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LeCoqFrancais
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Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:25 pm

It’s the airline that had unabashedly advertised its product as a “cheap seat for a cheap-ass.”
But now, under new leadership and in the face of increased competition from larger, more mature airlines, Spirit Airlines is ready to shake off its bad-boy streak and grow up a little.
Spirit, based in South Florida, has been known for its cheap flights and no-frills passenger experience, as well as its unconventional, and often sexually provocative, marketing campaigns over the last few years.
That was all part of the no-apologies, no-excuses attitude of the previous chief executive, Ben Baldanza, whom Spirit’s board replaced in January. High numbers of customer complaints, Mr. Baldanza liked to say, come with the cheap-fare territory. It was an approach modeled on the Irish budget airline, Ryanair, which became one of Europe’s largest airlines — but perhaps most reviled — by taking a cattle-car approach to regional air travel.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/28/busin ... .html?_r=0
--
Wow, NK really is the FR of the US, they are eaving copying the better customer service! :mrgreen:
Sébastien C. Tourillon
 
masseybrown
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:50 pm

The new CEO (at a previous earnings conference call) said they plan to re-rack the schedule starting in November, so the next schedule update should be interesting.
 
MesaFlyGuy
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:08 pm

They're not copying Ryanair, the new CEO is the former CEO of AirTran, which was known for that. I'm excited to see the direction in which Mr. Fornaro takes the aieline, as I really want to see them succeed in the future. As much of a stigma that the airline has associated with it, it really is a good company.
The views I express are my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of my company.
 
AWACSooner
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:40 pm

They're not LIKE FR, they're far, far WORSE...FR doesn't charge for carry-ons and actually flies most of their flights on-time.
 
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LeCoqFrancais
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:59 pm

AWACSooner wrote:
They're not LIKE FR, they're far, far WORSE...FR doesn't charge for carry-ons and actually flies most of their flights on-time.

Wait, they charge for your carry-on?! Ouch, that is low...
So, NK dosen't have this lovely jingle: https://youtu.be/ExAEDQ26HTE :mrgreen:
Sébastien C. Tourillon
 
MesaFlyGuy
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:03 pm

AWACSooner wrote:
They're not LIKE FR, they're far, far WORSE...FR doesn't charge for carry-ons and actually flies most of their flights on-time.

I didn't realize Spirit was having a huge problem with ontime flights. Do you have any source or any proof that "most of their flights" are not ontime?
The views I express are my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of my company.
 
MesaFlyGuy
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:05 pm

LeCoqFrancais wrote:
AWACSooner wrote:
They're not LIKE FR, they're far, far WORSE...FR doesn't charge for carry-ons and actually flies most of their flights on-time.

Wait, they charge for your carry-on?! Ouch, that is low...
So, NK dosen't have this lovely jingle: https://youtu.be/ExAEDQ26HTE :mrgreen:


On Spirit you are allowed a free personal item that can fit underneath the seat in front of you. If you want to bring a larger bag with you in the overhead bins, yes it is a charge. Spirit is an a-la-carte airline, so you only pay for what you want. It's different than the other full service carriers that build all of this into the ticket price.
The views I express are my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of my company.
 
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SteveXC500
Posts: 599
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:20 pm

masseybrown wrote:
The new CEO (at a previous earnings conference call) said they plan to re-rack the schedule starting in November, so the next schedule update should be interesting.


When does NK update/extend their schedule?
 
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spinkid
Posts: 1900
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:44 pm

MesaFlyGuy wrote:
I didn't realize Spirit was having a huge problem with ontime flights. Do you have any source or any proof that "most of their flights" are not ontime?


Did you read the article? There are at least two quotes from Spirit representatives stating they would like to improve their on time performance.

I only flew them once, in 2000. It was not a pleasant experience, but I'm willing to try them again.
 
toltommy
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:29 pm

MesaFlyGuy wrote:
I didn't realize Spirit was having a huge problem with ontime flights. Do you have any source or any proof that "most of their flights" are not ontime?


"Most" is a bit of a stretch, I agree. But according to the most recent DOT stats, you've got a 1 in 4 chance of being delayed. Smarter scheduling has already been promised to help reduce that issue.

http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/dot068_16

Customer service recovery is going to be a bigger issue. Spirit is a mish-mash of lowest bidders doing their ground handling everywhere but FLL. To make things interesting, there is still Spirit managers in those locations. Frequently they overrule their contractors in order to save a buck. Spirit managers will have to learn a new way of doing business. Spirit might be better off coming up with a common IROP and customer service training plan for their vendors. The Spirit managers left in those cities could be gotten rid of in favor of a more consistent product. I'm not sure Spirit will want to spend than kind of money on customer service training.
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klakzky123
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:48 pm

MesaFlyGuy wrote:
I didn't realize Spirit was having a huge problem with ontime flights. Do you have any source or any proof that "most of their flights" are not ontime?


