Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spirit Airlines Strikes Again - Passengers Abandoned

/PRNewswire/ -- FlyersRights.org, the nation's foremost airline passenger advocacy group, today called upon Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza to keep his promise to secure safe passage for passengers stranded by the airline's ongoing pilot strike. On June 9th, just before Sprit Airlines pilots walked off the job, Spirit spokeswoman Missy Pinson told The Associated Press that the carrier was "partnering with other air carrier providers to continue to serve our customers" and would provide a $100 voucher in addition to free passage home. So far these claims have proven to be false.

"Despite its claims and promises, Spirit appears to have no intention to care for its customers in light of the strike and has no plan in place to address stranded passengers across the globe--who are now forced to fend for themselves," said FlyersRights.org Executive Director, Kate Hanni. "Tickets issued by Spirit are without value on other airlines and Spirit is depriving passengers of information on how they will care for them thereby perpetrating a global fraud upon its customers."

Although Baldanza promised to reroute passengers on other carriers and to refund passengers' money, FlyersRights.org is receiving hotline calls telling a very different story. One mother called to say that her daughter and a friend are stranded in Aruba. The family was assured before the trip that Spirit would not strand the girls, but they have now told them to buy their own tickets, and they will be reimbursed later. Or, they can come back in a week for a booking on Spirit. The girls' credit cards and cell phones do not work in Aruba, and they have no cash even for food. Spirit officials in Aruba confirmed that Spirit has no agreements with any other airline.

FlyersRights.org Executive Director Kate Hanni also noted that she and her entire membership would be calling upon the Congress, the Secretary of Transportation and the Justice Department to investigate Spirit as a result of its apparent fraud upon flying public. FlyersRights.org has also published information for stranded passengers to use.

In response to the crisis FlyersRights.org recommends the following to stranded Spirit passengers:

1. If you have not received a refund and the promised $100.00 voucher, call your credit card immediately and challenge the charge.

2. File a claim in small claims court for all expenses related to being stranded and/or pre-pays for trips not taken.

3. File a complaint with the DOT, who can assist you with remedies.

4. Do NOT fly Spirit Airlines. Low cost air carriers, in general, will do NOTHING for you in the event of any irregular operation, even their own operations.

5. If you are stranded by Spirit please contact FlyersRights.org via our website.

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