David writes: On Jan 7, I used my preferred online site, CheapTickets, to reserve two seats for a five day trip to Bogota Colombia for family health issue.
I selected Spirit Airlines for its convenient Airport location, offering departures from La Guardia airport, 15 minutes from our home. The price was also attractive but no cheaper than any other airlines ($1,265.78 for 2 passengers). On February 14 we got to the airport at around 4:30 AM, plenty of time before our 6:45 AM flight. At the counter the agent informed us the we had to pay for our check bags. I tried to explain that we weren't informed of that practice, and the agent respond that is a normal rule for airlines on a domestic flight. I respond that our flight was not domestic for us, we were going to Colombia. We ended up paying $90 for two bags.
We boarded at the scheduled time, around 6:00 AM, and everything looked okay for a takeoff at 6:45 AM. At 7:30 AM we were still on the runway, Spirit didn't mention any reason. We finally took off, of course nothing was offered, no chips, no soda but we could buy refreshment. Getting closer to Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), the crew informed us that they didn't have communication with the terminal but they would help with the connective flights. We arrived at 10:30 AM instead of 9:48 AM. We asked for the connection information for Bogota. We were sent to the Service Desk where a woman informed us that our flight was gone and that the next flight was tomorrow at 10:30 AM. The agent spoke with her manager and "offered" us a hotel voucher. Before taking that route, we spent an hour online looking for an alternative. The JetBlue flight was already gone, and with Avianca we had to go back to NYC. We tried to find flights from Miami Airport with LAN and Continental but there was either not enough time to get there on time (45 minutes by car) or it was too expensive.
We ended up having to stay at Fort Lauderdale overnight. We used the voucher and got a $87.70 deal at Days Inn, 10 minutes from the airport. We took the hotel's van and got a room.
The next day we took the van back at 8 AM, got our boarding passes and checked our luggage. We went to the gate and sat there until 10 AM for boarding. As we were boarding the plane, one of the agents told us one of our carry-on bags was too big, that we had to pay $100 to bring it. We explained that we took a Spirit flight the previous day and didn't have that issue. The agent told us that we had to go to the service counter now before we missed the flight. So we went there. There were already ten people in line ahead of us. We tried to get the agent's attention (the same woman that the day before). She told us to stay in line like everybody else. So we waited there and when it was our turn she asked for the boarding passed and credit card. We paid an other $100 for ONE piece of carry-on luggage. We were the last people to get on board our flight. We finally arrive to Bogota on time.
For the return flight, I took the precaution of going to the Spirit site the day before, to check-in and register our luggage. Of course I paid another $70 to bring our bags. After going through the check-in process I got a message "We apologize but the following does not qualify for online check-in and must check-in with the agent at the counter."
In conclusion we paid a regular price for a flight to Bogota $630 X 2 plus an extra $347.7 and lost a day in Florida. Spirit Airlines is the worst company that I traveled with in 30 years. Spirit is the absolute worst airline ever.
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