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FlyPNS1
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:46 pm

MAH4546 wrote:
Looks like NK adding intra-Florida service from Pensacola on November 17th. Daily each to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.


This one surprised me. Silver flies PNS-MCO and F9 just announced PNS-MCO, so it's going to be a crowded market.

I think PNS-FLL is probably the better bet for NK. Though daily is going to be a lot of capacity...even with some connecting flows.
 
xdlx
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:56 pm

Come on folks!
NK has an operational meltdown and there is nothing on this thread about that.

If you operate under mandate to change your uniform in / out of work “for your personal safety”.
And agents do not go out to handle the clusterf$&k they created, when will they learn to improve?

Asking for a few friends …. That work at NK
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 4717
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:57 pm

stlAV8R wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
I think SJU pax are particularly in a bad spot because there is no option other than flying. At least on the mainland you can rent a car (if you can find one) and drive home but not on the island.

I think this NK meltdown further illustrates my contention that ULCC's often fly around passengers that should have never left home. If you have no emergency funds, taking a trip to a place where you have no support system is a bad idea but everyone wants to be Instagram fabulous.

I'm not sure if you've ever worked for an airline, but if you have, you'll quickly realize that most people (who buy their own tickets) fly around with no extra cash.

My experience tells me that the reason this is such a big mess is because Spirit doesn't fly around passengers who can call their company or company's travel agency partner to rebook them (a decent amount of passengers on major carriers), or fly passengers who have "status" or an airline branded card with a dedicated team of agents (another decent chunk of the passengers on a flight at a major carrier) to assist them. When I was an agent at a major carrier and a flight delayed significantly or canceled, at least a 3rd of the passengers would disappear from the boarding area and from the flight within minutes. They didn't need me for assistance and they weren't worried about the costs associated with traveling because they weren't paying. Also, some just didn't go because it no longer made sense. At Spirit, everyone on that plane needs Spirit for assistance.

Honestly, however, the bigger picture here is that it's evident that Spirit has no internal plan for service recovery. This is the problem of ULCCs. They're fine when everything goes great, but add hiccups like these and, as part of your airline's strategy, you don't focus on service recovery, this is what you get. Airlines get it right when they proactively cancel, position planes and crews in advance, and have constant and meaningful communication with their teams and customers. None of this appeared to happen so now they can't keep up with what's happening and, IMO, if they don't stop and reset soon, it's going to get worse.


I have worked for an airline and I would disagree to an extent. The leisure pax I see on NK and F9 seem to be much lower income than the legacies or even G4 and SY. The leisure passengers on the majors will be upset about a cancellation/overnight delay - they will grumble but go ahead and get a hotel and move in with life. To many NK and F9 pax it is a full on crisis due to their lack of financial resources and they will sleep in the airport for days. I'll never forget the day an NK pax was trying to get arrested at MSP because he spent all his money in LAS and though the police would give him a ride home. He was very mistaken.
 
xdlx
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 7:01 pm

Maybe the FAA NEEDS to consider if NK can accept more airplanes, before they can be allowed to continue this madness
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 4717
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 7:02 pm

xdlx wrote:
Come on folks!
NK has an operational meltdown and there is nothing on this thread about that.

If you operate under mandate to change your uniform in / out of work “for your personal safety”.
And agents do not go out to handle the clusterf$&k they created, when will they learn to improve?

Asking for a few friends …. That work at NK


I don't really blame the agents. They work for a contractor and no $8/hour job is worth the verbal abuse and assaults they were dealing with. It is unfortunate that the unhinged passengers made an already bad situation even worse for everyone.
 
santi319
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 7:14 pm

ScottB wrote:
ABEguy wrote:
I’ve always wondered about routes that are served once or twice per week. What happens when that flight cancels? It’s not like you’re getting rolled over to the next one. You’re potentially stuck for days or another week unless you find an alternative way out. This isn’t specific to NK of course, others airlines have infrequent service to some destinations as well. Just thinking of how terrible this must be for those folks.


There was an infamous example of this on SY at SJD back in 2018. SY only served SJD seasonally, and they cancelled the last MSP-SJD-MSP round-trip of the season due to a snowstorm at MSP. So their passengers were stuck at SJD and the airline basically told them they were on their own since those were the last flights of the year.


The sad thing is, that this meltdown at NK is more widespread and all over every news outlet. This only means a knee jerk reaction from the Government and a new (much needed) set of rules will probably be set in motion, just like what happened at the tarmac on B6 back in the day, that ended up becomming a rule for food and water after 2 hours etc..

So here we are once again, you tried to save a penny and end up paying much more… its always the same.
 
DLASFlyer
Posts: 459
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 7:28 pm

Spirit has canceled 53 percent of its flights today and the day is only 60 percent over.
 
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OA412
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 7:51 pm

A reminder to please keep politics out of the discussion.
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 10:30 pm

So, boiled down to essentials, what exactly happened? What was/continues to be the issue?
 
ScottB
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:12 pm

DLASFlyer wrote:
Spirit has canceled 53 percent of its flights today and the day is only 60 percent over.


As of 7 PM EDT, that appears to be up to 59% of today's flights.
 
stlAV8R
Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:23 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:02 am

usflyer msp wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
I think SJU pax are particularly in a bad spot because there is no option other than flying. At least on the mainland you can rent a car (if you can find one) and drive home but not on the island.

