights, but I certainly never accepted that outcome on the phone. In the meantime, we were out 40,000 AA miles, the taxes & fees and the extension of our car rental. That's it for me and Spirit. It's far too expensive an airline to fly!

I also emailed a travel reporter at the Wall Street Journal ([email protected]), who asked me to keep him apprised of my progress.

Good luck.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 5:36 am
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MHG
 
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Well, the fact they blame weather for the cancellation is a common excuse.
When other airlines still operated out of IAH then it might be either that at LAS weather was bad (unlikely ...) or the Cockpit crew and/or the aircraft itself was not certified/equipped to fly below certain weather minima.
That are the most likely reasons.
After all its about money and Spirit can save money that way.
So, they seem to get away with it - apparently still plenty of customers are willing to "gamble" in exchange for lower fares ...
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Old Mar 15, 16, 5:57 am
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Originally Posted by MHG View Post
......So, they seem to get away with it - apparently still plenty of customers are willing to "gamble" in exchange for lower fares ...
From the Spirit website: "Spirit Airlines is the leading Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the United States"

Ultra. Low. Cost. Not "full service". You pays yer money, you takes yer chances.

When I was travelling a lot for business, the main reason I ensured I built status with my regular full service airline was not for the lounge access or the shiny card , I did it because I wanted to be higher up the queue when something went wrong. Could I have flown cheaper? Absolutely. ... and I would have (just for example) been stranded in SFO when an aircraft went tech and I needed to be in NYC the next morning, or stuck in HKG overnight due to a late connection , instead of being put on an overnight flight to SYD.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 6:59 am
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I don't understand why people get so angry when things go south. They save money, take their chances and all is good when it works, but, when something breaks down, the anger kicks in. People should really look at the frequency of flights between 2 points and they will likely see that there are not many options, hence the 2, 3, 4 days wait to be accommodated. One plane taken out of service will impact at least 200 passengers minimum that need to be accommodated on other flights, which, most likely do not have an empty seat. It is not that Spirit has an empty plane just sitting out there.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by segall2 View Post
I had to share a miserable experience I had this evening with Spirit Airlines.
Sadly, that's their business model. Unacceptable, I agree, but that's the way they roll. I usually sniff around FT before flying a carrier I've not used before.

While you're waiting for Spirit, you might want to review the credit cards you used to purchase this fare. Many cards have trip delay and trip interruption coverage which might get you a few bucks. I was surprised to learn that my Wells-Fargo card even has this despite not being a "travel" card.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by arollins View Post
I don't understand why people get so angry when things go south. They save money, take their chances and all is good when it works, but, when something breaks down, the anger kicks in.
I agree. This happened to the OP because they chose to fly with a less-than-no-frills airline. It's a gamble at best. Just as I would never fly standby if I needed to get to a destination on-time, I would never fly Spirit if I wasn't willing to toss the ticket in the trash if something like this happened and re-book.

You get the service you pay for.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by sartech View Post
I agree. This happened to the OP because they chose to fly with a less-than-no-frills airline. It's a gamble at best. Just as I would never fly standby if I needed to get to a destination on-time, I would never fly Spirit if I wasn't willing to toss the ticket in the trash if something like this happened and re-book.

You get the service you pay for.
True, but where does one draw the line? Pay a $100 less and don't be suprised with a 12 hour delay? Pay $50 less and expect to pay for printing your boarding pass at the airport?

I haven't yet traveled on an ULCC. Like most of you, I have had my share of aggravation when I am travelling with my family on a mainline airline and face delays. So, I haven't picked up the courage to book an ULCC yet.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by porky View Post
True, but where does one draw the line? Pay a $100 less and don't be suprised with a 12 hour delay? Pay $50 less and expect to pay for printing your boarding pass at the airport?

I haven't yet traveled on an ULCC. Like most of you, I have had my share of aggravation when I am travelling with my family on a mainline airline and face delays. So, I haven't picked up the courage to book an ULCC yet.
At least with mainline airlines, when problems occur, there are numerous alternative that can alleviate the issue. With an ULCC, none. Don't get me wrong, things can certainly go wrong with mainline airlines, I've had my share as well, its just that you do indeed have other alternatives. ULCC typically have 1 frequency daily between cities, if that plane goes out of service, the whole thing goes out of whack since there is no spare airplane sitting out there, or a secondary routing that can accommodate all that are affected. I do not think I've seen any post in FT regarding a 4 day delay before you can get back home on mainline service, unless there is extreme weather.
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Old Mar 16, 16, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by porky View Post
True, but where does one draw the line? Pay a $100 less and don't be suprised with a 12 hour delay? Pay $50 less and expect to pay for printing your boarding pass at the airport?
I don't see either of those as abhorrent/inhumane practices, and therefore if people are willing to take the chance of those happening in exchange for the lower fare, then I have no objection to it. Some people are willing to trade quality for price, and as long as that market exists, there will be products and services to meet the need.

Now if they did something like take the bathrooms out of the plane to add more seats, I think there would be unanimous agreement that such an action would be crossing the line.

The original issue was that Spirit will only re-book pax on their own flights. This makes perfect sense as a means to contain costs. If they had to buy tickets with other airlines, fares would go up to generate the revenue to pay for those added costs, and they wouldn't be the ultra-low-cost carrier that they are.
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