You always read about other people and their terrible flight experiences and think “wow, it really sucks to be them”. Until it happens to you!
I’d heard a lot of different complaints with people flying Spirit Airlines before. Some from my own friends. But my family and I had flown with them 3 times already, and everything went smoothly. So why should this time be any different?
It all started on a beautiful, sunny day in Fort Lauderdale. We arrived at the airport 3 hours ahead of time, just like we were supposed to. But as soon as our cab rounded the corner, I saw a sight I’d never seen before at an airport. People were lined up outside the airport for about a kilometre long. At first I thought “this can’t be right, they must be lined up for something else”. But it wasn’t. Everyone, likes us was waiting to get on a plane.
So after standing in line for 1.5 hours, we had finally gotten close enough to the door to see what was happening. An airport agent was calling out different cities that the plane would be departing for soon, and she was taking those people into the airport with her. No problem, I thought. When it’s close to our time to fly, she’ll be calling out Detroit. But we waited and waited, and there was no mention of Detroit.
When it got to be 20 minutes before our plane was departing, and we were still outside in line, I started to get really worried. We were waving and trying to flag down the agent to come over to talk to us. When we told her our flight is supposed to be leaving in 20 minutes, she looked down at her paper and said “come with me and run”. She took us straight to the front of the counter, and they checked us in quickly. Normally, we travel light with a backpack each. Or sometimes one small carry-on. But this day, we had one bag to check since we had purchased some liquids.
Then with the agent we took off running as fast as we could through the airport. Security took two seconds that day. We jumped on the plane right when they were closing the door. We had made it! What a relief! Well not quite.
There were 4 of us. My husband and I, plus our two boys age 14 and 15 at the time. I had pre paid for my seats ahead of time because our family likes to sit together. But when we went to what were supposed to be our assigned seat numbers, there were already people sitting in two of them. I showed our tickets to the people in the seats, and they showed me theirs with the exact same seat numbers on them. I’m guessing they gave away our seats since we were so late getting to the counter.
Then the one flight crew started barking orders “everyone take your seat now”. We told her two of us were missing a seat. And her reply was “oh not this again”. My youngest son and I took the two seats that were available. And the flight lady said to my husband and other son “just go stand at the back of the plane till I figure this out”. The plane was completely full. So I didn’t know how she was going to magically produce two more seats.
It turned out two other flight crew people were flying home on that plane, so they took them and put them in the cockpit. So now my husband and son are left sitting in random seats. One at the back of the plane and the other in the middle. My son says he had a wonderful conversation sitting between two 80 year old women.
Finally we're in the air and my son pulls down the food tray. Written on the top of the tray in black marker was “Spirit Airlines sucks!”. At this point we couldn’t help but laugh.
So after waiting in line for almost 3 hours outside, then running and jumping onto the plane, I had to go to the bathroom. But every time I looked, someone was using them. Finally I got tired of waiting, and went and stood outside the door. (She had previously told us no blocking the isles, and one at a time at the bathroom). So the flight crew snapped at me and told me I’d have to go back to my seat to wait. Luckily for me, the person in the bathroom came out.
Then after this whole ordeal, we make it to the Detroit airport and head over to pick up our one checked backpack. We get to the carousel and notice all the zippers had been opened on our bag. Gone was one six month old I pod. Lesson learned! Also bring locks. Although we tried to put a claim in for it, we were one day late submitting the forms. Because we couldn’t find the receipt ourselves and were waiting on the bank with our credit card proof.
I’m guessing from Spirits track record, it was inevitable that our luck would run out. Needless to say, that was our final dealings with Spirit.