I think this NK meltdown further illustrates my contention that ULCC's often fly around passengers that should have never left home. If you have no emergency funds, taking a trip to a place where you have no support system is a bad idea but everyone wants to be Instagram fabulous.

I'm not sure if you've ever worked for an airline, but if you have, you'll quickly realize that most people (who buy their own tickets) fly around with no extra cash.

My experience tells me that the reason this is such a big mess is because Spirit doesn't fly around passengers who can call their company or company's travel agency partner to rebook them (a decent amount of passengers on major carriers), or fly passengers who have "status" or an airline branded card with a dedicated team of agents (another decent chunk of the passengers on a flight at a major carrier) to assist them. When I was an agent at a major carrier and a flight delayed significantly or canceled, at least a 3rd of the passengers would disappear from the boarding area and from the flight within minutes. They didn't need me for assistance and they weren't worried about the costs associated with traveling because they weren't paying. Also, some just didn't go because it no longer made sense. At Spirit, everyone on that plane needs Spirit for assistance.

Honestly, however, the bigger picture here is that it's evident that Spirit has no internal plan for service recovery. This is the problem of ULCCs. They're fine when everything goes great, but add hiccups like these and, as part of your airline's strategy, you don't focus on service recovery, this is what you get. Airlines get it right when they proactively cancel, position planes and crews in advance, and have constant and meaningful communication with their teams and customers. None of this appeared to happen so now they can't keep up with what's happening and, IMO, if they don't stop and reset soon, it's going to get worse.


I have worked for an airline and I would disagree to an extent. The leisure pax I see on NK and F9 seem to be much lower income than the legacies or even G4 and SY. The leisure passengers on the majors will be upset about a cancellation/overnight delay - they will grumble but go ahead and get a hotel and move in with life. To many NK and F9 pax it is a full on crisis due to their lack of financial resources and they will sleep in the airport for days. I'll never forget the day an NK pax was trying to get arrested at MSP because he spent all his money in LAS and though the police would give him a ride home. He was very mistaken.

I have handed out enough blankets to my "legacy" passengers to know they also sleep in the airport when the airline isn't paying for the hotel. The passengers are the same. The only difference is there isn't as much of a mix of passengers like you find on legacies. I only emphasise this because this problem of airlines stranding passengers is exasperated at ULCCs. They're sleeping in the airport for days with a ULCC because they're most likely not operating the routing daily. Airlines should be mandated to participate in interline agreements then penalized for excessive use to make it fair. We shouldn't blame or exclude passengers from flying for not having excess disposable income. Besides, without these "poor" passengers, the network of flights we're afforded wouldn't exist.
 
stlAV8R
Posts: 162
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:06 am

santi319 wrote:
ScottB wrote:
ABEguy wrote:
I’ve always wondered about routes that are served once or twice per week. What happens when that flight cancels? It’s not like you’re getting rolled over to the next one. You’re potentially stuck for days or another week unless you find an alternative way out. This isn’t specific to NK of course, others airlines have infrequent service to some destinations as well. Just thinking of how terrible this must be for those folks.


There was an infamous example of this on SY at SJD back in 2018. SY only served SJD seasonally, and they cancelled the last MSP-SJD-MSP round-trip of the season due to a snowstorm at MSP. So their passengers were stuck at SJD and the airline basically told them they were on their own since those were the last flights of the year.


The sad thing is, that this meltdown at NK is more widespread and all over every news outlet. This only means a knee jerk reaction from the Government and a new (much needed) set of rules will probably be set in motion, just like what happened at the tarmac on B6 back in the day, that ended up becomming a rule for food and water after 2 hours etc..

So here we are once again, you tried to save a penny and end up paying much more… its always the same.

This is why, IMO, you keep hearing the weather mentioned. They don't want any more rules to change. Read their contract of carriage. It starts off with all the ways they can deny you service then a little bit of what the law says they have to do and more of what they don't. It reads like "It's your fault for choosing us. Good luck."
 
stlAV8R
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:20 am

GSPSPOT wrote:
So, boiled down to essentials, what exactly happened? What was/continues to be the issue?

My guess is that thunderstorms started the issue. They're hard to predict when and how bad they'll actually strike but they failed to plan ahead and tried to fly their schedule. I would guess that it's because COVID staffing issues are precluding them from having enough crews on standby for IROPS. Then, add in that the airline is rapidly expanding and because their fleet is fairly new, they fly the planes A LOT and without spares. So, no extra plane + no standby crews mean you can't "skip ahead" so-to-speak and continue operating flights past where the trouble is.

Now, things are piling up. Legacies, for example, can "upgage" to basically make two flights one when flights cancel or spread the inconvenienced passengers over several flights when re-accommodating passengers in extreme cases. This isn't an option at Spirit. Also, because they're not hub-and-spoke with several hubs, they can't just route most passengers through a different hub like AA for example when DFW has a meltdown. That's why you don't hear as much about their cancellations even though they are canceling just as many flights. Their passengers have options (even though they try hard to emulate a ULCC). Finally, their staff is largely outsourced with limited options for assisting passengers. To keep ULCC costs in check, you have to scale back options including investing in technology - something UA has done a fantastic job IMO as of late. To be a ULCC is complicated.
 
Italianflyer
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:21 am

This painful it would be to NK's bottom line I think the only way forward is to do a system "reset" ASAP. Repo empty planes back into position, give 24 hours for crew 24/7 legalities to reset and deal with line maintenance that can't be resolved by slapping an MEL sticker on it.

