|by Brad Tuttle||Airfares & Flying, Airlines||208|
Even if the airline knocked $50 off the ticket?
A pilot strike that lasted nearly a week and stranded almost 100,000 travelers has ended, and Spirit Airlines is scheduled to resume full service on Friday, June 18. Anyone who was scheduled to fly with Spirit between Saturday, June 12, and Thursday, June 17, is entitled to a full refund, along with a $100 credit for a future booking with Spirit. And, in an attempt to attract new reservations, the airline just announced that it is offering $50 off and 5,000 bonus miles for flights booked by midnight on June 18.
The question is: Are travelers going to bite? Or will they swear off Spirit for good, no matter how cheap the flights appear?
Over the past week, many Spirit customers incurred expenses of hundreds and even thousands of dollars because their flights were canceled and they had to come up with a plan B, likely by paying top dollar for last-minute tickets on another airline. The larger issue is that this customer service catastrophe is not an isolated incident. Spirit has a long history of aggravating customers, notably through its recent decision to begin charging for carry-on bags, which prompted reader comments such as:
This is just another reason not to fly this airline, which is the worst I've ever seen in terms of nickel and diming customers. They charge for water, assigned seats, checked luggage and now carry ons. Their prices may look cheaper than other airlines on the surface, but add in all these costs, and they're no longer such a budget option.
This comment, remember, was made months before the strike turned tens of thousands of travelers' plans upside down. As was this one:
My husband booked a flight with spirit. It was the first and last time. They could charge nothing for a flight, and I will never fly with this company again. I tell everyone I can not to fly with them. I would pay double before I would ever consider that joke again.
So, would $50 and 5,000 bonus miles change your mind and get you to book with Spirit?