Aviation News

September 22, 2014

Flight Review: Experiencing Spirit’s “Bare Fare” Model Firsthand

This article originally appeared on AirlineReporter.com.

It’s true, people vehemently despise Spirit Airlines. Just the mention of the company elicits emotion-filled horror stories. Indeed they have a solid 1 out of 5 star rating on TripAdvisor, and they are frequently found at, or near, the top of various “worst airline” rankings. In direct contrast to these ratings and frequent “I’ll never fly Spirit again” claims, the airline continues to grow and increase market share. This begs the question – is the experience really THAT bad? Or, is there something else at play here?

“Bare Fare” crop circle spotted in a soy field just north of the KC airport – (Photo: Victor Lazo)

“Bare Fare” crop circle spotted in a soy field just north of the KC airport – (Photo: Victor Lazo)

In their own defense, Spirit argues that the mass dissatisfaction with them is in large part due to consumers not understanding their progressive, totally unbundled Ultra Low Cost Carrier (ULCC) business model. That assertion seems to hold water. The vast majority of complaints I hear and see are indeed related to “unexpected fees” and being “nickel and dimed” to death. As the well-known cliché goes: “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.” Thankfully, Spirit recognizes there is a problem. To that end they recently hired Barkley, a KC-based marketing firm to assist with better educating consumers and promoting what they refer to as a “bare fare.”

A few months ago, Kansas City International airport announced that ours would be a new market served by Spirit. Shortly after an unexplained crop circle appeared prompting a lot of curiosity. It turned out the image seen above is the logo for Spirit’s Bare Fare.

I was excited to finally have the opportunity to give them a shot, contrary to the advice of everyone who I’d informed of my intentions. I booked a seat on the first flight out, and this is my honest, unbiased review…

First and foremost, I have to admit I was surprised, and the experience overall was positive. In fact, those I interacted with were pleasant, cheerful, and in the case of the flight attendant, even funny – to a level I’ve only experienced on Southwest. Perhaps everyone was on their best behavior due to this being an inaugural flight, but as a pro-airline sort of guy, I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Read the rest of this article at AirlineReporter.com.



About the Author

JL Johnson





 
 

 

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  • Eric

    That crop circle looks like a JetBlue badge for “you can’t use the lavatory!”