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Spirit Airlines: Possibly The Worst Airline In US.  
User currently offlinefoppishbum From Taiwan, joined Mar 2006, 863 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7011 times:

I just returned from a trip to Chicago on Spirit Airlines (NK) LAX - ORD - LAX. We took the red eye flight out of LAX (11:55pm) and the flight attendants were chatting with each other so loud during cruising altitude that the passengers in row 4 (on an A319) walked up and told them to shut up...3 times! I was sitting in 1A and could still hear their voices even with my earphones on. Granted that NK is a ULTRA LCC, isn't it a common curtsey to lower one's voice during a red eye flight?   

Also, the seats on the A319 on both legs are so worn out that they were visibly dirty. There were black and brown stains all over the seats and the passenger on the outbound flight to ORD in 2D/F had a floor FULL of peanut shells. He wasn't happy about it but the FA's decided it wasn't their responsibility and left it as is. I didn't get involved in the situation because I was still in shock as to how dirty my seat was.   

Anyway, that was probably the last time I fly Spirit Airlines. I would much rather starve myself a few meals to fly on other airlines than go through that experience again.

Anyone else had horrible experiences with Spirit Airlines? On another note, does anyone have any great experiences with Spirit Airlines?


I'm a Taiwanese-American living in NYC and LA.
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19259 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6993 times:

Purely out of interest, how much did you pay - everything included - for your round-trip?


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineAirontario From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 563 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6947 times:

As the saying goes "you get what you pay for".

User currently online817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2612 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6942 times:

Quoting Airontario (Reply 2):

As the saying goes "you get what you pay for".

Agreed, couldnt say it any better than that



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5164 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6886 times:

Quoting Airontario (Reply 2):
As the saying goes "you get what you pay for".
Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 3):
Agreed, couldnt say it any better than that

So just curious ....

You think that rude Flight Attendants and a filthy aircraft in a state of disrepair is acceptable as long as it is cheap?



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6873 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 4):
So just curious ....

You think that rude Flight Attendants and a filthy aircraft in a state of disrepair is acceptable as long as it is cheap?

Well depends on what you mean by acceptable... To me it's not acceptable. That's why I don't consider Spirit when planning travels. But it's the charging for carry-on that I don't like, never heard of dirty aircraft and aircraft in a state of disrepair until now.


User currently offlineblueflyer From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Jan 2006, 4186 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6873 times:
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Quoting longhauler (Reply 4):
You think that rude Flight Attendants and a filthy aircraft in a state of disrepair is acceptable as long as it is cheap?

Short answer, yes.
(not that I would put up with it, but I don't fly Spirit either)

If you choose to fly on an ultra low cost carrier, you should know that every expense is looked at twice, including cabin crew and non-critical/operational maintenance. The result is seats that are used up until the point they're declared unsafe/non-conforming and the hiring of people who do not have the good sense to keep their voices low when others are trying to sleep and who will not go above and beyond their contracted duties because the better employees have been hired by better paying airlines (or more likely found a better job elsewhere).

I don't have the same level of expectation from McDonald's as I do from a Michelin 3-star establishment, or from a Comfort Inn compared to a Four Seasons. Why should it be any different from an airline? I expect every restaurant to be operated in compliance with health codes, and I expect every airline to conform to FAA rules and regulations, but beyond that common denominator, there's a lot of room for differentiation.

[Edited 2012-03-02 09:44:44]


I've got $h*t to do
User currently online817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2612 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6867 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 4):
So just curious ....

You think that rude Flight Attendants and a filthy aircraft in a state of disrepair is acceptable as long as it is cheap?

no I never said that it was acceptable, but the standards of a low cost airline are usually lower than that of a full service airline with some exceptions of course (B6 maybe), why I agreed with the post before mine is because I was trying to help make the point that you can expect a higher standard of service if you pay more, personally I avoid LCCs even if the price is too good to be true, cant really take all these charges they put on you for baggage and whatnot, when I can pay a full fare and not worry about any of these charges on a full service airline. In terms of the flight attendants and the state of the interior, fortunately for me I never had any problems with them or had stuff on the floor of an aircraft when boarding



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlinefoppishbum From Taiwan, joined Mar 2006, 863 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6824 times:

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 1):
Purely out of interest, how much did you pay - everything included - for your round-trip?

Base price = $217.58 round trip
Checked bag = $28/bag/leg
Seat selection = $35/leg for Big Front Seats
Fees paid at airport = $25/leg because I stupidly assumed baggage weight limit is 50 lbs when in fact it is 40 lbs.
Total = $393.58

Virgin America was $442.60 including $25/checked bag/leg. The ~$50 saving (~$120 without Big Front Seats) was still not worth flying NK.   

Quoting Airontario (Reply 2):
As the saying goes "you get what you pay for".
Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 3):

I agree and disagree at the same time. I just think that lowering one's voice during a red eye is a common courtesy regardless of legacy carriers or LCCs. Re: dirty seats and cabin...well, I accepted it and told my friend the same thing - you get what you paid for. On the returning red eye flight, the staff was much better and lowered their voices during cruising altitude but the seats were still dirty. Oh well.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 6):
Comfort Inn compared to a Four Seasons

But IMO, it is still unacceptable for Comfort Inn staff to be loud in the hallways during late hours.

Anyway, it was "lesson learned". I will avoid NK at any cost in the future though I'm very carious as to whether anyone had any good (or just acceptable) experiences with NK on a 2+ hours flights.



