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Old 11-13-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
PattiPB
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Afraid of Spirit Air!!! Experiences, please

Spirit Air is running a HUGE sale LAS-MCO for the dates we are looking to travel. If I change from my current SWA flights, the differences are as follows:

1. Giving up non-stops both ways for 1-stops
2. Giving up points on SWA, but will use credit later in 2013
3. Taking overnight from LAS-MCO on Spirit
4. Savings of over $200 total.

I have an (unnatural???) fear of Spirit Airlines, and am looking for experiences from previous customers. I have a TIGHT time frame for this trip and CAN'T AFFORD to have Spirit change my flights. What, in your opinion, is the likelihood that Spirit will make schedule changes on me??

TIA~
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #2
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Did you factor in the extra charges Spirit is notorious for? Checked bag, carry on bags, etc? Not to mention their customer service, or rather lack of customer service.

I would stick with SW. Money isn't always everything.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:02 PM   #3
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I won't fly Spirit again. First time there was a screw up with our departure to MCO from DTW; huge mess, poor customer service, arrived 12 hours after scheduled time. Shame on them.

Second time, problems returning from MCO to DTW. Shame on me.

There will be no third time. In your case, I definitely would not give up the nonstop flights for one stops. The free bags that SWA provides is great and I've never had any issues with their customer service. I usually fly Delta, but will also do SWA if the price differential is worth a drive to the DTW airport.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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The chance of Southwest changing your flight is near zero.

What happens if your first flight is delayed and you miss your connection? Are you connecting in FLL? Spirit has 2 flights a day. You'll be waiting 13 hours, assuming Spirit even has room on the next flight. Skip the connecting flight and rent a car? You run the risk of having your return flights cancelled.

Are you including the cost for assigned seats and luggage? I'm pretty sure Spirit charges per segment for reserved seats.

Will you be flying in one of their new configurations? Lowest ptich (28") of any domestic airline. Seats that don't recline.

I'm puzzled. You have a natural fear of Spirit Airlines. Why did you even bother looking?

What time of year are you traveling? I wouldn't book a flight which connects in Detroit.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick comments!

The difference of $200 is AFTER all of the add-on fees with Spirit. I love love luv my SWA, but the ability to pay almost half, AND "bank" my SWA credits keeps me looking and pondering....

I think I was hoping to see a huge DIS outpouring of happy Spirit people. Now I wonder if they even exist!?!?!?

Will drop it, but will keep looking at Spirit during the summer---when we teachers have more time to "waste" in airports than a quick adults-only weekend in December.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:37 PM   #7
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Add me to the list of people who will avoid Spirit at all costs.

When things go as planned, Spirit is fine for what it is, a low cost, no frills, charge for everything airline. However, when things start to go wrong (weather, mechanical, staffing issues, etc) that's when things go south in a BIG hurry.

Spirit quite frankly does not care about customer service. The last time we flew with them was for a long weekend trip from BOS-MYR. Our flight was cancelled sometime in the hour that I checked before we left the house, and when we arrived at the airport. DS and I spent 6 hours at the airport until we got out, and our non-stop was changed to a one-stop.

Coming home, there were ground delays all up and down the East Coast due to fog issues. MYR airport is quite small, and there was not much after security. However, Spirit had NO ONE at the gate to let us know what was going on. Our departure time came and went, with minimal updates, and no one to ask. When I finally got through to a CSR on the phone, I was told that the staff at the airport would have more updated info and to "ask them", when I tried explaining that there was no one to ask, I was completely brushed off.

For me, honestly, the $200 total would not be enough to entice me to switch to Spirit, and I would only fly them on a trip where nothing else was in jeopardy if our flights are delayed or cancelled.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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Spirit will leave you disappointed.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:57 PM   #9
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I want to stress there is something to be said for brand loyalty. Patti, if you love WN as much as you say, for all the reasons you list (flyer miles, nonstop flight) and others you don't (reliability, customer service), it seems to be worth $200 to get the product you enjoy the most.

Sometimes, the cost isn't the best deciding factor. Sometimes, it is better to pay for what you want instead of paying less for a lesser product/experience. This is why we go to Disney instead of Six Flags or Busch Gardens.

As a data point, I paid $450 for tickets on Delta instead of $380 on United, as I know the service on Delta is much better and Atlanta is a pretty good hub. Delta has Wi-Fi on all aircraft, and has a better chance at in-flight entertainment than United. While UA was the lowest cost option with better flight times, I decided to pay a little more per person for the better service and quality.

I suggest you stick with WN, since you really enjoy their airline, even if it costs $200. You will be happier in the end.


ETA: There is one reason that lower cost should trump a person's preferred product, affordability. If the difference in cost means going or staying home, then it is obviously better to switch to the lower cost option. However, we spend a lot of money to visit Disney, many of us visit annually. Is $200 worth the potential headaches the lower cost option could bring and the additional stress of uncertainty by trying a new airline (whether Spirit, Virgin, Delta, or Southwest)?

If $200 (or $50 or $100 or whatever) is so significant that it could seriously impact a family's trip, then they should question whether they should be going to Disney in the first place. Maybe it is a once in a lifetime trip and they will need to scrape by with off-property hotels, compact rental cars from the lowest bidder, bringing sandwiches in the car for lunch, and watching every cent (been here on all counts), then I'm behind them and do suggest switching. However for the majority of DISboard members that go regularly, stay on-property, and debate whether Ohana's or Chef Mickeys is the best option for arrival day, then I suggest go with the transportation option they are most comfortable with, even with small price variances.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:09 PM   #10
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I am the OP in the link posted above. No way I'd switch to Spirit to go from non stop to 1 connection. Even if I saved $500. Time is money. If you read the thread above you will see they changed my flight by 12 hours. South West is great, I booked Spirit b/c it was close to home and a smaller airport to fly out of, I also saved over $400 using them over U.S. Airways. However, knowing what I know now I wouldn't book with them again.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:16 PM   #11
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Add me to the list of people who will avoid Spirit at all costs.
Me too. In spades. I don't even price them.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:41 PM   #12
PattiPB
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Thank you all for reinforcing my thoughts! I guess this was really an example of someone (me in this case!!) asking a question hoping to get support for the answer they already had!

I'll stick with my sweet SWA...and rack up some more miles!

And, Greysword, you are 100% right. The money is nowhere near as important to me as the time and peace of mind!!!
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:12 PM   #13
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I'm probably one of the rare people who have flown Spirit and plan to fly them again! But in Latrobe, PA (near Pittsburgh) the airport is mainly the reason... It's a much smaller airport than the main Pittsburgh airport. Short security line and FREE parking. The flights to MCO are direct flights, southwest out of the main Pittsburgh airport often are 1 stop. Last May (2012) we flew spirit to MCO and the flight out was great, the flight coming home was delayed by 3 hours... but honestly even that was not a huge issue for us. We booked Spirit for our next May trip again because the price (after all the extra fees) was still almost HALF the cost of southwest (plus the free parking!)... for us Spirit is just a better option.(Hope it says that ways! Knocking on wood!) But for others you got to go with the choice that is better for you. If Spirit was not a direct flight I probably would not bother to fly with them either.
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