Most of their flights are on time but they're near the bottom among US airlines for on-time performance. Spirit operates their planes at near 24/7 utilization and gives the least slack in case of delays or disruptions. In addition to plane related items, their point to point model means that other resources such as backup pilots and flight attendants (or even backup planes) can become a challenge.

I think Spirit is great for the market and I love the low prices but they need to fix the on-time issues. Its to the point where I can't fly Spirit on return flights when I absolutely have to make it home on a particular day. Spirit's IROP policy doesn't include their booking you on another carrier if there is a delay. The either book you on the next Spirit flight (which could be days away) or they refund your booking and you clearly will have to pay out the nose to find another flight. If I have to get somewhere, its not so much Spirit's delays that worry me as its the terrible policy for IROPS.
 
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PacificBeach88
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:00 am

Frankly, if Spirit Airlines plopped down a pile of donkey excrement on your tray for your snack, this would be an improvement on their "food" service or snack service. Get real.
 
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PacificBeach88
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:16 am

No, I take this back. I was too negative. Frankly, if Spirit Airlines just stopped serving any air routes whatsoever, their corporate name would improve. I think they should move on to bus service, personally.
 
usflyer msp
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:16 am

I have no problem with NK's business model and feel that they are transparent about the experience however I refuse to fly NK for one reason : the other passengers. Flying is by no means a classy experience nowadays but NK passengers often take it to a new level of trashiness and I just cannot go there. Some people should stick with the bus...
 
pointer
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:41 am

usflyer msp wrote:
I have no problem with NK's business model and feel that they are transparent about the experience however I refuse to fly NK for one reason : the other passengers. Flying is by no means a classy experience nowadays but NK passengers often take it to a new level of trashiness and I just cannot go there. Some people should stick with the bus...


usflyer msp hit the nail on the head about the passenger. They do take it to a new level!
 
masseybrown
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:33 pm

SteveXC500 wrote:
masseybrown wrote:
The new CEO (at a previous earnings conference call) said they plan to re-rack the schedule starting in November, so the next schedule update should be interesting.


When does NK update/extend their schedule?


They have not said, but winter schedules usually come out by mid to late August.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18243
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:31 pm

They're one of the most profitable airlines in the world so...why fix what's not broken?
I don't take responsibility at all
 
aviationjunky
Posts: 403
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:27 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:38 pm

spinkid wrote:
I only flew them once, in 2000. It was not a pleasant experience, but I'm willing to try them again.


Honestly? It's been 16 years. I just flew them back in April from LAS-IAH and it was great. We left on time, the flight attendants were super nice, and I had no problems. Save some money, pack light, and try them again.
LAS is Life
 
elbandgeek
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:26 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:51 pm

When I first saw the title of the thread my immediate thought was "yeah that'll be the day" but I hadn't realized Forano was in charge now. I'd never had a bad experience on FL and I doubt WN would have ever put through the effort of merging with them if they had a culture or model like NK, so I'm cautiously optimistic here. It'll be a while before I even consider stepping foot on one of their planes, but It'd be nice to see less of a race to the bottom.
 
benin
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:29 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:53 pm

I think it will be a good turn for this airline. I have flown them several times out of BWI. Some good experiences, some not so good. But what airline today gives a customer a "zero problem" experience?
NK should pick up right where FL left off at PHF...
 
msycajun
Posts: 1130
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:13 am

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:00 pm

I have to agree that NK's IROPS policies are probably the biggest thing keeping me away. I like to travel often and packing light is not a problem, but the fear of getting stuck or having to pay an arm and a leg for a last-minute flight on another carrier in the case of a cancelation keeps me away.

Perhaps connecting more of the existing dots, rather adding new cities, would be a partial solution. That way you have a better chance of finding a connection in the event of a canceled flight.
 
kcrwflyer
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:26 pm

toltommy wrote:
Customer service recovery is going to be a bigger issue. Spirit is a mish-mash of lowest bidders doing their ground handling everywhere but FLL. To make things interesting, there is still Spirit managers in those locations. Frequently they overrule their contractors in order to save a buck. Spirit managers will have to learn a new way of doing business. Spirit might be better off coming up with a common IROP and customer service training plan for their vendors. The Spirit managers left in those cities could be gotten rid of in favor of a more consistent product. I'm not sure Spirit will want to spend than kind of money on customer service training.


Why do you think they don't have a common plan with common training for their vendors? As far as I know, all airlines that outsource have to give all vendors the same training. They can't not train them.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 3882
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:42 pm

toltommy wrote:
MesaFlyGuy wrote:
I didn't realize Spirit was having a huge problem with ontime flights. Do you have any source or any proof that "most of their flights" are not ontime?