I'm a Taiwanese-American living in NYC and LA.
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6782 times:

Your profile says you are from Taiwan, so I don't know how familiar you are with the state of affairs on US airlines, but let me assure you that rude/loud/otherwise horrible cabin crew are not unique to NK. All carriers have awesome crew, all carriers also have bad apples. You got unlucky. I have taken a LAX-ORD redeye on UA, and it was also miserable and I would rather never do it again.

Quoting foppishbum (Reply 8):
The ~$50 saving (~$120 without Big Front Seats) was still not worth flying NK.

I think a more fair comparison would exclude your overweight bag fees because if you had been more careful you would have avoided it. So more like a $170 price difference...meaning VX is almost double. You still may not consider it worthwhile but lets call a spade a spade.

NK is what it is. Personally I don't fly them but I'm glad they exist. One must also keep in mind that "Big Front Seat" (dumbass name but whatever) is a unique product...no it aint first class but one would normally have to buy first class to get an equivalent seat.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 4):
You think that rude Flight Attendants and a filthy aircraft in a state of disrepair is acceptable as long as it is cheap?

Look, it's kinda like taking the subway. I know it won't be comfortable, it might run late, it might get crowded, there might even be some lunatics onboard. But for some destinations parking is just so damn expensive that I put up with it. NK is the bottom tier, and they don't pretend otherwise. Assume it will suck, and use some of the wad of cash you saved to buy some adult beverages to dull the pain. And if you fly NK without some substantial cost savings, you're an idiot.


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7279 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 6660 times:

Flew them once, will never fly them again. Maybe for a day trip somewhere for $30 but even then would have to think about it.


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1728 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6540 times:

Spirit is essentially the US version of Europe's largest airline Ryanair.

Considering the huge financial success Spirit has been, and how ULCC carriers have done well globally, I suspect they very well meet the needs of a large segment of the travel market.


However I'm not sure your experience has much to do with Spirit, or simply human nature. A few years back I was seated in first class on Air NZ 744 during an overnight flight and we were all treated to many hours of loud discussion between flight attendants in the galley right behind the F-class section. It can and does happen anywhere.


User currently offlineDTWLAX From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 821 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6408 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 9):
. So more like a $170 price difference...meaning VX is almost double

If you exclude the overweight bag fees, the difference would be $100 and not $170.


User currently offlinenkops From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2706 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6408 times:

Being from ACY, I have flown Spirit quite a bit and have had very few problems with them... however, I also know not to expect much... I buy my ticket and seat, check 1 bag and carry a backpack (no charge) and thats it.. If I want something to eat or drink I will bring it on with me.. They are generally on time out of ACY, but then again, we don't have to worry much in the way of ATC delays here, just the occasional mechanical delay. As far as dirty aircraft, I have been on a few, but its kind of expected with 30 min turns


I have no association with Spirit Airlines
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6257 times:

Quoting DTWLAX (Reply 12):
If you exclude the overweight bag fees, the difference would be $100 and not $170.

Wrong. You also can't include the "Big Front Seat" upsell in this comparison. Regular coach seat on VX vs regular coach seat on NK. Apples must equal apples or the whole thing is invalid. I checked again. It's a $170 difference...making VX 62% more expensive.


User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6936 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6177 times:

Guess you should have flown United!

Quoting foppishbum (Thread starter):

I've had the same experiences on any other airline: CO and AA especially.



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlinefoppishbum From Taiwan, joined Mar 2006, 863 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6160 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 9):
Your profile says you are from Taiwan, so I don't know how familiar you are with the state of affairs on US airlines, but let me assure you that rude/loud/otherwise horrible cabin crew are not unique to NK.

Yes. I was born in Taiwan but lived in the States since 2000. I've flown my fair share of UA, AA, WN, VX, B6, DL but never experienced such horrible cabin crew. I guess I was very unlucky on the NK flight. Like I said, the return flight was much better granted the seats were still dirty.   

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 9):
So more like a $170 price difference...meaning VX is almost double.

I agree. It is a fair comparison. I guess next time I'll skip a few Starbucks and a few meals and fly on VX
Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
Maybe for a day trip somewhere for $30 but even then would have to think about it.

  

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 11):
A few years back I was seated in first class on Air NZ 744 during an overnight flight and we were all treated to many hours of loud discussion between flight attendants in the galley right behind the F-class section.
Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 15):
I've had the same experiences on any other airline: CO and AA especially.

I am appalled to learn this information. What happened to common courtesy? I flew TPE to LAX very frequently on CI and all of the FAs were courteous and would make an effort to lower their voices during sleepy time. Granted that I haven't flown CI for a while, I hope their service quality did not decline.

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 15):
Guess you should have flown United!

I guess I should have an use my friend's buddy pass! 



I'm a Taiwanese-American living in NYC and LA.
User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6936 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6138 times:

Quoting foppishbum (Reply 16):

Well, I should say I've never heard F/A's talking loudly on a redeye. But buddy buddy f/a small talk has been quite common on AA in my experience. Especially when you go back for (god forbid) a cup of water on a long flight and the f/a's look at you like you disturbed their precious convo.

Dirty cabins however are more common than you would think.



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6002 times:

Quoting foppishbum (Reply 16):
I agree. It is a fair comparison. I guess next time I'll skip a few Starbucks and a few meals and fly on VX

And nobody on here will tell you that you shouldn't. Americans in general, however, have a tendency to only consider price as a factor, at least for leisure travel. A terrible idea...price doesn't equal value. And as you have experienced, even with a good price NK can be a poor value.


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