The near-term customer goodwill is already in the tank. At this point it seems to be a metric of short and long-term dollars and cents to me. Armchair COO rant over lol..
 
santi319
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:31 am

stlAV8R wrote:
Finally, their staff is largely outsourced with limited options for assisting passengers.


The problem was never the crews, its always the ground. Why would you work OUTSOURCED, for minimum wage, barely any benefits (part time with mandatory overtime anyone?) when, in case you haven’t notice, the US is flooded with job openings, why would you take verbal abuse from a crazy passenger for a company you don’t even actually work for? Better to leave and find one of the tens of thousands of jobs available around? This was just Spirit’s luck, but everyone that outsources and pays trash is potentially in the same boat, its logical.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 4717
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:35 am

santi319 wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
Finally, their staff is largely outsourced with limited options for assisting passengers.


The problem was never the crews, its always the ground. Why would you work OUTSOURCED, for minimum wage, barely any benefits (part time with mandatory overtime anyone?) when, in case you haven’t notice, the US is flooded with job openings, why would you take verbal abuse from a crazy passenger for a company you don’t even actually work for? Better to leave and find one of the tens of thousands of jobs available around? This was just Spirit’s luck, but everyone that outsources and pays trash is potentially in the same boat, its logical.


...and in the case of SJU they are bilingual and able to get a security clearance. Lots of higher paying, less stressful jobs available for these agents.
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:40 am

I was beginning to think that NK had a good thing going. Maybe just a house of cards?
 
santi319
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:42 am

usflyer msp wrote:
santi319 wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
Finally, their staff is largely outsourced with limited options for assisting passengers.


The problem was never the crews, its always the ground. Why would you work OUTSOURCED, for minimum wage, barely any benefits (part time with mandatory overtime anyone?) when, in case you haven’t notice, the US is flooded with job openings, why would you take verbal abuse from a crazy passenger for a company you don’t even actually work for? Better to leave and find one of the tens of thousands of jobs available around? This was just Spirit’s luck, but everyone that outsources and pays trash is potentially in the same boat, its logical.


...and in the case of SJU they are bilingual and able to get a security clearance. Lots of higher paying, less stressful jobs available for these agents.


Bingo, side subject, but brings some context: the situation in Puerto Rico in general at the moment is that the kind of tourist the island is receiving isnt exactly the most desirable one, for a while the locals have complained how the tourists have been behaving since covid tourism started. I absolutely believe they would start a riot and try to hurt employees (that ironically do not even work for the airline).
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:47 am

Outsourcing seems to just be a big shell game. Corporations of all stripes need to be up front with both employees and customers. There MUST be accountability. Enact interline agreements. And pay simply *must* reflect the amount of abuse heaped upon front-line workers. If prices creep up a dollar or two (or five) per ticket, then so be it.
 
blacksoviet
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:58 am

Why does Delta refuse to allow Spirit flights from Fort Lauderdale to arrive at LaGuardia Terminal C?
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:02 am

blacksoviet wrote:
Why does Delta refuse to allow Spirit flights from Fort Lauderdale to arrive at LaGuardia Terminal C?


DL isn't "refusing" anything. It's the PANYNJ playing operational musical chairs with the airlines while the terminal reconstruction occurs.
 
Av8rDAL
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:37 pm

With all of the discussion about low-wage contract workers and the like, you'd wonder how they can hire and retain the actual flight crews to even operate the flights. Really, how much are the pilots and F/As being paid to fly for an ULCC that is an operational house of cards whenever IRROPs related to weather or other issues occur? The meltdowns and long recovery periods must really wear them down too.

If I held a type rating for A320 family of aircraft, I wouldn't be working for NK, F9 etc. when you can pretty much write your own ticket to a career at a legacy carrier that is better run, more appreciated by its customers, and seemingly more able to recover from IRROPs. Is it seen as a stepping stone for newly-minted A319/20/21 pilots waiting for an opening at a legacy carrier?
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:55 pm

Av8rDAL wrote:
With all of the discussion about low-wage contract workers and the like, you'd wonder how they can hire and retain the actual flight crews to even operate the flights. Really, how much are the pilots and F/As being paid to fly for an ULCC that is an operational house of cards whenever IRROPs related to weather or other issues occur? The meltdowns and long recovery periods must really wear them down too.

If I held a type rating for A320 family of aircraft, I wouldn't be working for NK, F9 etc. when you can pretty much write your own ticket to a career at a legacy carrier that is better run, more appreciated by its customers, and seemingly more able to recover from IRROPs. Is it seen as a stepping stone for newly-minted A319/20/21 pilots waiting for an opening at a legacy carrier?


NK's pilot pay scale is pretty industry standard. They can't cheap out there or else they will be unable to attract staff.
 
JoseSalazar
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:37 pm

Av8rDAL wrote:
With all of the discussion about low-wage contract workers and the like, you'd wonder how they can hire and retain the actual flight crews to even operate the flights. Really, how much are the pilots and F/As being paid to fly for an ULCC that is an operational house of cards whenever IRROPs related to weather or other issues occur? The meltdowns and long recovery periods must really wear them down too.

