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Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:52 pm

I had the pleasure to fly Spirit four times (my first four flights on Spirit) over the course of a week. My observation:

1. The "Spirit Plus" ($40 option to upgrade to a 1st class seat with some privileges) is genius. It's not an elitist first class (no scented hot towels and no bulkhead) but a nice, wide seat and early boarding privilege. Well worth it, particularly if you've nailed a cheap fare.

2. They are filling the seats with aggressive pricing. Their 07:30 from DCA to FLL was packed. Many (like me) having bought $49 seats on very short notice. I'm sure the yield was not impressive on that flight, but it was better than a 1/2 empty positioning flight to FLL. I was shocked to see a packed flight at that hour. Impressive.

3. The DCA gate (in the old terminal) is convenient once you know where to park, and after you find the underground walkway betw Lot A and the terminal. I kind of like the "classic" terminal look anyway.

4. I flew on four different MD80s, and all showed some wear, but no worse than any major. N824NK had German language plaques. I need to check that lineage! After watching a bunch of Spirit MD80s take off and land, I really have to say that the tail-engine configuration is vastly superior, aesthetically, to the under-wing frog-planes that are taking over. And the new livery is fantastic. Even my 45 year old sister (not a plane geek) said, "Wow, their planes look so sleek!" I'm going to miss them when they are gone.

5. FLL Terminal 4 is OK, but the entire airport has a serious problem on peak hours. Lines end up outside along the loading curb. Spirit staff did a good job of helping passengers that were in danger of missing their flights. TSA staff did a similar good job keeping the screening lines moving.
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Tue Feb 03, 2004 12:50 am

If there were German language plaques, then N824NK is most likely an ex-Aero Lloyd bird. Could also be ex SWISS, Swissair, Crossair or Austrian though.  Smile
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:55 am

I've been seeing their ads on the Metro A LOT- it seems like they are at every station! How do they compare to AirTran, who IMHO, is their main lo-co competition at DCA? Here's hoping they can make it at DCA though.
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Tue Feb 03, 2004 2:00 am

N824NK is x D-ALLR a former Aero LLoyd machine.
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:09 am

Confirmed, it was ex-Aero Lloyd.

As to the comparison with AirTran, I think they are fairly similar. AirTran has a larger network and more destinations; but otherwise, it's a cheap seat on a McDonnell Douglas product* from point A to B. I think the loads are good at DCA, but yield may be a weakness. They need 4 our 6 more slots in order to really ramp things up.

* Yes, I know that AirTran flies 717s. No, I do not think of it as a Boeing product. It's too good looking to be a Boeing.
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:04 am

Our experiences sure are different......

I have flown Spirit two times

1) Day before Thanksgiving... A.M. flight : PBI-ISP. We were delayed five hours. We were not given any reason for the delay and were left in the boarding area like sheep. Eventually the supervisor confessed that the pilots had failed to show up. We eventually took off after a new crew was brought in from FLL. Worse part was they would not refund our $$ and allow us to seek alternative flights. Failing to refund due to weather is one thing, but admitting that your crew is AWOL and still refusing to assist stranded passengers got them NO points in my book. Later, during the flight I got blasted by an FA who was pissed off because I placed an empty soda glass on her cart. She told me to remove it immediately and wait for her to return and pick it up later. It was an empty plastic glass, not a petri dish
full of anthrax. She made such a federal case out of it I was completely amazed. A few minutes later another FA came by, got the glass and said to me " Don't mind her, she has had a pole up her A** all day".

2) DEN-FLL. Emergency landing/return at to DEN. Engine failure. I never stuck around to see how long the delay was. I got a flight out on F9 that was wonderful, new bus with TV.

I figure I gave them two chances........... I am not going to try for a third.

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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:53 am

I was not aware that Spirit flies/flew PBI-ISP or into ISP at all for that matter. But I do not follow them that closely so I could be mistaken.
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Tue Feb 03, 2004 6:04 am

Several years ago Spirit flew to Islip. About the time USAirways pulled mainline out. Which left several low-fare airlines at the airport including Carnival (later Pan Am), Delta Express, AirTran (the original) and eventually Southwest.

