Help! I’m locked out of my Free Spirit Account

laptop, computer, mistake, error, internet, online, woman
By | September 3rd, 2017

We all log in to accounts every day using passwords that we somehow manage to remember. But imagine if you got locked out of your account because you had too many incorrect logins.

That’s what happened to Jamie Caroland, who was locked out of her Free Spirit account (the frequent flier program at Spirit Airlines). It was especially frustrating since she was scheduled to fly Spirit in a few weeks.

A few weeks ago, Caroland received an email from Spirit’s IT department:

We have learned that your login information appears to have been compromised in connection with a prior breach, unrelated to Spirit Airlines. This activity does not appear to be associated with any breach of cybersecurity at Spirit Airlines.

At this time, there is no evidence that your credit card information is at risk. In order to protect access to your FREE SPIRIT account, we have disabled your current password and have sent or will be sending you instructions to update your FREE SPIRIT password.

No big deal, right? This happens to me all the time. But, unfortunately, Caroland didn’t have any success reconnecting to her account. The passcode reset didn’t work, and neither did any subsequent passcode reset attempts.

“When I create a new passcode that meets their character requirements, I get the same response in a big red box, that my passcode must have between 8 and 16 characters, including 1 capital, 1 numeric, and 1 special character,” Caroland explained. “I cannot get through to anyone live on their phone numbers, including the customer service number for Spirit Airlines, or their corporate office number that your website provides.”

Related story:   How much is your "free" award ticket costing you?

Frustrated with the situation, Caroland contacted our advocates, who walked her through the password reset process again and determined that she would need the help of customer service contacts at Spirit Airlines. We list them on our website.

Spirit’s representative immediately surmised that Caroland had been locked out of her account:

It’s likely not an IT problem. Her password was most likely locked out for her protection. Have her check her email.

We had a relatively small amount of people whose personal information (email, passwords, and other information) have been compromised by cyber-attacks on other websites. This information is being sold on the dark web to cyber-criminals. Most of the people who were on the list provided to us had very simple passwords (Like “Password” or “ABC123”) and likely used the same password for all of their online accounts.

We were made aware of people who are on this list and also had FREE SPIRIT accounts. For the protection of these people on the list we locked their current password, sent them an email explaining the situation and provided them with a temporary password, that would get them into the system so they could change their password.

I hope this helps. If she’s still having problems, I’ll get her with our IT department.

That’s when Spirit’s representative got his IT department involved. A technical support person determined that the account had been deactivated since the last time Caroland was given a temporary password, which the tech support person remedied.

“She gave me a new temporary password, stayed on the phone with me while I created a new password, and this time it worked!” Caroland says. “I am just a very happy camper that this got resolved. I’m not sure I would have found another expedient way to get this solved except through Elliott.”

Related story:   Hey Spirit Airlines, have a heart!

Caroland was such a happy camper that she decided to join our volunteer advocacy team. No greater “thank you” than “paying it forward” to other consumers.

  • disqus_00YDCZxqDV

    Great site design! Tell people their password doesn’t meet the requirements, when it does and the real problem is the account was deactivated.

  • Travelnut

    I’m having a similar problem right now with the Hilton website. I was inexplicably locked out earlier this week. (I know it’s a no-no but I keep an Excel file of all my passwords so it’s not that I didn’t remember it.) No matter what password I try to change it to after requesting a reset, and following all their password rules, it’s not accepting it. I even talked to their IT department and they couldn’t figure it out. I may be contacting you myself!

  • Alan Gore

    Spirit has a loyalty program? This is like Comcast having a fan club.

  • joycexyz

    If they sent her a temporary password, it would be time-sensitive. So if she didn’t use it right away it would no longer be valid. But this whole password thing has gotten so out of hand it’s ridiculous!

  • The Original Joe S

    and we have locked you out, mindlessly, and we refuse to talk with you, and go fish!

  • The Original Joe S

    Their IT dept are either 1] stupid or 2] lazy or 3] incompetent or 4] all of these. Why are they getting paid if they can’t fix this problem?

  • The Original Joe S

    Yeah, like chickens pulling for Col Sanders!

  • The Original Joe S

    So if she DID use it right away, then your supposition is invalid……..

  • Harvey-6-3.5

    So I also keep the passwords. The trivial ones (that wouldn’t cost me anything if stolen), I keep in my email. The valuable ones (banks, etc.), I keep in a book in my house, so that they are not vulnerable to a hacker, only to an actual thief who picks the right book, the right page, and finds them.

  • jsn55

    I agree, but what would you suggest as an alternative? I have a password/logon issue seemingly every week. Only my hidden spreadsheet saves me.

  • joycexyz

    If I had a viable alternative, I would be very wealthy. In the meantime, I use a password keeper. And the one that comes with Norton Internet Security is very good. But it’s certainly no surprise that so many people use PASSWORD as their password for everything.

  • LonnieC

    Actually, I’d like to see something like the Apple fingerprint sensor that could be plugged into a computer and placed on a desk, and would be used for a fingerprint whenever a password is required.

  • LonnieC

    There are several password keepers. SplashID is another. They’re protected by using a unique strong password.

  • PsyGuy

    Okay, YAY…

    Is it just me or does this seem like the results of a slow advocacy day?

  • PsyGuy

    Okay but this issue could have happened with a site with great site design as well. Even Google gets it wrong sometimes.

  • PsyGuy

    Or the “right” friend or family member who has the time and the access.

  • PsyGuy

    They do, they also have a membership program that gets you lower costs on upgrades and amenities.

  • PsyGuy


  • PsyGuy

    What they need to do though is encrypt the file.

  • PsyGuy

    They have those, go to Amazon and search for USB fingerprint scanners and you will find them from $20 and up, but they don’t work very well and aren’t very secure.

We want your feedback. Your opinion is important to us. Here's how you can share your thoughts:
  • Send us a letter to the editor. We'll publish your most thoughtful missives in our daily newsletter or in an upcoming post.
  • Leave a message on one of our social networks. We have an active Facebook page, a LinkedIn presence and a Twitter account. Every story on this site is posted on those channels. The conversation ranges from completely unmoderated (Twitter) to moderated (Facebook and LinkedIn).
  • Post a question to our help forums or ask our advocates for a hand through our assistance intake form. Please note that our help forum is not a place for debate. It's there primarily to assist readers with a consumer problem.
  • If you have a news tip or want to report an error or omission, you can email the site publisher directly. You may also contact the post's author directly. Contact information is in the author tagline.