Say it ain’t so, guys!
You all know from this post I’m a big advocate for Spirit Airlines.
Without them and their low prices, I definitely couldn’t have traveled as much as I have. But alas, it has finally happened 😦
I’ve had a bad experience with Spirit.
So, let’s start from the beginning.
It all started one night at around 12am, when I decided to take a trip.
I went to Spirit’s website, searched for the cheapest fares available for my destination, cross-referenced the prices I found there with prices from some aggregators (Kayak, Expedia, and so on), and decided to stick with Spirit.
But then, I decided to try something I hadn’t done before.
When you buy online, Spirit tacks on a “Passenger Usage Fee”, so the really frugal travelers buy their tickets directly from the airport for additional savings. Usually, I don’t bother, but I had a free day the next day, and nothing really planned. So, I figured “why not?“.
But of course, even the best of plans made at 12am often go astray.
The next morning, I ended up having to run some things down to my sister’s school, and by the time I made it to the airport, it was about 10:45am.
When I got to Spirit’s ticket counter, it was empty except for a yellow sign that showed the ticket counter hours.
Ticket counter hours.
As in those things I didn’t even fathom might exist (hey, I was used to buying online, where everything’s ready when you are!).
I took a deep breath, read the hours, and realized I was good! The counter wasn’t set to close until 11am, and then it would reopen at 3pm. I’d made it by the skin of my teeth.
So I waited and waited, and finally, a girl around my age came out.
Now, let me preface this by saying I’m not usually one to complain about small stuff. I’ve worked 3 different customer service jobs, and I know people can be pretty terrible. I tip well, treat people behind counters like actual human beings, and in general, I never give them a hard way to go.
But this is what happened:
Most things I can look past, but I’d just driven half an hour to get to the airport from my sister’s school (and gas prices are going up again, ya’ll!). I’d paid $2 for the parking garage, and now, I’d have to do it all over again after 3pm.
If it had been my own fault because I’d simply not made it before the counter was scheduled to close, that would have been one thing. I’d have had no one to blame but myself. But to completely shut the system down 10 to 15 minutes ahead of schedule???
I was fuming!
What about people who did know the hours, and might have been hoping to buy their tickets around that time?
I’m telling you, I glared at this girl so hard, I thought I would BURN. A. HOLE. IN HER SOUL.
But I have to be fair.
People often talk about having bad customer service experiences with Spirit, and this was my first. When I came back at 4, a different employee helped me, and he was great!
At the end of the day, this is likely more of a reflection of that particular employee’s work ethic, and not the company as a whole.
All in all, I walked away with about $40 savings, which is still pretty good even after you factor in the parking garage, and the wasted gas.
Moral of this story?
Buying your ticket from the airport can get you some pretty good savings when you’re flying Spirit Airlines. Just make sure/hope the counter is open -_-