The Ultimate Bait and Switch

19 Oct


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud, most commonly used in retails sales but also applicable to other contexts. First, customers are “baited” by advertising for a product or service at a low price; second, the customers discover that the advertised good is not available and are “switched” to a costlier product.


I swore I wouldn’t start my blog off as a site to b!+ch and moan, but I’m sorry, I couldn’t let this one go…

So my brother’s 50th birthday is coming up and everyone is flying down for the occasion. It’s going to be a fabulous 3-day celebration … [screeeeeech]

Sorry, I tried to be a good writer and build to the drama, but eff that, I don’t have all day and I need to get this out of my system…

SPIRIT AIRLINES is bullshit. Effing unbelievable! I started out with a $396 flight and was so excited to have quickly found a reasonable deal. Nonstop, roundtrip, 2 people, $396. Good deal. Let’s book it. Not so fast…

With every page was a new fee. I mean, these douche bags are even showing  the fees for FUEL!!! What am I gonna say? No thanks I’ll bring my own? Who’s brilliant product management idea was it to show the fuel charges which were more than the base cost of the flight itself?! Is that a don’t blame us, blame the oil companies move? #FAIL.

Then they charged for CARRY ONS and CHECKED BAGS and THEN THEY CHARGED FOR SEATS!!!! $10 per seat per person per flight ($40 additional for two people round trip?!) OMG, how can I not write the most angry blog post about how ridiculous Spirit is? And you know I’m tweeting this to everyone and their brother! EVERYONE! Who the fuck charges (or shows the charges) for FUEL?!?! Or for SEATS! And might I add the $10 per seat was for the crap seats at the back of the plane. They tiered it based on location. Over the wing was $14 each, then I forget the other charges but it kept going up. WTF?

By the time they were done with all the fees my ticket price, as the above image proves, was over $650!  Really Spirit? Seriously? NO OTHER AIRLINE WAS AS RIDICULOUS AS THIS!… Do they assume that once you’ve gotten that far, you’ll just go thru with it? Why start with a standard price and then slowly step by step add to it? Bait and switch!

Luckily, I shopped around and got a great flight roundtrip nonstop for two for $396. No bullshit bait and switch. Thank you Continental Airlines!

And thank YOU for taking the time to read my rant. Lesson of the day: Don’t fly Spirit.



3 Responses to “The Ultimate Bait and Switch”

  1. Jeff Goldman October 24, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    Nice post. The level of fraud you encountered was only the beginning of what is often a truly painful Spirit Airlines experience. If you’re a first-time Spirit customer and you buy a Spirit ticket through a site like Travelocity or Expedia, you won’t even hear about the extra charges until the day of travel when you’re at the airport and there’s nothing you can do other than give them however much money they wish to extort. For more on the Spirit experience, check out … or just search @SpiritAirlines on Twitter to read the experiences of travelers who have been fooled by the worst airline (perhaps the worst COMPANY) in the country.

    • Elle October 24, 2011 at 2:05 am #

      Wow. Thanks for the additional insights Jeff. I will never use Spirit again. I feel sorry for those people who go to third-party sites and end up getting caught off guard like that. There has got to be a law against that kind of trickery. I suppose they have the fine print about “additional charges may apply” but come on. Just a constant reminder: “buyer beware.” So sad. I’m extremely disappointed in what I thought was a respectable company. I guess not.

      Thanks again for your comments.

      • Jeff Goldman October 24, 2011 at 2:31 am #

        Happy to, Elle. And believe me, I have fully investigated the laws. Spirit works very carefully to work just within what the laws tolerate. I have spent much time on the phone with representatives of the Department of Transportation regarding Spirit’s activities. While Spirit has been cited and given record fines by the DOT, the fact is that, within the laws as they exist, the only real option the individual traveler has is making sure every person within his/her orbit is fully aware of the disregard in which Spirit holds its customers.

        If social media is any guide (search “Spirit Airlines” on Facebook or on Yelp) the good news is that every single day hundreds of new people learn about Spirit and vow to spread the word. Thank you, Elle, for your blog and for this chance to spread the word to your readers.

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