Skip to comments.Spirit Airlines' boss calls complaints 'irrelevant,' says dying veteran should've bought insurance
Posted on 05/03/2012 1:42:07 PM PDT by servo1969
The boss of Spirit Airlines isn't about to cave in to a dying former Marine, and he doesn't lose sleep knowing his company leads the industry when it comes to customer complaints, he told FoxNews.com.
Thats an irrelevant statistic, Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza said when told his airline generates gripes at two-and-a-half times the rate of the next most complained about carrier.
Spirit racked up 8.27 complaints per 100,000 passengers in January, while United finished a distant second-worst, registering 3.5 complaints per 100,000 fliers, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics. By comparison, Southwest notched just 0.2 complaints per 100,000 fliers.
Spirit is generating complaints at a much faster clip on Facebook, where a "Boycott Spirit Airlines" page has seen its number of "likes" soar to more than 21,000 from about 700 since the carrier denied a $197 refund to Jerry Meekins. The 76-year-old Vietnam veteran and former Marine tried to get his $197 back after learning his esophageal cancer is terminal and being told by his doctor not to fly from Florida to Atlantic City. Airline officials told him to forget it, and Baldanza reaffirmed the company's hardline in an exclusive FoxNews.com interview.
A lot of our customers buy that insurance and what Mr. Meekins asked us to do was essentially give him the benefit of that insurance when he didnt purchase the insurance, Baldanza said. Had we done that, I think it really wouldve been cheating all the people who actually bought the insurance
and I think thats fundamentally unfair.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Heres my opinion-
On the one hand, he's right. He doesn't have to refund Jerry Meekins his $197. Mr. Meekins didn't buy the insurance. Spirit Airlines is under no legal obligation to give it back.
On the other hand, is the public relations fiasco hes creating for his brand worth the $197 they got to keep? I hope so because he's leaving the door wide open for the next new airline that wants to take his customers away. A business has to operate in the real world. Your customers are people. Treat enough of them like garbage and theyll be happy to take their patronage elsewhere.
In short, this is a classic case of Pennywise, Pound foolish.
This wouldn’t happen at Southwest
and it wasn’t that he wanted a refund
he would have changed the ticket to his daughter’s name
Spirit Airlines is now irrelevant to me. I won’t fly Spirit again.
Right-O. Southwest Airlines is the only airline to fly.
By the time veterans get through with not flying Spirit Airlines, old Benny will likely find himself driving a school bus for a living.
I will never under any circumstances fly Spirit Airlines even if it means I have to walk to my destination.
We won’t fly Spirit anymore since it cancelled flights with zero notice to those having booked seating far in advance. And then would not even respond to inquiries or requests that it provide alternative booking on other airlines. Unreliable. Unresponsive. And it can cost a lot more to get seating on other airlines “at the last minute,” too.
Spirit Airlines just announced they are going to start charging $100 for each item stored in overhead bin.
Spirit has every right to withhold the fare
And I and thousands of others have the right to seek out other carriers.
A smart CEO would have taken the $197 out of his own pocket. This kind of publicity has probably cost him $197,000.
If we don’t vote with our wallets, we are supporting our demise. If the right would practice activism on a daily basis, there would be no money to support the left.
It’s called “Penny smart, and Pound Foolish.”
If southwest doesn’t go there I either drive or don’t go.
This is not worth the bad publicity.
Sorry, but the only way I’ve ever heard it is “wise”.
Delta, United, KLM and the other airlines have to be laughing themselves silly. You just can’t buy advertizing like this.
I was able to get a flight cancelled at southwest due to a medical emergency this spring. But no refund and no transfer.
This is pretty common stuff.
So true. The $197 dollar refund, plus, throw in a free trip anywhere that Spirit flies, and they would have gotten a MILLION dollars plus of FAVORABLE warm fuzzy publicity. Powerful positive branding.
Sorry though, when the "bean counter" mentality PREVAILS, more often than not, you've screwed yourself.
Typical bean counter and an ugly little f***er to boot. The next Spirit Airlines board of directors meeting should be a hoot. Speaking as a marketing person, the sound of an accountant CEO being crushed is almost musical.
This airline is beyond stupid. It will die a slow horrible death.
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