So you feel you've been harmed, cheated, robbed or humiliated by Spirit. Now what?
It often seems as if Spirit Airlines has carefully instituted policies to take and keep your money with what seems like zero recourse on your part. If you choose to fight Spirit Airlines in response to an unfair charge, luggage damage or denied services here's what you can do:
1. Understand that Spirit is unlike any other company you have ever dealt with. Their customer service has historically been set up not to help customers in need, but to insulate Spirit personnel from unhappy customers with the expectation that unhappy customers eventually drop their complaints. However, Spirit is quickly improving their customer service. If you do need Spirit customer service, do NOT call their reservation number. That will only frustrate you. Those people don't have the power to help you anyway.
If you're at the airport and realize your luggage has been damaged, do not leave the airport without receiving the paperwork to file a written complaint from the airline. Fill out and file that paperwork as quickly as you possibly can, and make sure you have proof it was submitted. After 30 days the airline can dismiss luggage claims, and even if you filed the correct paperwork quickly, the airline has a habit of "losing" paperwork. Stay on it.
2. The fastest way to remedy an issue is clicking: www.spirit.com/help. Explain what's happening and hit "submit." You will generally get a reply in 24-48 hours. If you're looking for faster service, you've chosen the wrong airline. Understand this is one of the trade-offs for the cheaper ticket. They do put a priority on complaints and comments from people who click directly from this site to www.spirit.com/help. So to be clear: CLICKING OVER TO www.spirit.com/help IS THE BEST CHANCE YOU WILL HAVE TO RESOLVE YOUR ISSUE.
3. Act quickly. With each passing day, your avenues to remedy any situation become fewer and fewer.
4. Write down every detail that occurs in the process of your complaints against Spirit. Record the names of every person you talk to, their job title, the date and time of your conversation, the topics covered and the outcome. The better you can document every part of your complaint and every part of the process of your complaint, the stronger your case will be.
5. If you paid for your flight on a credit card, use the power of your credit card company to help resolve your situation. This works especially well if paid-for services were completely denied, such as if your flight was cancelled without warning or if you were denied boarding on your flight and Spirit did not provide a later flight that you were able to take. In these cases, if you act quickly, the credit card company will often temporarily refund your money, then go after Spirit to get your money back permanently.
6. As a last-case resort, you can go to the only controlling authority that Spirit must answer to: the U.S. Department of Transportation. Do not take this route until you have done everything you can to work with the airline. This is the U.S. government's official agency to oversee airline travel. Once you bring in the U.S. D.O.T., Spirit MUST respond with some amount of proof to all complaints lodged with the U.S. DOT. This covers everything from damaged luggage to unsafe aircraft. Filing a complaint is easy. But, Spirit HATES when people file complaints with the DOT. It costs them resources to reply to every one, and too many complaints can eventually lead to heavy fines from this government agency. So once you file with the DOT, Spirit is unlikely to help you resolve any further issues.
If you want to SEND AN OFFICIAL COMPLAINT TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, you can do it online here. Again, once you take this route, your chances of working directly with Spirit are pretty much zero, so make this your very last option.
7. Small-claims court is sometimes an appropriate way of demanding compensation. The courts in most states try to protect consumers from unfair practices by large corporations. Plus, most corporations won't send a lawyer (billing the airline at hundreds of dollars an hour) to a small-claims court. In most states, if the defendant doesn't respond to a complaint, the party filing the complaint automatically wins. Other consumers have tried this and beaten Spirit in court.
8. Education. If you feel you've been harmed by Spirit Airlines, you may eventually realize you will never get an apology, much less appropriate compensation for your experience. At that point, all you can do is work to make sure nobody you know suffers at the hands of Spirit Airlines as you did. Tell everyone. Friends, family, coworkers, people you meet on the street, folks you're standing in line with at the movies. The most harm comes to the uneducated. So educate everyone. Helping them find this site is a pretty good start.