If I held a type rating for A320 family of aircraft, I wouldn't be working for NK, F9 etc. when you can pretty much write your own ticket to a career at a legacy carrier that is better run, more appreciated by its customers, and seemingly more able to recover from IRROPs. Is it seen as a stepping stone for newly-minted A319/20/21 pilots waiting for an opening at a legacy carrier?

A320 type doesn’t mean much as far as legacy airline apps. It’s not required and would be at best a few points on a legacy application score. Lots of people jumped to NK/F9 from regionals with no degree and very minimal flight time. Not all fit that category, but a decent amount do. They have a quick upgrade and okay pay and benefits and a lot want to stay. Their attrition isn’t that high. But with no degree those guys who may want to leave can’t. That said, one of my F9 friends just went to UAL, another is trying to go to UAL or B6, and another is trying to go to WN. Another friend left NK for AA during newhire training right before covid. But overall, the majority of my friends at those two airlines are convinced their ultra low cost structure and casm, along with large/fast growth, will lead them to great careers and ultimately will get very senior at eventually large airlines (that or they are justifying their decisions to go there knowing they can’t really go to a legacy or FedEx with no degree). They equate it to being in at WN in the early days. So, they drank the koolaid or really believe ULCC is the future. One of my above mentioned friends repeated that mantra constantly to me until he went to UAL. Now he sees how bad it was in comparison at f9. Anyway, that’s just an anecdotal story about what some guys in the shoes you mentioned are thinking/doing.
 
JoseSalazar
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:52 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
Av8rDAL wrote:
With all of the discussion about low-wage contract workers and the like, you'd wonder how they can hire and retain the actual flight crews to even operate the flights. Really, how much are the pilots and F/As being paid to fly for an ULCC that is an operational house of cards whenever IRROPs related to weather or other issues occur? The meltdowns and long recovery periods must really wear them down too.

If I held a type rating for A320 family of aircraft, I wouldn't be working for NK, F9 etc. when you can pretty much write your own ticket to a career at a legacy carrier that is better run, more appreciated by its customers, and seemingly more able to recover from IRROPs. Is it seen as a stepping stone for newly-minted A319/20/21 pilots waiting for an opening at a legacy carrier?


NK's pilot pay scale is pretty industry standard. They can't cheap out there or else they will be unable to attract staff.


I wouldn’t call it industry standard. It’s still industry trailing, but better than it used to be. There are some other perks to their contract (scheduling flexibility), but even after the last raise in their CBA they are still far behind UA/DL/AA/WN/FDX/UPS/B6/AS, especially in the first 5-8 years of their pay scale.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:17 pm

JoseSalazar wrote:
I wouldn’t call it industry standard. It’s still industry trailing, but better than it used to be. There are some other perks to their contract (scheduling flexibility), but even after the last raise in their CBA they are still far behind UA/DL/AA/WN/FDX/UPS/B6/AS, especially in the first 5-8 years of their pay scale.


People forget that Spirit's pilot contract is only its fourth. There is lots of soft time in the contract, and they were pretty aggressively looking at matching B6 NB rates and keeping the soft time and scheduling benefits that are basically better than or equal to anyone well.

The reality is the FDX and UPS guys have all sorts of benefits and pay above say even the big 3, so its kind of unfair to compare like with like.

Now, NK 1-3 year pay is terrible, as is the new hire pay. But, to put in perspective, Atlas new hire/training pay and benefits is better than FDX. However, it goes without saying no one is leaving FDX for Atlas. Plenty of Atlas guys in Spirit classes, though. As is well known, AS scope clause is absolute garbage.
 
CMHARJ
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:11 pm

santi319 wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
Finally, their staff is largely outsourced with limited options for assisting passengers.


The problem was never the crews, its always the ground. Why would you work OUTSOURCED, for minimum wage, barely any benefits (part time with mandatory overtime anyone?) when, in case you haven’t notice, the US is flooded with job openings, why would you take verbal abuse from a crazy passenger for a company you don’t even actually work for? Better to leave and find one of the tens of thousands of jobs available around? This was just Spirit’s luck, but everyone that outsources and pays trash is potentially in the same boat, its logical.


Is FLL the only station that has legit Spirit employees working above and below wing? I still can't understand why someone would want to work for a contract/outsourcing company. The pay is pathetic. Majority of the workers are part-time, but yet may be forced to work over 40 hours with no health/flight benefits. What incentive is there to stay, especially when crap hits the fan and customers now are even now verbally/physically abusive than before.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:38 pm

CMHARJ wrote:
santi319 wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
Finally, their staff is largely outsourced with limited options for assisting passengers.


The problem was never the crews, its always the ground. Why would you work OUTSOURCED, for minimum wage, barely any benefits (part time with mandatory overtime anyone?) when, in case you haven’t notice, the US is flooded with job openings, why would you take verbal abuse from a crazy passenger for a company you don’t even actually work for? Better to leave and find one of the tens of thousands of jobs available around? This was just Spirit’s luck, but everyone that outsources and pays trash is potentially in the same boat, its logical.


Is FLL the only station that has legit Spirit employees working above and below wing? I still can't understand why someone would want to work for a contract/outsourcing company. The pay is pathetic. Majority of the workers are part-time, but yet may be forced to work over 40 hours with no health/flight benefits. What incentive is there to stay, especially when crap hits the fan and customers now are even now verbally/physically abusive than before.


F9 and G4 are actually worse. They have no inhouse ground staff anywhere - not even in their "hubs" like F9/DEN and G4/LAS.
 
santi319
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:38 am

CMHARJ wrote:
santi319 wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
Finally, their staff is largely outsourced with limited options for assisting passengers.


