Booking our flight home from South America, I settled on Spirit Airlines for the first and last time. I bought our tickets, paid an extra fee for a carry on bag, paid another fee for the exit row due to the long flight and forgot about the ticket for six months.
Then time came to fly, I was told to check in online or else I would be charged ten dollars, fine. But then it appeared my payment for our bags hadn't gone through, so I paid again and their system crashed during the transaction. Not too worried at this point, we head to the airport early to make sure everything is resolved.
They graciously tell us when we arrive that they will waive the fee since it looked like it was their fault for us not being able to check in online, in case my sarcasm isn't showing yet, it's there. Is is where things go downhill. They refuse to refund us for the second bag charge since they have a no refund policy. We only have one small backpack with us, and clearly show that there's no way we could use all of these bought spaces.
We ask to speak to a supervisor and the kid at the desk radios someone who says tough shit basically. We ask to speak to a supervisor again and the kid radios again. Now the supervisor says we can have a credit for spirit that expires in 60days. Well, we are flying to Europe in three weeks so that option didn't do us much good. Asking if we can speak to a manager, the kids says all we get is the radio.
They hand us our voucher and send us on our merry way. Practically fuming now, we go through immigration to leave Peru, have our bags X-rayed and searched. No problem. Upon arriving at the gate, we see spirit has set up their own search for bags which is more thorough than TSA. They are searching for liquids, which at this point I don't quite understand. As she ruffles through my messenger bag, I am confused. Did I sign up for this somewhere?
She then unzips my backpack, filled only with clothing and proceeds to try to go through my packing cubes. I stop her and let her know that there's only clothes there and she says she's just doing her job. After she is satisfied I'm not smuggling any bottled water on the plane, she haphazardly tries to cram my clothes back in the way they were before turning to the next victim.
We get on the plane, at this point I realize that the seats don't recline at all and this is an overnight flight. I look at the menu for snacks an whatnot, not to buy, just to browse. Once in the air, the flight attendants do the most half hearted beverage service ever, and this is where I discover the only option for water is a $3 bottle. I clarify I just need a cup, but that's not an option apparently.
So now, feeling robbed, invaded and dehydrated I'm trapped in a steel cage of misery for the next six hours. When it was finally all over, I looked online and discovered I am but one of many in an army of people who feel mistreated. I can't believe they are able to stay running, and to be clear, the ticket cost the same amount as one I got through United to fly to Lima from San Francisco. With United, I got free carry on, two meals and wine. Just saying it's not like it's that great of a deal. After all of the hidden charges and hassle, it's really not worth it.
By the way, more than half of the overhead bins were empty during the flight. I'm glad I paid for the "premium space".
Stay away from Spirit Air, or end up in your own personal horror story.