We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

Little Elm
Level Contributor
3 posts
108 reviews
Save Topic
Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

I have had the displeasure of flying on Spirit Airlines on four segments and they have been at a minimum of 15 minutes late on their departures every time. It's bad enough that you charge for every little thing but when you flight is delayed more than an hour and it is 2 a.m. before you finally push back from the jetway, have the decency to waive your charges for water, coffee and soft drinks. After all the stores at the airport close by midnight so there is no way your passengers can get anything to eat and drink before take off. Then when you finally land, please have an employee at baggage claim in case there are any issues with lost luggage and if you are paged over the airport paging service, please respond. It was nice that you finally found all of our bags but did your employee really make it sound like it was our fault that the bags were missing. I have worked in the airline industry and have never heard of anything like this. I guess it goes back to "you get what you pay for".

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
30,920 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

You're wrong, they're not **never** on time. I just checked flightstats and found an ontime Spirit flight. :-) ..... and it actually arrived 14 minutes early.

The fact is all airlines have delays and yes you can get unlucky and have 3 or 4 delays one after another. I took my mother to Yellowstone two years ago and all 4 sectors were delayed - the last one by 4 hours. So she could easily say "United Airlines - why are they never on time?"

>> I guess it goes back to "you get what you pay for".<<

Yes it does, in respect of carry on fees, $100 fees if you get snagged at the gate, charging for water, etc.. Plus, if your flight is canceled they won't (they don't have interlines) rebook you with another airline and so you could be stuck for days waiting for spare seats on another Spirit flight.

But delays of 15 minutes are commonplace on all airlines.

Edited: 1:23 am, March 03, 2013
Little Elm
Level Contributor
3 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

I don't mind having to wait 15 minutes but when you are waiting 45-120 minutes and they are late 60-70% of the time, that is an issue. Most airlines pride themselves on their "on time" status. It is apparent that Spirit doesn't care and they are not concerned for the well being of their passengers either.

We had paid for our bags when the flight was booked in November (3 months before our departure) but they will charge you $25 if the bag is even an ounce over 40 pounds.

Found the whole experience to be cold and detached. I used to work for an airline and am very familiar with policies and procedures. We always went the extra mile to try to take care of passengers so this was very disappointing.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
14,304 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

"but when you are waiting 45-120 minutes and they are late 60-70% of the time, that is an issue"

Where do you get those numbers from? I don't know their ontime record and it may be worse than most but I can't believe they are actually late on 60-70% of their flights.

London, United...
Level Contributor
27,178 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

You do get what you pay for, if you want the bells and whistles, you need to pay for a full service carrier. It's really that simple.

No free lunch in the airline industry, and particularly not with spirit, no matter how long you are delayed, console yourself with how much cheaper it was.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,663 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

Hi,

I suspect that, like most LCC's, their fleet utlization rate is very high..

This rate means what percentage of, or how many hours out of a 24 hour clock day, does that airline fly their planes on average.. for LCC's that number is usually very high-- a classic hallmark of LCC operations-- high volume, short-haul services.. Legacy carriers are rather small by contrast.

However, one of the downsides to a hugh rate is that when and IF there is a schedule disruption-- be that airline controllable like maintenance, or uncontrollable, like weather-- they have little resources, like a free, unscheduled aircraft available to replace it... so you've essentially have to wait it out, or for their operation for that day to end, and start 'fresh' the next day.

I suspect that this is what is at the root of the OP's troubles.. While the initial cause of the delay might be or might not be Spirit's "fault", their ability to 'recover' from it is now limited by this utilization rate.

Travel Safe,

Little Elm
Level Contributor
3 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

Check out there stats on FlightStats. Their average on-time departure is 69%. Atlantic City is as low as 33%.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
14,304 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

"Their average on-time departure is 69%."

In other words, your earlier claim of 60-70% delays was way off.

Sydney/Melbourne
Level Contributor
18,131 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

<<Atlantic City is as low as 33%.>>

That's 67% late.

So how is the claim of 60-70% delays 'way off'?

London, England
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
10,210 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

Because they go when the spirit moves them?

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Edited: 5:49 pm, March 03, 2013
Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
14,304 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Spirit Airlines - Why are they never on time??

"So how is the claim of 60-70% delays 'way off'?"

Because it didn't specify any particular route.