New Jack City: Coming Soon—Spirit Airlines—Release the Hate

imagesBuckle up!

The wait’s almost over and we’re in for new, ultra-cheap fares in a couple weeks.

Because on August 7th SPIRIT AIRLINES spreads its wings to KCI with a single daily non-stop departure to four cities (Service to the 5th—Houston—begins August 8.)

Think ultra-cheap.

Get a load of these all-in, sample fares I found for Friday, August 15’s Bare Fare departures:

* One way KCI to Chicago O’Hare: $ 62.09

* One way KCI to Dallas-Forth Worth: $ 42.09

* One way KCI to Detroit: $ 62.09

* One way KCI to Las Vegas: $ 62.09

* One way KCI to Houston-Intercontinental: $ 42.09

But hold it right there.

You get what you pay for—or don’t get at those prices.

Spirit’s cheap fares are totally unbundled. Meaning they get you basically from Point A to Point B. ANYTHING ELSE costs extra.

Ben Baldanza

Ben Baldanza

Where to begin…

*** Carry-on bags cost $ 26.00 at time of booking, $ 35.00 before on-line check-in, $ 50.00 at the airport or a whopping $ 100.00 at the gate.

*** Checked luggage? Of course you pay for each bag.

*** Want to print out your advance boarding pass? That’s another charge. How about an advance seat assignment? You purchase it or they’ll randomly assign a seat for you at check-in. (Hello middle seat and good luck of sitting next to your companion.)

*** How about a drink of water? Expect to pay three bucks.

And just try to find a toll-free phone number for Spirit Airlines. Frankly I don’t believe one exists.

“Don’t buy our low fares and complain that we don’t have legroom,” Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza told Money Magazine.

Crammed tight seats and the long list of passenger fees are probably big reasons why Spirit is rated dead last in customer satisfaction, critics say.

Oh, almost forgot, seats on Spirit’s all Airbus jet fleet do not recline.

Having said all that, Spirit is one of the nation’s fastest growing carriers with one of the highest profit margins.

So no apology or calls for  proper crisis management techniques from Mr. Baldanza.

Instead the airline uses hateful outbursts against Spirit as part of its marketing.

images-1Trading on the fact that it is often called the airline people love to hate, Spirit is currently giving away one billion miles to travelers who send hateful messages to www.hatethousand miles.com.

According to Travel Weekly the promotion awards 8,000 free miles—which is 2,000 miles shy of the minimum award level—to travelers who slam (or praise) the carrier’s low cost, unbundled product in a message of 140 characters or less.

A promotional message urges travelers to “go ahead and release the hate.”

Spirit main man Baldanza says the airline has no plans to charge for the use of toilets on its aircraft.

Good to know.

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9 Responses to New Jack City: Coming Soon—Spirit Airlines—Release the Hate

  1. the dude says:

    How is this a viable business model?
    I think the answer is people are total masochists as long as they think they are getting a deal. Why anyone would sign up for this and pay money for it is beyond me.

    • Paul says:

      In response, our business model is very successful. Most of our planes are always full (one of the highest in the industry). That’s likely because of our great fares. People understand that they would rather pay Spirit’s “extra” costs which are a la carte, than the “all-inclusive” price they get with other airlines. Example: As I look at fares online now, our Spirit fare from Kansas City to Houston is $42. If you need to bring a carry-on you would pay an extra $35 (but if you only need a personal item that fits under the seat, there is no additional charge). Our seats are cozy, but if you want a Big Front seat with plenty of room, it will cost an extra $25 for an upgrade. Total cost on Spirit – $102. If you feel you need to check a bag (I rarely do) the total cost would be $127.
      On Southwest.com I find the same route, on the same day. Their lowest fare is $229. You do get to bring 2 “free” bags, a “free carry-on” and you’ll get “free” sodas and peanuts.
      I hope this explains why our business model works.
      Sincerely,
      Paul Berry
      Spirit Airlines

      • jack p. says:

        More power to you. Hope Spirits expands to more then just five daily departures from MCI. It will keep other carriers fares in check.
        Welcome!

  2. Rainbow Man says:

    I’ll will give them a try to ORD and DFW. Southwest has been pissing me off for months, and I have been a loyal Southwest customer for 15 years. Just try getting an on-time Southwest out of Midway between 3 and 6 pm… Impossible. Lambert… Impossible. I buy business select and then they let 20 connectors seat before me. The flight attendants are like a box of chocolates… you have no clue what you are going to get… rational and cool.. strange… angry… Phyllis Diller… you never know… Their on-line purchase portal doesn’t remember your credit card info and retrieving your rapid rewards number is a chore… I am not saying I will love Spirit… but I will sure as hell give them a try.

    • jack p. says:

      Just remember. Spirit presently offers only ONE daily departure to ORD and DFW. (3:28 P.M. to Chicago and 5:35 p.m. to Dallas.)
      Should that one daily flight experience a major delay or be cancelled—then what? Any backup? I don’t think so, Mr. Businessman……

      • Rainbow Man says:

        Yeah… I think they should just scrap their plans and not come here because of you. You schmooze the Spirit exec that will never read you again and sarcastically jab the KC Con reader who made valid points. Typical media suck up.

  3. mike t. says:

    I’m just glad I don’t have to fly anywhere anymore. last time I had to take a flight was probably 2008 and would not relish the idea of doing it again anytime soon.

  4. Pablo says:

    I’ve flown Spirit for a while and I love them. Their seats are not that bad. You can actually pay a little more – I usually pay about $20 – for a seat that is the same size as a first class seat that does recline (but there is no first class food). I never check a bag – ever. Always a carry-on. On Southwest, which I’ve usually been forced to fly from KCI previously, says my bags are free – but when I compare the prices vs. Spirit, it looks like they are charging me about an extra $200 for checked bags (which I didn’t bring), a carry-on (which I did), and water, sodas, and peanuts which I don’t like. On Spirit I only pay for those items I want, and my fare is a WHOLE LOT less. Anyone who doesn’t want to fly Spirit – fine. More room for me.

  5. Rainbow Man says:

    The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that the Southwest CEO Gary Kelly got more than $4 Million in compensation in 2013. And Jack wants to ridicule us for wanting to give competition a chance and call us “Businessman.”

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