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Consumers Unleash Their Hate on Airlines

MIRAMAR, Fla., Nov. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- People hate air travel. When given the opportunity, consumers have very little trouble expressing their hate against airlines. In fact thousands of people unleashed their hate last summer when Spirit Airlines (Nasdaq:SAVE) opened itself to feedback asking people why they hate to fly. The airline has now released the results of this feedback in their "State of Hate Report."



A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28799

Last July Spirit announced their "Hug The Haters" campaign along with the "Hate Thousand Miles Giveaway" where they encouraged consumers to share their frustrations with flying, and in return gave the "haters" 8,000 FREE SPIRIT® miles to use on future Spirit flights. The response was overwhelming. In just a few days, almost 30,000 people shared their hate.

The report made it clear air travel is a hassle and annoys people, no matter which airline you fly. Spirit assumed that since they asked for the candid feedback, most of the hate would be directed at them. To their surprise, 60 percent of the responses they received were frustrations with airlines other than Spirit.

"I think if any organization asks for feedback you would expect the vast majority of responses would be directed at the company that seeks it," said Spirit's President and CEO Ben Baldanza. "But in this case we were surprised that most consumers chose to share their frustrations about other airlines."

Spirit has taken the feedback, compiled the data, and today released what they call "The State Of Hate" report which can be found at www.hatethousandmiles.com.

"Airlines mess up and air travelers get frustrated," added Baldanza. "Spirit is listening and willing to be transparent enough to admit where we can do things better. The feedback we received makes it clear no airline is immune from upsetting their customers, and at Spirit we can do a better job of explaining how flying with us is different."

Here are some of the results of the State of Hate Report:

  • 20% of consumers who responded hate airline seats. They hate everything about them: size, shape, getting to them, leg room, and reclining.
  • 16% shared their frustrations with lost bags and baggage policies.
  • 15% complained about delays and airline customer service.

The report also lists the different types of complaints and which airlines have the highest percentage of complaints by category. Not surprisingly, Spirit led the pack in frustrations about its "fee" structure.

"We don't look at them as fees, they are options that our customers can choose, or not depending on how much money they wish to save," said Baldanza. "But this clearly shows we need to continue educating our customers about our business model. Our experience shows once customers understand how much money they save with our model, they like it a lot."

As has come to be expected, Spirit took the feedback and had some fun with it. Another surprising aspect of the feedback was the level of vitriol and expletives used in many of the hate messages. Spirit created a "Vulgarity Index" showing the different curse words that are used to describe the respondents hate for air travel. The report also contains a fun and irreverent newscast presenting the results of the report with puppets as the news anchors.

"The bottom line is, airline travel is frustrating," continued Baldanza. "So the least we can do is keep offering the lowest fares in the industry to help lessen some of the hate. This allows our customers to have more money to spend once they get to the place they want to be, instead of spending their entire travel budget on the cost of a plane ticket."

To learn more about Spirit, the Bare Fareand Frill Control, visit spirit.com/101.

The State of Hate Report can be found at: www.hatethousandmiles.com

A PDF version of the infographic with the State of Hate Report results can be found at:
http://www.hatethousandmiles.com/assets/infographic.pdf

About Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines (Nasdaq:SAVE) is committed to offering the lowest total price to the places we fly, on average 40% lower than other airlines even after optional charges.** Our customers start with an unbundled, stripped-down Bare Fare™ and get Frill Control™ which allows customers to pay only for the options they choose like bags, seat assignments and refreshments – the things other airlines bake right into their ticket prices. We help people save money and travel more often, create new jobs and stimulate business growth in the communities we serve. Our all-Airbus fleet currently operates more than 270 daily flights to more than 55 destinations in the U.S., Latin America and Caribbean. Come save with us at www.spirit.com.

MEDIA NOTES:

Spirit aircraft photos and video b-roll are available in the press room section of spirit.com at www.spirit.com/Pressrelease.aspx.

** based on US Department of Transportation data for Spirit and other U.S. airlines for the twelve months ended 9/30/13 adjusted for differences in length of haul.

CONTACT: Paul Berry 954-918-9432 Paul.Berry@spirit.com En Espanol: Manuel Jaquez 954-628-4898 Manuel.Jaquez@Spirit.com

Source:Spirit Airlines