Ever since I began seeing my fiance, I became a frequent flyer. Between trips back and forth to Detroit and work-related trips elsewhere, I found myself in the air several times each month. I spread the love around - and take the flights that are most affordable. Yet nothing prepared me for my close encounter with Spirit Airlines today.
Bing Travel returned an alert that showed that Spirit had a very affordable flight back and forth to Detroit. Since I'll soon be in a commuter marriage, I jumped on the opportunity and went online at the Spirit Airline's site to book my flight. I quickly entered my information - perhaps TOO quickly - because at the end of the day, the flight that was advertised for $69 each way ended up costing me close to $300--and the dates I had plugged in somehow shifted. My return ticket was a full MONTH after I had planned to return. And I ended up with travel insurance - how the heck did that happen? The seats they encouraged me to book cost me $20 apiece. Huh?
Alarmed, I picked up the phone to correct the reservation. A customer service rep who had a thick Jamaican barely-understandable accent told me he could help me - for a change fee of $110.
I tried not to lose my breakfast - and told him that was unacceptable. He said, "sorry, that's the policy."
I pulled up Twitter and got ready to Tweet and told the fellow, "I want to speak to your supervisor - and I want you to know that I'm going to go on Twitter and tell the world about your ridiculous travel fees."
Showdown at Spirit Corral
The self-righteous customer-service machismo kicked in and he said he would be happy to connect me with his supervisor. But, he explained that the supervisor was busy and it may take a while. "I've got a speaker button on my phone. I'll wait," I told him. "I've got Twitter all fired up and ready to go."
It took about thirty seconds for the customer service guy to tell me that the supervisor had approved a refund of my errant ticket - and that I was welcome to go online to re-book the ticket on Spirit. I don't think I'll mess with the Spirit anymore. The bait, switch and hidden fees method of attracting customers is really distasteful. While no airline offers great service and excellent prices, I'm sticking to Delta, USAir and United. At least with these airlines, what you see is what you get.