Spirit Airlines cancelled flights at LAX stranding passengers and naturally there’s someone onboard that is uniquely sympathetic, thanks to Spirit they can’t make it to a funeral. Spirit blames weather, and weather has been an issue, but other airline operations fared better.
Passengers are outraged after they showed up to the airport, only to find out Spirit Airlines canceled their flights without any explanation.
Several passengers spent the night at the airport.
The airline has canceled multiple flights out of LAX since Monday, blaming it on bad weather.
…Annie Chandler of Los Angeles says she will likely miss her grandmother’s funeral due to the delay.
And that’s why some simple principles are worth keeping in mind, both about choosing your carrier and about taking ownership for solving your own problems when operational challenges strike.
- It’s better to fly an airline that will put you on another carrier than one that won’t.
- It’s better to fly an airline that has plenty of service than one with limited flights.
- It’s better to have a stash of miles, also to have a small ‘travel emergency’ savings, so that you can deal with hiccups that happen along the way.
Travel is more than just the cost of a plane ticket. Travel insurance is a pain since you may not have a claim approved and it’s taxing just to process – for small purchases I’ve never felt it makes sense.
Instead you ‘self insure’, pay in a premium to yourself for each trip, and then use that fund to cover extra expenses (some of which you may get reimbursed for by the premium credit card used to pay for your ticket). Margins on travel insurance are huge, often 50%, because they’re profitable products to offer. Sell it to yourself instead.
There’s nothing better than flying between two hubs during irregular operations. There’s a way to get there. It may not be obvious to agents helping you – but there’s a way to get there.
- During ‘snowmageddon’ several years ago in DC (“Panic!”) air travel was disrupted for days. But a seat here or there would pop up. I was helping a dozen people get to a San Francisco work event. They really needed to be there. I was grabbing regional jet inventory from Dulles to Kansas City, creating a forced overnight, and then getting them to San Francisco in time for the event start the next day. The airline wouldn’t pay for hotel in Kansas City but Priceline worked well by the airport.
The most frustrating thing during rebooking is telephone hold times. Inventory is constantly changing. If you find seats available, call, and sit on hold the inventory may be gone by the time you’re helped. I realize it contributes to the hold times, but the individually rational thing to do (which only the airline can solve, not you) is to sit on the phone assuming you’ll need help and keep looking for space. Don’t wait until you find it.
You need to find your own options. On the fly, Expertflyer (pay service) is great for that on a mobile phone. Don’t rely on agents to come up with options, they certainly wouldn’t suggest a forced overnight in Kansas City that they couldn’t pay hotel on (nor would they find it, since the computer wasn’t going to suggest it). And they get so beaten down with nothing available and disappointing customers that they’re unlikely to work hard, assuming everything they try is a no-go.
Be nice. Chat up your agent. Get them on your side. Commiserate with them over how tough a situation they’re facing with so many unhappy people. They’ll want to help you if you’re nice. They’ll even want to spend more time working on your issues rather than moving on to the next mean customer (it really isn’t their fault.. most of the time). If you take out your frustration with the day’s circumstances on the person who you need to help you, they’re just going to want to get you out their way.
Look to everyone for help. Even in person there’s the idea of hang up, call back. You have the ticket counter, the phone, you may have the lounge, the customer service line, the gate. There are plenty of people who may be able to assist. Try them in succession until you get what you need.