Spirit Airlines: We Know You Hate It, But We Don’t Care

Spirit Airlines is an American airline company that is known for having low-cost flights. The company is more concerned about the prices they give out rather than the complaints they are receiving. Spirit has been acquring their fair share of criticism from customers and the media. A survey was made of some 16,000 customer ratings and Spirit Airlines was among the bottom of the list for flying in America. “That report did not ask the one big question of who offers the best prices. And hands down, the No. 1 thing we’re told by our customers is that the price matters,” says Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson. Let’s be honest, would you complain about a flight that is two and a half hours long and only cost 75 bucks?

Spirit AirlinesThe company strives to make the price for flights as low as possible. They have an average base price of only 79 dollars. One thing that customers hate about Spirit Airlines is the fact that they charge fees before and during the flights to passengers. These fees can add up to be 40 to 50 dollars for the majority of customers. Spirit Airlines does not even offer a free cup of water or have a video system while the passengers are in flight. There is not much leg room either so you are cramped, regardless of how short you are.

The airline company believes that is what the Spirit customers want when it comes to this airline business. Spirit believes they have travelers who would most likely be getting a bus seat if their airline service was not available. The Chief Executive Officer Ben Baldanza says, “Well, what we say is that we care about what our customers care about, which is price, and one of the things that Consumer Reports survey didn’t ask is where do you get the lowest fare? And so they asked about leg room, and they asked about check-in, and they asked about bag fees, and things like that. But the total price that customers pay on Spirit Airlines is less than they pay on anyone else, and that’s why they love us.”

Spirit Airline company should not be upset by all the criticism coming their way. Spirit is a very solid business as their sales rose 23 percent in just the past quarter. The planes are fuller than the rest of the other airline companies. The company has a rate of 85.1 percent in the first quarter  of 2013 when it comes to flights being full. That makes the company really profitable as they move forward.

The airline company still gets a lot of negative feedback from the press even when they are succeeding. So, is it fair that Spirit Airlines is getting this terrible assessment from the media when they are making profits and almost all of their flights are full? Does the base price really trump all the niceties that other airlines offer?Or should management try to improve their baggage fees and legroom in the flights in order to please the customers more?





10 thoughts on “Spirit Airlines: We Know You Hate It, But We Don’t Care

  1. Recently, I have been researching for cheap flights from Chicago to L.A. The cheapest flights were United and American. After reading this post and article, I found out that Spirit sales are increasing and is profitable. I think the problem is with its services and program which doesn’t stand a chance against the big airline companies. So, in simple terms, Spirit lacks a competitive advantage.
    I believe that Spirit’s management should be allowed to complete with the big airlines by improving their baggage fees and other services to please the customers. However, it unlikely that Spirit will gain more market share due to the complaints and negative feedback from media.

  2. Spirit is known for its cheap prices and a lot of people don’t mind traveling in the cramped flights with horrible service only because it cost very little. Since most flights are full and spirit is making profit, it is clear that management is doing something right. The low prices still attract customers despite the fact that the airline gets terrible assessment because of its baggage fees and legroom space. If management cares about getting better assessment they can improve on the legroom and lower baggage fees, but that would cost them. If they are able to get full flights and make profit even after the terrible assessment, I think they should not worry and just keep things going the way they are. It might sound of cruel, but if people are still purchasing tickets from Spirit and profits are increasing there is really no need to improve the flight to satisfy customers more than they already are with the low prices.

  3. This post brings me back to the few times I have flown Spirit Airlines for a domestic trip, and the vivid memory of how extremely uncomfortable those flights were. But I agree completely with the above commenter; the company is still doing something right if they are consistently filling planes to capacity on their flights. I think that it is a matter of opportunity cost in this case, and whether or not customers are willing to pay the extra dollars for a quality flight experience. It can be compared to choosing from lodging options (a motel vs. a luxury hotel); each is tailored to specific customer needs. As long as the company can keep costs low, attract customers, and still make a profit from their flights, they have little reason to change up their business model.

  4. Especially in this current economy (which is getting better) price means everything to consumers. If they can fly a family of four for less than the competitors they will probably put up with the cramped seating etc. I have flown Spirit once and would fly them again. I think their main philosophy is to get a passenger from point A to point B safely. They aren’t concerned with snacks and beverages etc. All the “extras” you get with the bigger airlines, aren’t “free.” You are paying for that “free” beverage in your ticket price. If Spirit offers a fare of $89 one way versus $129 on United, you essentially are paying $40 for a “free” beverage and maybe 2 inches of extra legroom. Is it really worth it? To the price conscious.. no but to some yes. Spirit markets to a niche market.. not the everyday business traveler.

  5. After reading this post and the related articles I think that the it is fair that the media is sharing consumer complaints and the terrible assessment of Spirit Airlines.This article reminded me of a horribly uncomfortable flight I had using the airlines. Therefore I believe it is necessary for the consumer voices to be heard. Yet as far as the company itself goes, since it is very profitable the way it is, I do not think it should change it’s business model. What distinguishes this airline company from others is that it gives customers the power to choose and pick what service they want. It also offers the lowest prices even with the additional fees.It’s not aiming to please everyone but people who want to save money on their transportation and are not concerned with superior comfort or luxury. I think due to the certain economical environment we are facing today, they have an advantage over other airline companies due to the low cost they offer which can be seen recently in their expansion into further markets such as Cleveland.

  6. It is fair that the media voices the opinions of the consumers. However, it would be interesting to see where Spirit would rank if price was included in the survey. The actual article published on Consumer Reports suggests that they main target of the survey was to determine comfortability for flights, where Spirit clearly suffers. The report discusses leather seats, check-in, and in-flight entertainment. Spirit has targeted their market- the people who would take a bus instead of an airplane- and with their profitability it clearly works. Should management decide to improve baggage fees or the in-flight experience, there is potential to lose customers because of the inevitable increased costs. But they also might gain more customers.

  7. With this level of profit and capacity, it is unwise to change their business model entirely. Spirit has clear stated what kind of customs they are targeting and it’s no doubt that they are succeeding. However, I believe that there are some improvement the company can make while they are going foreword. For example, they can try to improve the legroom and baggage fees with their loyal customers. These actions of course will have no choice but to increase the price of each flight. It might hurt the company to attract new customers but it can send the message to longtime customers that the company cares about you in-flight experience.

  8. Although I have never flown Spirit Airlines myself, I do believe the saying “you get what you pay for”. Although the accommodations seem highly uncomfortable when compared to other major airlines, I believe the price speaks for itself. Not a single passenger is being forced to fly on Spirit Airlines, they choose to because the price is right. Would you forego comfort for a one or two hour flight and have to pay the minimum $200 increase?

  9. I recently bought a plane ticket to Florida through Spirit and after reading this post I found myself wondering about what my experience on Spirit will be like. I chose to purchase a ticket from Spirit due to the low prices but after reading about the bad customer service, and little leg space ,I’m starting to feel a little worried. As of now I still believe I made the right choice picking to fly Spirit due to the low ticket price but once I get to experience what it is like on the plane, I may regret my decision.

  10. Spirit Airlines definitely lures customers with their almost too good to be true prices. But with very low prices it is unreasonable to expect a high end service. So even though there are complaints I understand why the company doesn’t seemed bothered if they are continuing to make a profit, which is the end goal. Although I do agree that customers should be well aware of what they are getting into in terms of price and service. One reason I believe Sprit Airlines hides the fees, is because they would probably not be able to advertise themselves are a very cheap service, if there are comparable prices with better airlines. Regardless of what they charge I do believe customers should be treated fairly and not just another sales number.

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