I started to write this at 1 a.m. last Wednesday in Dallas. I should have landed in Phoenix by then. My flight from Chicago was delayed because of the thunderstorms moving into the city. We were reassured repeatedly by the gate agents and pilot that our connection in Dallas would be held so that we could make our flight. We sat on the tarmac waiting to take off for 20 or more minutes, landing in Dallas about 11:45 local time.
That meant two days in Dallas.
I was exhausted so I decided to just stay in Dallas another night and catch up on sleep. But the hotel ended up being booked that night, and in desperation, I took the shuttle back to the airport to get on standby.
(The hotel, by the way, was just what you’d expect for $48.)
My husband had called Spirit as well, but he got nowhere. By the time I walked up to the Spirit check-in desk, I was fed up, I was tired, I was hungry, I was angry.
“I need to get on the flight to Phoenix tonight,” I said. Tears were flooding down my face at this point.
“OK, we have a seat for $116 tonight.”
“No, I was on the flight from Chicago and our connection left without us. I need to get to Phoenix tonight. I can’t stay in Dallas another night; I have nowhere to stay. I need to get to Phoenix tonight.”
I would say I lost my composure, but I had never had any composure. I felt like the airline didn’t care about what happened to me.
The supervisor saw me crying at the desk and walked over. They whispered among themselves, and I said, “I’m not even flying back to Chicago with you guys; can’t I just get on this flight?”
Just an hour before I had booked a return to Chicago on Southwest for only $100 that would allow me to make up for lost time in Phoenix.
That’s when the supervisor said, “We have three seats left; just put her in one.”
I could have cried more. I was going to Phoenix!
I spent the next three hours catching up on work and celebrating with Mexican food. I was put in the third row, which had slightly larger seats, but they weren’t any more comfortable. I was just happy to get to Phoenix at this point, so I didn’t care.
After this experience, I will avoid flying Spirit at all costs. I have heard from a few people who don’t mind flying with Spirit, and at first I could see how. But as soon as weather hit, things went downhill quickly. I now see that you pay more at other airlines but can expect customer service when things go awry. That’s the biggest lesson I learned in my travels last week.
Have you flown with Spirit Airlines? What did you think?