That was several years ago in NK's defense-a lot has changed in the airline from all outward appearances since then!

Why would God make us all so different, if He wanted us to be the same?
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Tue Feb 03, 2004 6:13 am

i am a pretty regular user of spirit, usually LAX-DTW during holidays. they used to be a lot worse in terms of delays, i think because the DTW flight goes on to LGA and LGA would always delay. also they used to be parked remotely at LAX which was a huge pain. spirit plus is okay, but not worth the $40 unless you are on a redeye. all in all, you get what you pay for. i recently paid $200 roundtrip for a memorial day weekend flight LAX-DTW. can't beat that, considering NW is the only other nonstop on that route and only occassionally bothers to even try to match the fare.
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:05 am

As a current "SPIRIT" f/a I would like to thank you for your comments. Spirit has come a heck of a long way. Just this year we have held many top honors in variable areas of our performance we could not have received before. I wanted to address some of your issues. First, a flight attendant pet peeve. Do not put your used trash on our carts while we are still serving other passengers. Doing this makes the next pax's to be served feel I will give them an unsanitary product. I wipe the carts I use with antiseptic wipes because of all the germs. If your sick and put trash you held on my cart, you transferred those germs. There are many diseases transferable in this fashion. That's why she's pissed. About the other girl, what can I say, having a pole up your bum makes it hard to sit in your jumpseat(hehehe). About the engine problem, I was in Denver for that problem. I was to take the plane back out, it stranded me for quite awhile. It's the first time it's happened, and since the last. I hope this helps a little. Just a few things to keep in mind, your f/a's are professionals, not servants. Our job is important, not an after thought. We don't love the job hate the pax. At the end of the day, sometimes, it's only our pax that keep us going. We don't get paid well, at the regional and low fare segment we don't make 30,000 after ten years of service. Bare with us as we do what we can to make pretzels seem like steak, our 20 year old MD-80's seem like concordes, your seat less like an electric chair, your two hour delay seem like a minute, and any emergency a true non-event. See you in the air.
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Wed Feb 04, 2004 5:13 am

yeah spirit used to fly pbi-isp. i dropped y wife´s family off for a flight to ISP a few years ago
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:34 am


1) I certainly wouldn't have intentionally tried to irk the FA by placing the cup on the cart. And as for the germs, just a couple things to say...the FA wasn't wearing any gloves when she served the drinks. So the attitude is FA's can get germs from PAX but FA's are 100% sterile? I may have been in the wrong for placing the cup on the cart, I will admit that....but her blatant overreaction to the point that her fellow FA's were embarrased by her behavior must speak for something. It was a cup of ice, not a container of toxic waste. Perhaps if she had taken a moment to explain WHY things would have been smoother. Her choosing to morph into an airborne Medusa more than escalated the situation.

2) I notice that you addressed everything EXCEPT for the Pilots pulling a no-show at PBI.

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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:05 am

I've done quite a few segments on Spirit and I have no complaints, except for the aweful agents in LGA. I was flying company business (pos space) yet they cleared some hoochie mamma (and dressed appropriately, mind you... dark blue jeans, plastic shoes, and tank tops) NON REVS ahead of me, even though I had a higher priority (( they all had good seats, i was stuck in a middle seat)).

I normally don't complain about non-reving and boarding priority, but these folks were BRAGGING how they were so-and-so's friend at the counter, etc..

~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:57 am

Re: Pilot no show at PBI.

How could she address it? They didn't show. Could be accident, or they timed out from a late arrival the night before. Odd that this would happen so close to the HQ where back up crews should be available.

Then again, lean staffing probably helps keep the airfares down.
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RE: Four Segments In One Week On Spirit.

Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:24 am

I myself have flown 2 segments on Spirit, tickets were cheap, both flights were on time, service was nothing to brag about- but you get what you pay for. I would fly them again.
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