Note to self and all within hearing. Spirit airlines is one of those discount airlines whose motto is, treat people like pigs and count on their impotence to rebel. Operating on this principle, which has solid bottom line proof, the company bumped our whole flight yesterday evening at Kansas City. After bumping the time to 911 from 7 p.m., they announced at 9:11 that there was techical difficulties and the whole flight was cancellled. Of course, stranding 200 some people in an airport at almost the last flight time of the night required not calling up a single additional employee. Instead, 200 people stood in line for six hourse until, at 2 am, we learned that we could either get a voucher for 300 dollars or we could get a ticket on Spirit for, maybe the day after the next. But they were generously throwing in a seven dollar voucher for food and a voucher for the nearby Ramada, which may or may not be full. There was no information given to the line at all, so we relied on rumors. One of the rumors, seemingly confirmed by the news, is that the technical difficulties did not inhibit our plane: rather, a plane going from Cleveland to Vegas had to make an emergency stop here, due to its technical problems, and they simply bumped us. Why the lie? To avoid having to pay us the amount of our round trip tickets, or even three times that amount, which happens when it is the airlines choice to bump you. As we desperately looked for a way out of the airport at two a.m., feeling miserable about Adam, we approached an airport cop and related our tale, and his partner thought it was hilarious that we wanted a taxi or van to take us out of the airport. It was a riot! A. told him politely that it wasn't funny.
Pigs, ruled by pigs. That is the spirit of Spirit! Like United or American, the aim is to produce maximum discomfort and, in emergencies, humiliate you as much as they can get away with!
This morning, we got an email with a smiley emoticon, the word sorry, and a big 50 dollar voucher from Spirit, which we can use whenever we feel like being abused for five hours at some strange airport. Fun!
But of course we have no choice. Who ever heard of the government enforcing regulations that would prevent the airlines from treating their customers like pigs. Because free enterprise.
And hey, for those mooks out there who say, yeah, but deregulation democratized airplane travel, here's a knockdown essay that shows no, that's bullshit that's been churned out by airline associations. In reality, the lowering of ticket prices has everything to do with the price of gas, little to do with de-regulation.