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.”
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.”
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.