A “no show” gets a second chance on Spirit Airlines

When David Ennis checked in for a recent Spirit Airlines flight from Detroit to Fort Myers, Fla., an agent told him the flight was oversold. When he tried to fly the next day, Spirit told him he was a “no show” for his flight and was holding a worthless ticket.

Here we go again.

No, this isn’t another Spirit is awful story. This one has a happy ending.

His partner, Mary Shepherd, picks up the story. She tried to call Spirit to help Ennis get on the plane, but the representatives she spoke with were “rude and dismissive,” she says.

Then she emailed Heather Harvey, Spirit’s top customer service executive.

She was in touch with me in minutes and listened to my story. I was polite and pleasant — not always my first response, but I am glad I treated her with the respect I did because she returned that many times over.

In no time, she had phoned David, arranged a new flight, here and back, free of charge.

She is the kind of rep all companies need. I have to give Spirit Air a ’10’ for personnel after dealing with her. She deserves congratulations and praise for her support of weary and a disappointed passenger and partner. My hat is off to Heather and another woman who assisted her with this problem.

This is by no means the first time Harvey’s outstanding work has come to my attention. She’s been behind several good-news stories that I’ve posted on my blog.

Ennis shouldn’t have left the airport when he heard his flight was oversold, of course. He should have asked to be rebooked on another flight, and invoked Spirit’s Contract of Carriage, which provides compensation for involuntary denied boardings.

Then again, Spirit shouldn’t have oversold his flight in the first place.

I’m optimistic that Spirit, which has one of the worst reputations for customer service in the airline industry, can be reformed. Stories like this give me hope.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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