Saturday, January 10, 2009

My nightmare with Spirit Airlines...

Since I have a personal audience: I would like to formally let all you readers out there know about a NIGHTMARE I had with an Airline called SPIRIT. This happened a while ago, but nothing was ever done by the company to rectify the situation, so I, in my own way- would like to spread the word about this airline. Just because I can.
The letter I wrote to them is below- and it describes the events which took place.
Seriously, this trip became a nightmare because of this airline who did absolutely nothing to help us!
READ below...
Anyone else have any trouble with them?

To Whom it May Concern,

I have just returned from a trip that I took with three friends to Lima, Peru in which your airline turned into a horrific experience.

I am not one to complain normally, (as a matter of fact, the night we arrived and people were becoming belligerent about their bags not arriving, my party and I were of the few that kept calm, and were reasonable to deal with). But as the week progressed and I saw the rest of the story play out, I increasingly became furious about how we were treated, what was done (or lack thereof) to remedy our situation, the abuse of customer trust, the fact that no one helped us, and the fact that ultimately, our baggage never arrived in time for us to utilize our personal belongings. And then there was the trip home... (another disaster).

In Lima,
We had very little time to shop to make up for the things we needed because our vacation was planned minute to minute, however we went up to the Lima airport 4 times during our stay to check on the baggage as we kept being told, "It will arrive tomorrow." The airport was an hour and a half drive from where we were staying, not to mention the fact that we had to pay for and arrange transportation each time. And we waited in the airport for 2 hours one night, only to be told our bags didn't make it... Each incident keeping us out until well past 1am each time- when we had to be at Conference meetings by 8 am each day.

We were there on very important business, where we were to not only be enjoying the city of Lima, but also to be meeting very important people such as Ambassadors, Senators, and Congresswomen. All of which we had to do inappropriately dressed- in clothing (jeans) we had worn all week long.

Coming from a totally different climate, we were also very cold during our stay, as our coats and sweaters were in our baggage- resulting in all of us becoming sick with sore throats, and chest congestion/coughs etc.

AND MORE IMPORTANTLY... one of our traveling partners, was the whole week without her medicine, which is the worst part! She has need of two types of daily medication. Neither of which she had the whole week. And became yet another area we had to make use of our vacation/trip time in dealing with.

I have never wanted to laugh so much as when dealing with this airline. I kept waiting for there to be a person saying "Smile, you're on candid camera." It was a joke from the time we arrived in Lima until the time we arrived home a day later than we should have, again, due to your airline's unprofessional operation.

We missed our connecting flight to Orlando because again, our bags did not come out of the luggage claim quick enough to make it through customs- So, on no sleep, we were informed that we would now have to spend 7 more hours there waiting for another flight. We pleaded with the people at the ticket counter to get us home on another airline, or even rent us a car so we could drive, which would get us home hours before our flight would even take off. My husband had to arrange babysitting for my child so he could get to work that day (another expense), was late to work due to this, and the other three of my traveling companions missed out on very imperative rest they needed on the only day off to catch up on sleep from a red-eye flight.
The "Customer Service Representatives" told us "No". When we asked "why not" we were only told "because we're not required to, by law." They had 24 hours to get us to where we were going... They handed us lunch vouchers and said "good luck, and I’m sorry."
What about human kindness, "the customer is always right", and/or customer trust and satisfaction? None of which exists in my experience with this airline.

While we were in line at the airport that morning (coming home) waiting to talk with someone- each person who went up to be "helped" had a complaint- missed connection, lost bags, kiosk not working, please help me, but no help being offered! Most treated with disrespect, and just plain bad attitudes.

I have names of people who dealt with us, managers who would not approve of resolving the situation, and even just rude personnel who stood around and discussed personal lives (including very offensive language such as the "F" and the "S" word in front of us.)
Then, when I asked them a question about my flight, one of them turned to me and RUDELY said "NO!" and gave me a look of disgust.

This honestly has been the absolute worst traveling experience, me and my companions have ever had! I intend on passing this information along to my husband who is a Travel Agent for Walt Disney World and a member of the ATA. And to our hostess in Lima who happens to own one of the largest travel agencies in the country.

Only once was something offered to us as retribution for our horrific experience- and that was by a nice, and helpful manager at the Fort Lauderdale ticket counter. And that was $150. voucher each, which we refused, because, quite honestly, at this point, we wouldn't trust another vacation to Spirit Airlines.

It really doesn't seem enough to make up for what cannot be replaced, a dream vacation/conference that was completely interrupted and monopolized by the issues we were having in dealing with Spirit.

I truly hope to hear back from someone with the authority to make right and/or offer amends that may begin to be equal to that which we feel was lost, in a timely manner.

Since I, personally, work in PR and Marketing, I do know the importance of a company having a good image- and right now, this company's image is far from good in my eyes and (what seems like) the majority of people I saw at the airport Monday morning in Fort Lauderdale. I know that this will have to change in order for Spirit Airlines to continue to provide a "service" of any kind- then the reputation will have to become one of just that, "service".



Anonymous said...

Who packs important medicine in their luggage!

Freedom Martinez said...

A young, inexperienced traveler: traveling abroad for the first time...