The problem was never the crews, its always the ground. Why would you work OUTSOURCED, for minimum wage, barely any benefits (part time with mandatory overtime anyone?) when, in case you haven’t notice, the US is flooded with job openings, why would you take verbal abuse from a crazy passenger for a company you don’t even actually work for? Better to leave and find one of the tens of thousands of jobs available around? This was just Spirit’s luck, but everyone that outsources and pays trash is potentially in the same boat, its logical.


Is FLL the only station that has legit Spirit employees working above and below wing? I still can't understand why someone would want to work for a contract/outsourcing company. The pay is pathetic. Majority of the workers are part-time, but yet may be forced to work over 40 hours with no health/flight benefits. What incentive is there to stay, especially when crap hits the fan and customers now are even now verbally/physically abusive than before.


You hit the spot! Even then, I don’t think NK pays that well so they may not attract that many Staff, specially nowadays.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Thu Aug 05, 2021 2:17 pm

CMHARJ wrote:
santi319 wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
Finally, their staff is largely outsourced with limited options for assisting passengers.


The problem was never the crews, its always the ground. Why would you work OUTSOURCED, for minimum wage, barely any benefits (part time with mandatory overtime anyone?) when, in case you haven’t notice, the US is flooded with job openings, why would you take verbal abuse from a crazy passenger for a company you don’t even actually work for? Better to leave and find one of the tens of thousands of jobs available around? This was just Spirit’s luck, but everyone that outsources and pays trash is potentially in the same boat, its logical.


Is FLL the only station that has legit Spirit employees working above and below wing? I still can't understand why someone would want to work for a contract/outsourcing company. The pay is pathetic. Majority of the workers are part-time, but yet may be forced to work over 40 hours with no health/flight benefits. What incentive is there to stay, especially when crap hits the fan and customers now are even now verbally/physically abusive than before.


Only FLL. Everyone else is outsourced.
 
CobaltScar
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Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Thu Aug 05, 2021 2:31 pm

Av8rDAL wrote:
With all of the discussion about low-wage contract workers and the like, you'd wonder how they can hire and retain the actual flight crews to even operate the flights. Really, how much are the pilots and F/As being paid to fly for an ULCC that is an operational house of cards whenever IRROPs related to weather or other issues occur? The meltdowns and long recovery periods must really wear them down too.

If I held a type rating for A320 family of aircraft, I wouldn't be working for NK, F9 etc. when you can pretty much write your own ticket to a career at a legacy carrier that is better run, more appreciated by its customers, and seemingly more able to recover from IRROPs. Is it seen as a stepping stone for newly-minted A319/20/21 pilots waiting for an opening at a legacy carrier?


On the FA side, NK pays better than all the regionals, Allegiant and Frontier and slightly less than B6. They also have a contract that gives them several advantages over other majors like not having to clean the airplane (which Frontier and jetBlue requires) and actually shorter duty days than B6. They also have to do far less active work on the aircraft since its all just sell on demand. This may come as a shock, but the FAs at Spirit have it better off than B6 in basically all aspects except a slight pay decrease.

NK is definitely not bottom of the barrel for the Pilots or the FAs.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Thu Aug 05, 2021 3:03 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
NK is definitely not bottom of the barrel for the Pilots or the FAs.


Better bases for sure at Spirit. I spoke with a Spirit F/A who had never been on Reserve (due to growth in her base.) At five years she was senior, was a therapist somewhere in SFLA and basically flew one trip a month for benefits.

B6 F/As are going to have an uphill climb as they negotiate their contract. Honestly, they deserve it after how B6 abused them to keep the system going.
 
dstblj52
Posts: 800
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:38 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:21 pm

ncflyer wrote:
I realize pax are SOL-- which is absolutely horrible-- especially on flights with less than daily frequency but is there any precedence of airlines flying them home for free to earn goodwill? I'm thinking about maybe airlines that went Chapter 7.

Yes but no ones going to do that for spirit passengers who are by definition lowest cost gets the ticket flyers
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 2151
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Thu Aug 05, 2021 8:07 pm

GSPSPOT wrote:
So, boiled down to essentials, what exactly happened? What was/continues to be the issue?

Having been in scheduling, and dealt with meltdowns before, I have an opinion….

Per the pilot forums and the Facebook groups, you could see signs of this building in the last few weeks.

Across the board employee shortages leading to delays and gate holds, for everything from caters to ramp, to gate, to hotel shuttle drivers and room cleaners. They butchered Headquarters last year and expected a much smaller staff to handle a much bigger summer load. At some point they realized how short they were, Spirit was advertising for schedulers just three weeks ago.

Now the bad summer thunderstorms come along, (Note these were just storms, NOT a tropical system yet.) Scheduling can’t handle the load because they are short staffed, and have brand spanking’ newbies with no experience, and no idea what they are in for. Delays start, it is taking longer to get issues resolved. Spirits contractors, dealing with angry pax, have no idea what is going on, because they can’t get through to scheduling or dispatch either. The phone system starts resetting because now it can’t handle the load.

Some of the newbies can’t handle it and stop showing up (Ask me how I know this) putting a further load on those who remain. After too much of this, they start calling out too. Phone waits for crew back up into hours, emails aren’t getting answered, and every ramp or hotel hotel issue just gets magnified even more. The crews have no idea of what any recovery plan might be, because no one is communicating anything.

