Linda writes: I sent the following letter to Spirit Corporate Headquarters, and also submitted this complaint to the Dept of Transportation:
To Whom It May Concern:
On Oct 24, 2012, I purchased a round trip ticket, PDX – HOU, on Spirit Airlines, and got a confirmation via email with the code V4EQRI.
On Dec. 12, 2012, I received via email an itinerary change for one leg of my round trip.
On Jan. 12, 2013, needing to check details of my reservation on the Spirit Airlines website, I could only locate the outbound flight. I sent an email to Spirit Airlines asking what happened to the return leg of my round trip (Feb. 12). I received no reply. On Jan. 14, I sent another email asking the same thing.
On Jan. 15, I decided to talk to someone at Spirit Airlines. With much difficulty, I was finally able to speak to Spirit Airlines Customer Service agent Rashid. Rashid informed me that the reason I could not locate my return flight was that it was cancelled, and said that I had been sent an email to that effect.
I have received no such email, and challenge Spirit Airlines to produce one. I asked if they could reschedule me on another flight.
I was told there were no flights in the entire month of February from Houston to Portland on Spirit Airlines. Rashid asked if I wanted to fly to “some other city." He did not answer my question: “…and how will I get from there to Portland?” After much waiting on hold while he conferred with his supervisor, he offered me a flight from Houston to Las Vegas on January 14, with a connecting flight to Portland the following day.
I asked if the airline would pay for the hotel, and he said “no." I asked whether that was the only option. He assured me it was. He then offered to refund my ticket, which he said would amount to $38. I assumed, given the strangeness of the whole scenario, that Sprit was going out of business, and finally accepted the refund, paltry as it was (not even half the price of the ticket I had purchased).
Later that morning, suspicious, I went online and tried to make a reservation on Spirit Airlines from Houston to Dallas (the first leg of my original return flight), for Feb. 12 - the very date of my “cancelled” flight! I was surprised to find my original flight still available. I could make a reservation for it. I also found a connecting flight to Portland.
In other words, I was lied to; tricked into believing my flight had been cancelled and accepting a refund, presumably because Spirit Airlines did not wish to honor a ticket they had sold me at the price they sold it.
I called Spirit Airlines Customer Service again, and spoke with “Nathan." Nathan was barely intelligible. He had me on the phone for 50 minutes.
I insisted that Spirit Airlines honor my original reservation and ticket. I objected to having been deceived about available flights, and tricked into accepting a refund. Nathan said since I had accepted the refund (earlier that morning - under false pretenses and believing I had no other option) I was no longer eligible. I told him it had not yet been refunded, and that my credit card company as yet had no knowledge of any refund. But as this appears to be a ploy to get out of honoring the ticket Spirit Airlines sold, I was given no satisfaction. Nathan again put me on hold, supposedly to connect me with his supervisor. Fifteen minutes later I had to accept that I had been tricked again.
As any passenger would, I object to being treated this way. I have been harmed by the actions of Spirit Airlines: my final destination was Corpus Christi, Texas, a place Spirit Airlines does not service. I had purchased non-refundable tickets for the final leg of my journey. I would have been left high and dry at an outbound location without any means to return to my home; discovering this prior to the day of my outbound flight only by accident.
These actions, besides being despicable, are also not in accordance with Spirit Airlines Contract of Carriage:
“Spirit will make every effort to assist our Customers and minimize their inconvenience resulting from cancellations or misconnections. In the case of a cancellation or misconnection, our staff will focus on rebooking Customers on alternate flights, either direct to the destination or via connections through other airports to best accommodate the Customer’s needs. If rebooking options are not available until the following day, we will offer complimentary overnight hotel accommodations for non-local Customers.
I would like Spirit Airlines to compensate me for this incident with a free round trip ticket, PDX – Houston, and in return, will hold Spirit Airlines harmless and not pursue further FAA or other complaints, or civil legal actions. Consumers entrust airlines with their lives. What is to prevent any airline from making passengers’ reservations disappear, if they can sell the ticket again later on, for more money? If Spirit Airlines fails to make amends, I can only assume this must be policy, and no accident. Please demonstrate this is not how you do business.