✅ Verified Review
| My daughter qualified to compete in the 2017 NCAA track & field championship in Eugene, Oregon. As such, I purchased 8 round-trip tickets for family and friends on Spirit Airlines from Minneapolis to Portland. The outbound flight, with connection in Chicago, was fine. The return flight from Portland to Minneapolis (through LAX) on June 11 was a disaster for the 15 Minneapolis-bound passengers. The flight from Portland to LA was scheduled to leave at 3:15 p.m. but was finally pushed back to 4:08 p.m., scheduled to arrive in LAX at 6:27 p.m. The avowed reason for the plane’s delay arriving in Portland was “air traffic control” reasons. Our connection to Minneapolis was scheduled to depart from LAX at 6:29 p.m. so, not surprisingly, the 15 Twin Cities’ bound passengers were a bit nervous about meeting their connection in LA, and actively seeking alternative flights from Portland to Minneapolis. Prior to getting on the plane, the lead Spirit agent on the desk in Portland guaranteed the Twin Cities’ passengers that they would be able to meet their connection in LA to travel to the Twin Cities. Moreover, he assured the Twin Cities’ passengers that even if we did not make our connection in LA, that Spirit would get us back to the Twin Cities that night on another airline. He also said (correctly) that the connection in LA would be easy because the arrival gate was literally right next to the departure gate for the Twin Cities. With those assurances, all 15 Twin passengers boarded the Spirit Airlines flight from Portland to LA confident they would get back to the Twin Cities that night. We touched down at LAX around 6:15-6:20 p.m. and the plane scurried to the gate. When we exited the plane and took the 15-20 steps to the adjacent departure gate for the Twin Cities’ bound flight, we were shocked to see that the plane had just left the gate. We could literally see the plane 100 feet from the window. The Spirit supervisor in LA said that Spirit would not authorize putting us on a flight on another airline to the Twin Cities. The remedies suggested by the Spirit staff to remedy were laughable, for example, they could put us on a red-eye to Baltimore or Philadelphia, and then fly to the Twin Cities, getting us back the next afternoon at 2:00 p.m. The default seemed to be that everybody would simply remain in LA until the next day and board Monday’s 6:29 p.m. non-stop flight from LA to Twin Cities. The LA supervisor further said that the airline would not be responsible for hotels and other costs, as the flight delay was not due to a mechanical failure, but rather to air traffic control issues. As to the reason for the Spirit plane leaving us behind, the answers provided by the Spirit staff on-duty were pretty vague, but finally one of the staff said that one of the most important reasons was to allow Spirit customers on the flight to the Twin Cities the opportunity to meet their connections in the Twin Cities. The plane arrived in the Twin Cities at around 11:30 p.m. – connections at that time of night, really? Frankly, I doubt that any passenger on that plane had a close connection in the Twin Cities at that time of night, and for sure not on a Spirit plane. Spirit planes, flight crew, and cabin crew seem okay for a budget airline. However, I would say that the Spirit operations folks and gate supervisors are really at the bottom of the barrel. Be very careful if you take Spirit Airlines, and particularly if you have a connection.