"Most" is a bit of a stretch, I agree. But according to the most recent DOT stats, you've got a 1 in 4 chance of being delayed. Smarter scheduling has already been promised to help reduce that issue.

http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/dot068_16

Customer service recovery is going to be a bigger issue. Spirit is a mish-mash of lowest bidders doing their ground handling everywhere but FLL. To make things interesting, there is still Spirit managers in those locations. Frequently they overrule their contractors in order to save a buck. Spirit managers will have to learn a new way of doing business. Spirit might be better off coming up with a common IROP and customer service training plan for their vendors. The Spirit managers left in those cities could be gotten rid of in favor of a more consistent product. I'm not sure Spirit will want to spend than kind of money on customer service training.


What do you mean by overrule? The contractors do what NK tells them to do, so I don't see what would need to be overruled...
 
MaxxFlyer
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:29 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:02 am

MesaFlyGuy wrote:
AWACSooner wrote:
They're not LIKE FR, they're far, far WORSE...FR doesn't charge for carry-ons and actually flies most of their flights on-time.

I didn't realize Spirit was having a huge problem with ontime flights. Do you have any source or any proof that "most of their flights" are not ontime?


Here's a link for April 2016, seems to be the latest month I can find, but ATW Magazine shows Spirit always or near the bottom of on-time flights. Not only last in on time, , but NK fares worst in cancelled flights.

http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/dot068_16
 
n7371f
Posts: 1850
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:13 am

They can start with their white trash yellow, black & pencil image. Tells you how much Baldanza was in love with himself & what he thought he had developed to select a taxi-cab livery.
 
jeffh747
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:55 am

I like Spirit a lot. They're really transparent as far as the fees are concerned and are often much cheaper than the full service carriers. I only buy the emergency exit row, because my long legs can't fit in their standard 28" pitch, so in most cases I'm still saving myself $25-$40 each way. Even the major carriers are threatened by them and are making moves to unbundle their fares. The real kicker is when I have family traveling with bags, then the savings are negated and it's best to go with another carrier. I would like to see them improve their customer service image and their ontime percentages as those are their two most crucial flaws. Hopefully they don't do away with the hilarious emails though.
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dabpit
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:58 pm

n7371f wrote:
They can start with their white trash yellow, black & pencil image. Tells you how much Baldanza was in love with himself & what he thought he had developed to select a taxi-cab livery.


It is a fitting image for Spirit, it is bold and it is refreshing to see one of their yellow planes.
Carpe Diem
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18243
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:23 pm

dabpit wrote:
n7371f wrote:
They can start with their white trash yellow, black & pencil image. Tells you how much Baldanza was in love with himself & what he thought he had developed to select a taxi-cab livery.


It is a fitting image for Spirit, it is bold and it is refreshing to see one of their yellow planes.

The brand is perfect--it totally fits NK's model: bold, cheap, and consistent. The previous one was terrible, lazy, unprofessional, and all over the place.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
PMUA787
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:35 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:51 pm

MaverickM11 wrote:
dabpit wrote:
n7371f wrote:
They can start with their white trash yellow, black & pencil image. Tells you how much Baldanza was in love with himself & what he thought he had developed to select a taxi-cab livery.


It is a fitting image for Spirit, it is bold and it is refreshing to see one of their yellow planes.

The brand is perfect--it totally fits NK's model: bold, cheap, and consistent. The previous one was terrible, lazy, unprofessional, and all over the place.


The previous livery looked like it could have graced the packaging of a toilet bowl cleaner.

One good reason why I have never considered NK along with all of the above mentioned reasons was they didnt participate in the TSA PreCheck program. I thought I saw something that they will be participating soon?
 
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dabpit
Posts: 849
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 10:19 am

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:51 pm

MaverickM11 wrote:
The brand is perfect--it totally fits NK's model: bold, cheap, and consistent. The previous one was terrible, lazy, unprofessional, and all over the place.

PMUA787 wrote:
The previous livery looked like it could have graced the packaging of a toilet bowl cleaner.

Right on point.
PMUA787 wrote:
One good reason why I have never considered NK along with all of the above mentioned reasons was they didnt participate in the TSA PreCheck program. I thought I saw something that they will be participating soon?

That is the same reason I don't fly them more. I believe this fall or beginning of 2017. Both F9 and NK will be in precheck.
Carpe Diem
 
tjh8402
Posts: 957
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:20 am

Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:01 pm

PMUA787 wrote:
MaverickM11 wrote:
dabpit wrote:

One good reason why I have never considered NK along with all of the above mentioned reasons was they didnt participate in the TSA PreCheck program. I thought I saw something that they will be participating soon?


Yes there was a report that said that NK and F9 will be joining precheck by the end of the year.
 
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flymco753
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Re: Spirit Airlines to improve its image and customer service

Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:44 pm

Spirit has a very strong customer base in Detroit, and with the new mx hangar, the airline is interested in expanding in Detroit. I personally use the MCO-DTW route often and have noticed a significant change in their customer service. It'll get there and I know that under the right leadership the airline will get better.
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