As promised, here is our Spirit Airlines Saga: Part One
“So happy to be back at home,” is the phrase I keep repeating to myself over and over again, but I am still having nightmares over what happened at Spirit Airlines. It’s like a post-traumatic stress syndrome from flying Spirit Airlines. We have flown Spirit Airlines about six times, including an international trip with connections, and we have not had any problems whatsoever until now. What could go wrong for this trip? All we had to do was board a plane, fly to Fort Lauderdale, and then make a connection back to Dallas. And thus the nightmare begins . . .
Tuesday, January 2nd
We should have known something was up when we were waiting in line to check in for our flight. We got to the airport in Bogota around 11 a.m. to check into the flight, which was supposed to leave at 3 p.m. The ticket attendants were asking people to give up their seats because they overbooked the flight. When finally made it to the ticket counter, Spirit wanted to know if we wanted to take the January 4th flight on American, straight trip to Dallas. We should have taken them up on that offer. We said, “No,” because we were already packed and ready to get back home to see our animals and eat some Tex-Mex. We received our tickets and settled into the long wait for the 3 p.m. flight. We did not board the plane until 7 p.m. We were exhausted after spending four extra hours in the airport. My daughter and I made good use of the time figuring out the mark-up of the Colombian jewelry in the airport shops vs. the little shops downtown. It’s a 100% markup.
When our flight was finally ready, we had to take buses from the gate to the plane, which was at least a ten-minute ride. I felt very bad for the older passengers and those passengers who had small children because there were not many seats on any of the buses. Finally, we boarded the plane, but something was a little off with at least one of the flight attendants. He was hostile to everyone as if he had been waiting for hours for the flight; however, he did not have to take it out on us. We finally headed out on the runway and then stopped. The captain came on with the announcement that he had to turn the plane around, and we would have to get off the plane with instructions when we got off the plane. That’s not a good situation. We were told that our plane would leave at 8 a.m. in the morning, and our luggage would stay in the plane. Yes, our luggage was held hostage, and we would be flying in the same clothes. We still did not know why the plane turned around, but someone said that it was a union rule that the flight crew had too many hours and had to rest. I think the passengers would have felt better if we knew why, but transparency is not a trademark of Spirit.
After getting off the plane, we were clueless on where to go and had to ask American officials. We stood in another line with all the other passengers for a bus. It took several buses and lots of waiting to finally arrive at the hotel, where we were met with another long line, a 45 minute to an hour wait to get a room. Surprisingly, everyone possessed a great deal of patience. The hotel staff gave us grilled cheese sandwiches, which were really good because were very hungry. The hotel staff was very calm, considering the employees were scrambling to find tooth brushes for all the passengers who requested them, including our family. Unfortunately, Spirit did not pay for the tooth brushes. We were then told via email that instead of eight in the morning, our flight would leave at nine in the morning, and we should get to the airport early to check in and to make sure we had our connecting flights. We went to bed with hopes of going back to the States the next morning.
And the nightmare continued. Part Two is coming in the next installment.