Finally, facing angry mobs with no answers, the front-line contract staff finally says getting beaten by passengers isn’t worth $9 an hour, and walk off the job, first in SJU, and then other places as they hear about it.

Meltdown gets worse…. Now HQ has no idea of what it can and cannot run, at the very last minute, aggravating things even worse.

Other people who have dealt with this feel free to chime in, but I lay this one squarely at the feet of HQ and management. They knew they were short-handed across the board, and still tried to run a max schedule anyway. It’s not IT, it’s not weather, it’s a MANAGEMENT ISSUE , that was only aggravated by those things.
 
johnconquest
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:27 am

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:28 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
GSPSPOT wrote:
So, boiled down to essentials, what exactly happened? What was/continues to be the issue?

Having been in scheduling, and dealt with meltdowns before, I have an opinion….

Per the pilot forums and the Facebook groups, you could see signs of this building in the last few weeks.

Across the board employee shortages leading to delays and gate holds, for everything from caters to ramp, to gate, to hotel shuttle drivers and room cleaners. They butchered Headquarters last year and expected a much smaller staff to handle a much bigger summer load. At some point they realized how short they were, Spirit was advertising for schedulers just three weeks ago.

Now the bad summer thunderstorms come along, (Note these were just storms, NOT a tropical system yet.) Scheduling can’t handle the load because they are short staffed, and have brand spanking’ newbies with no experience, and no idea what they are in for. Delays start, it is taking longer to get issues resolved. Spirits contractors, dealing with angry pax, have no idea what is going on, because they can’t get through to scheduling or dispatch either. The phone system starts resetting because now it can’t handle the load.

Some of the newbies can’t handle it and stop showing up (Ask me how I know this) putting a further load on those who remain. After too much of this, they start calling out too. Phone waits for crew back up into hours, emails aren’t getting answered, and every ramp or hotel hotel issue just gets magnified even more. The crews have no idea of what any recovery plan might be, because no one is communicating anything.

Finally, facing angry mobs with no answers, the front-line contract staff finally says getting beaten by passengers isn’t worth $9 an hour, and walk off the job, first in SJU, and then other places as they hear about it.

Meltdown gets worse…. Now HQ has no idea of what it can and cannot run, at the very last minute, aggravating things even worse.

Other people who have dealt with this feel free to chime in, but I lay this one squarely at the feet of HQ and management. They knew they were short-handed across the board, and still tried to run a max schedule anyway. It’s not IT, it’s not weather, it’s a MANAGEMENT ISSUE , that was only aggravated by those things.


Very well said, it was a mishmash of issues that all cumulated to the events we see this week, but the management issue/lack of preparedness was key to it.
 
User avatar
OA412
Moderator
Posts: 4978
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2000 6:22 am

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:20 pm

Please keep this thread on topic.
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1689
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:02 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
GSPSPOT wrote:
So, boiled down to essentials, what exactly happened? What was/continues to be the issue?

Having been in scheduling, and dealt with meltdowns before, I have an opinion….

Per the pilot forums and the Facebook groups, you could see signs of this building in the last few weeks.

Across the board employee shortages leading to delays and gate holds, for everything from caters to ramp, to gate, to hotel shuttle drivers and room cleaners. They butchered Headquarters last year and expected a much smaller staff to handle a much bigger summer load. At some point they realized how short they were, Spirit was advertising for schedulers just three weeks ago.

Now the bad summer thunderstorms come along, (Note these were just storms, NOT a tropical system yet.) Scheduling can’t handle the load because they are short staffed, and have brand spanking’ newbies with no experience, and no idea what they are in for. Delays start, it is taking longer to get issues resolved. Spirits contractors, dealing with angry pax, have no idea what is going on, because they can’t get through to scheduling or dispatch either. The phone system starts resetting because now it can’t handle the load.

Some of the newbies can’t handle it and stop showing up (Ask me how I know this) putting a further load on those who remain. After too much of this, they start calling out too. Phone waits for crew back up into hours, emails aren’t getting answered, and every ramp or hotel hotel issue just gets magnified even more. The crews have no idea of what any recovery plan might be, because no one is communicating anything.

Finally, facing angry mobs with no answers, the front-line contract staff finally says getting beaten by passengers isn’t worth $9 an hour, and walk off the job, first in SJU, and then other places as they hear about it.

Meltdown gets worse…. Now HQ has no idea of what it can and cannot run, at the very last minute, aggravating things even worse.

Other people who have dealt with this feel free to chime in, but I lay this one squarely at the feet of HQ and management. They knew they were short-handed across the board, and still tried to run a max schedule anyway. It’s not IT, it’s not weather, it’s a MANAGEMENT ISSUE , that was only aggravated by those things.


At my last airline, they trained all of the inflight supervisors and instructors as to how to make notifications, so when the crap hit the fan, scheduling could focus on logistics and incoming phone calls. We would work on the outbound phone calls to notify crews of changes/assignments. Wonder if they're doing anything like that. Scheduling always said it really helped speed up clearing of the queue.
 
