My wife and eldest daughter are on a trip to NYC to visit family for the weekend. I went online and did a search for tickets from DFW to NY. Spirit Airlines was the lowest price and offered convenient times to travel, so I booked online about a month ago.
We’ve never flown Spirit Airlines, but I figured for a short trip, how back could it be? I’ve come to expect paying to check a bag since most of the major airlines adopted the same practice. So, I was factoring in another $50 for each leg of the trip.
That’s when a friend warned us to pay for the checked bag online prior to ticketing.
Apparently, Spirit charges $30 a bag if paid before online check-in, $40 a bag during online check-in, $45 a bag at the airport, and $100 a bag at the gate.
I’ll just carry on my bag, you say? Anything larger than 16”x14”x12” costs you $35 if paid before online check-in, $45 a bag during online check-in, $50 a bag at the airport, and $100 a bag at the gate.
Oh, but that’s not all. If you want to reserve an actual seat assignment, it can cost you $1 to $50 per seat each way. So if you are traveling with a minor and you want to guarantee a seat next to her, that’s up to $200 round trip for 2. (Our seats cost us $40.)
Want more legroom? Well, those Big Front Seats can run you upwards of $199.
Have an issue and want to speak to a live agent on the phone? That’s another $25.
After an additional $120 in fees AFTER the price of the airfare, we were all set.
Except that when my wife landed, she texted me that her luggage didn’t arrive. Wasn’t going to for another 24hrs.
This was a 7:30 AM flight. Not possible to get baggage until the next day.
So naturally, I started to look for Spirit’s Customer Service line. They don’t make it easy to find on their website. It’s buried under a number of firewalls of automated FAQs that had nothing to do with my complaint.
After 30 minutes listening to hold music, I gave up. The thought of having to pay an additional $25 to speak to a person was nauseating.
So, I took to Social Media. Looked up Facebook. They are nowhere to be found.
They have a Twitter account which is apparently run by 1960’s looking robot drones.
I started tweeting –
Apparently, this particular tweet caught their attention. And this dialogue took place.
Still no word on where my wife’s bag is or whether I’m going to get a refund on my $80 in baggage fees for no baggage.
But here’s the thing – some Statists might start to cry for more regulation or oversight, stiffer fines against poorly run companies like Spirit Airlines, or regulation of fees that companies can charge. Ultimately, these measures only hurt the Consumer because bad businesses are allowed to continue — maybe in a more restrictive capacity, but many can still stay between the lines.
The BEST solution to poor business practices, customer service, or excessive fees is to 1) spread the word about how terrible some businesses are and 2) stop giving them your business. The Market will ultimately see to their demise.