MIAMI — Spirit Airlines asked travelers to weigh in on its “State of the Hate” report and the number one complaint was airline seats, followed by lost bags, and a tie between delays and service. Nearly 30,000 customers took the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based ultra low-cost carrier up on its offer of 8,000 frequent flyer miles in exchange for expressing their opinions on what they hate most about flying.
While 40 percent of those who participated in the airline’s poll aimed their vitriol at Spirit, other carriers did not miss out on the hate. Delta led the hate parade, at 12 percent, followed by United Airlines at 10 percent, American Airlines at 8 percent, Southwest Airlines at 7 percent and US Airways at 5 percent.
The airline offered what it called a PG version of the words most used to describe the hated airlines: suck was the runaway winner, followed by arse, crap and the S word. And of all the words used to describe airlines, United was at the top of the list as the “vulgarist” airline, with Delta in second place and Allegiant in third.
Spirit then used the results of its report to encourage customers to look at its fees and low fares in a more positive light, through its Spirit 101 web page, a guide on how to fly on the carrier. Tips included: an explanation of “bare fares;” frill control; new aircraft; and cozy seats. It also encourages customers to check bags early to save money, pay extra for a Big Front Seat for more space and extra leg room, print boarding passes at home and prepare to pay for drinks and snacks onboard flights.