CMHARJ
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:28 am

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:17 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
CMHARJ wrote:
santi319 wrote:

The problem was never the crews, its always the ground. Why would you work OUTSOURCED, for minimum wage, barely any benefits (part time with mandatory overtime anyone?) when, in case you haven’t notice, the US is flooded with job openings, why would you take verbal abuse from a crazy passenger for a company you don’t even actually work for? Better to leave and find one of the tens of thousands of jobs available around? This was just Spirit’s luck, but everyone that outsources and pays trash is potentially in the same boat, its logical.


Is FLL the only station that has legit Spirit employees working above and below wing? I still can't understand why someone would want to work for a contract/outsourcing company. The pay is pathetic. Majority of the workers are part-time, but yet may be forced to work over 40 hours with no health/flight benefits. What incentive is there to stay, especially when crap hits the fan and customers now are even now verbally/physically abusive than before.


F9 and G4 are actually worse. They have no inhouse ground staff anywhere - not even in their "hubs" like F9/DEN and G4/LAS.


F9 and G4 even outsource at their hubs in DEN and LAS? That is pathetic and nothing but corporate greed.
 
KlimaBXsst
Posts: 1071
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:14 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:59 pm

Is this meltdown serious enough to make Spirit a hostile takeover candidate or prompt the board of directors to an upper management executive change?
 
airplaneboy
Posts: 874
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 11:59 am

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:35 pm

I’m curious if this meltdown will prompt Spirit to insource their own ramp/customer service/ops people.
 
dstblj52
Posts: 800
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:38 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:20 pm

airplaneboy wrote:
I’m curious if this meltdown will prompt Spirit to insource their own ramp/customer service/ops people.

doubt it they might start their own outsourcing company but they wont want to bring it fully in house because unions
 
KlimaBXsst
Posts: 1071
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:14 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Sat Aug 07, 2021 6:55 pm

At this epic juncture of NK’s history, the best thing NK can do is to run a slow,

deliberate, methodical, SAFE operation towards a recovery, however long that timeline may be.

This is paramount at this time.
 
santi319
Posts: 1389
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:24 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:41 am

[twoid][/twoid]
KlimaBXsst wrote:
At this epic juncture of NK’s history, the best thing NK can do is to run a slow,

deliberate, methodical, SAFE operation towards a recovery, however long that timeline may be.

This is paramount at this time.


Nah they have had several of these meltdowns, even 2015 it was as bad. This is just like this because of Social Media frenzy and violent passengers…

I’m pretty sure the annual meltdowns are accounted for in their budgets..
 
User avatar
stl07
Posts: 3195
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 8:57 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Sun Aug 08, 2021 1:10 am

santi319 wrote:
[twoid][/twoid]
KlimaBXsst wrote:
At this epic juncture of NK’s history, the best thing NK can do is to run a slow,

deliberate, methodical, SAFE operation towards a recovery, however long that timeline may be.

This is paramount at this time.


Nah they have had several of these meltdowns, even 2015 it was as bad. This is just like this because of Social Media frenzy and violent passengers…

I’m pretty sure the annual meltdowns are accounted for in their budgets..

B6 had a crazy one as well maybe 10 years ago or so
 
JoseSalazar
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:18 am

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:20 am

stl07 wrote:
santi319 wrote:
[twoid][/twoid]
KlimaBXsst wrote:
At this epic juncture of NK’s history, the best thing NK can do is to run a slow,

deliberate, methodical, SAFE operation towards a recovery, however long that timeline may be.

This is paramount at this time.


Nah they have had several of these meltdowns, even 2015 it was as bad. This is just like this because of Social Media frenzy and violent passengers…

I’m pretty sure the annual meltdowns are accounted for in their budgets..

B6 had a crazy one as well maybe 10 years ago or so

Feb 2007.
 
ASFlyer
Posts: 1991
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Sun Aug 08, 2021 4:54 am

stlAV8R wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
I'm not sure if you've ever worked for an airline, but if you have, you'll quickly realize that most people (who buy their own tickets) fly around with no extra cash.

My experience tells me that the reason this is such a big mess is because Spirit doesn't fly around passengers who can call their company or company's travel agency partner to rebook them (a decent amount of passengers on major carriers), or fly passengers who have "status" or an airline branded card with a dedicated team of agents (another decent chunk of the passengers on a flight at a major carrier) to assist them. When I was an agent at a major carrier and a flight delayed significantly or canceled, at least a 3rd of the passengers would disappear from the boarding area and from the flight within minutes. They didn't need me for assistance and they weren't worried about the costs associated with traveling because they weren't paying. Also, some just didn't go because it no longer made sense. At Spirit, everyone on that plane needs Spirit for assistance.

Honestly, however, the bigger picture here is that it's evident that Spirit has no internal plan for service recovery. This is the problem of ULCCs. They're fine when everything goes great, but add hiccups like these and, as part of your airline's strategy, you don't focus on service recovery, this is what you get. Airlines get it right when they proactively cancel, position planes and crews in advance, and have constant and meaningful communication with their teams and customers. None of this appeared to happen so now they can't keep up with what's happening and, IMO, if they don't stop and reset soon, it's going to get worse.


I have worked for an airline and I would disagree to an extent. The leisure pax I see on NK and F9 seem to be much lower income than the legacies or even G4 and SY. The leisure passengers on the majors will be upset about a cancellation/overnight delay - they will grumble but go ahead and get a hotel and move in with life. To many NK and F9 pax it is a full on crisis due to their lack of financial resources and they will sleep in the airport for days. I'll never forget the day an NK pax was trying to get arrested at MSP because he spent all his money in LAS and though the police would give him a ride home. He was very mistaken.

