Spirit Airlines is not yet ready for prime time.
We decided to give the relatively new airline a chance (rates were good) for our Thanksgiving travel and were inconvenienced on both legs of the journey.
We booked our tickets through Expedia, but were never given seats. Upon arrival in Providence, we finally had a chance to select our seats for our Fort Myers destination at the self-serve kiosk. Better yet, we were given the chance to upgrade to business class for only $35 apiece. We did.
After standing in line to get through security, we heard our names paged over the intercom. The page instructed us to report back to the ticket counter because "there was a problem with our tickets." So, after descending and ascending the escalator with our carry-on luggage and standing with hundreds of people in line, we had to leave the line and go to the ticket counter, only to have a service rep tell us our seats had already been sold. Bottom line: The kiosks were not aligned with the main ticketing system.
We were issued new seats, and given a pass to move to the head of the line. Which was fine. Except for the fact that the testosterone-fueled security guards gave us plenty of grief for moving to the head of the wrong line.
Once we were comfortably seated on the plane after a 90-minute delay, two people moved into the seats behind us, bumped from their original seats because the airline sold their seats twice. Again, systems problems.
On our return trip, we dealt directly with the service reps to get our seats (still couldn't confirm Spirit seats through Expedia). For some reason, Spirit had booked us separately. The rep, after briefly looking for two seats together, asked us if we wanted to upgrade to business class. We said OK.
But we waited. And waited. And waited. For the next 30 minutes, we stood at the counter as four different reps tried to confirm our seats. Something with the damn computer wouldn't spit out one of the boarding passes. Meanwhile, the line to get through security was getting longer and longer as we waited for the service reps to figure out how to master the computer system.
Finally, we got our tickets and, eventually, after a 30-minute delay, boarded the plane. Once again, we heard stewardesses discussing that there were people in the back of the plane whose seats had been sold twice.
To their credit, the Spirit reps were very friendly and courteous. They just don't have their systems figured out. And on a Thanksgiving travel weekend, that's bad news for passengers.
This is why you get to the airport two hours early.