Spirit Airlines Gate Agents Lay Down The Law With Passengers When Cancelling Flight

Spirit Airlines flight NK1095 from Philadelphia to Orlando on December 26 cancelled, after a delay of several hours. Passengers in the boarding area were not at all happy, and Spirit gate agents have… their own way of communicating with customers. They let everyone know there would be refunds, or rebookings, but passengers would have to wait several days if they wanted another flight from Philadelphia. And don’t expect Spirit to pay for hotels!

This video of the announcements is… really something.

DONT. FLY. SPIRIT. pic.twitter.com/RKw4rks7dw

— Champagne Sloshy 🥃🍃💨 (@JoshyBeSloshy) December 28, 2022

Here’s the thing that is most striking to me, other than the gate agents lacking the more formal announcement style you might find at American, Delta or United.

  • The plane was cancelled in Orlando and didn’t fly to Philadelphia, so couldn’t turn back around. Weather in Philadelphia was actually fine at the time, in the 30s with light winds and no precipitation.

  • If the issue was mechanical or crew-related then the agent (really, the airline) is violating Spirit’s published customer service plan by denying hotels and meals as a result of a controllable cancellation.

You should of course look at what sort of trip delay coverage you have from the credit card used to purchase your tickets. But you aren’t entirely on your own here. I’d definitely pursue Spirit over this, get an official denial, and then file a DOT consumer complaint. If the real reason for delay wasn’t weather, the airline owes expense reimbursements, and should be fined for failing to follow its own written procedures.

Secretary Buttigieg goes on TV when Southwest Airlines is cancelling flights, demanding the airline cover traveler expenses. All eyes are on Southwest’s meltdown. But when TV isn’t watching? Under the law, DOT is the primary venue of recourse. Although small claims court is appropriate as well.

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