We shouldn't blame or exclude passengers from flying for not having excess disposable income. Besides, without these "poor" passengers, the network of flights we're afforded wouldn't exist.


Flying isn't a "right", it's a privilege. You either have enough excess disposable income to do it or you don't. The ULCC's have created this idea that flying should be available to everyone. It's like everything else - you have the money to do it or you don't. If you don't then you find other ways to get places or other things to do for vacation.
 
stlAV8R
Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:23 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Sun Aug 08, 2021 5:24 am

ASFlyer wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:

I have worked for an airline and I would disagree to an extent. The leisure pax I see on NK and F9 seem to be much lower income than the legacies or even G4 and SY. The leisure passengers on the majors will be upset about a cancellation/overnight delay - they will grumble but go ahead and get a hotel and move in with life. To many NK and F9 pax it is a full on crisis due to their lack of financial resources and they will sleep in the airport for days. I'll never forget the day an NK pax was trying to get arrested at MSP because he spent all his money in LAS and though the police would give him a ride home. He was very mistaken.

We shouldn't blame or exclude passengers from flying for not having excess disposable income. Besides, without these "poor" passengers, the network of flights we're afforded wouldn't exist.


Flying isn't a "right", it's a privilege. You either have enough excess disposable income to do it or you don't. The ULCC's have created this idea that flying should be available to everyone. It's like everything else - you have the money to do it or you don't. If you don't then you find other ways to get places or other things to do for vacation.

Be that as it may, it doesn't give an airline carte blanche to place an undue financial burden on its passengers. If you hire a builder to build you a house and immediately upon move-in, your roof caves in, you would fully expect that the builder or roofer to make it right. You can't tell me you would say "oh well, good thing I have so much disposable income, I'll just forego my financial contribution into this roof and get a new one. I'll also cover the cost of the accommodations and other expenses I wasn't expecting to pay even at a premium. Owning a home is not a "right" either.
 
schweizair
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 4:54 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:16 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
Bad on-board and gate behavior isn't limited to ULCCs in the U.S.


LMAO, tell me about that. At one point, I thought the US had the absolute nastiest, most violent travelers around. I saw the TV show "Airline" with Southwest. Then I stumbled across an Australian version with the now defunct ULCC Tiger Airways. I saw one episode. Hoolllyyyy sheeeeeet! Them Ozzies can be pretty scary when they get bumped from a flight! I saw one or two episodes and was shocked to see in the suggested videos lineup that there was a BBC version with EasyJet! I watched a few...

Um...



Well...


Er, wowee! :wideeyed:
The VERY first video I clicked: a guy was trying to get from Luton to Glasgow and was enraged that he had missed the plane. They told him adamantly that he was supposed to be there 20 minutes ago. He just started howling and cussing so much that all I got was "beep beep beeep you beep beep beeeeeeeep!" He eventually stomped off after realizing they weren't going to let him on.
Then it got worse. How is that possible? Well, a whole group of enraged travelers missed their flight and one of them was pretty mad after hearing that they wouldn't be allowed on the plane. What did they do? They tried to fight their way past security! WTF is wrong with people?!
The airport security moved like lightning. They actually grabbed one guy by the collar of his coat and yanked him back to the other side of the metal detectors! :bigthumbsup:
They threw them out of the airport. But to my shock, they had the balls to show up the next day! I can't believe they didn't get at least two days in jail for that with at least a thousand Pound fine. That's outrageous that they didn't get punished.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 4717
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:53 am

stlAV8R wrote:
ASFlyer wrote:
stlAV8R wrote:
We shouldn't blame or exclude passengers from flying for not having excess disposable income. Besides, without these "poor" passengers, the network of flights we're afforded wouldn't exist.


Flying isn't a "right", it's a privilege. You either have enough excess disposable income to do it or you don't. The ULCC's have created this idea that flying should be available to everyone. It's like everything else - you have the money to do it or you don't. If you don't then you find other ways to get places or other things to do for vacation.

Be that as it may, it doesn't give an airline carte blanche to place an undue financial burden on its passengers. If you hire a builder to build you a house and immediately upon move-in, your roof caves in, you would fully expect that the builder or roofer to make it right. You can't tell me you would say "oh well, good thing I have so much disposable income, I'll just forego my financial contribution into this roof and get a new one. I'll also cover the cost of the accommodations and other expenses I wasn't expecting to pay even at a premium. Owning a home is not a "right" either.


I wouldn't say that is good analogy.
A builder is not going to rebuild your roof if a tornado comes through and rips it off or too much snow collects on the top off it during a blizzard and it collapses.
Sometimes crap happens and it is not anyone's fault but it is incumbent upon the ticket holder/home owner to be prepared for the possibility with reserve funds/insurance. It is part of adulting.
 
ChrisPBacon
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:14 pm

Re: Spirit Airlines Discussion Thread - 2021

Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:59 am

airplaneboy wrote:
I’m curious if this meltdown will prompt Spirit to insource their own ramp/customer service/ops people.


Unless you (or anyone) can show that this meltdown was caused by contractors, I'm guessing there is zero chance. NK outsourced everything except FLL after the union vote was taken. Not sure why they kept FLL and the union, but they did. Outsourcing isn't the problem. This isn't the first meltdown since the airline outsourced ground ops in early 2015. Outsourcing clearly works for NK.

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