A Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Cleveland on Monday, that one passenger called “the flight from hell,” could have been even worse, an airline industry expert said Wednesday.
Stan Vozar and his wife returned home to Berea Monday from a 45th anniversary cruise that docked in South Florida. Spirit Flight 440 to Cleveland was delayed several hours. Once in Cleveland, a Spirit Airlines spokesperson said the pilot did not feel safe landing, due to high wind, so he chose to divert the flight to Detroit.
That’s when passengers waited hours more for buses the airline rented. One of the three buses to Cleveland broke down near Toledo. The flight was originally supposed to land in Cleveland at 5:10 p.m. on Monday. Vozar said he finally got home at close to 6:00 in the morning on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, it’s going to always be remembered as that plane flight from hell back home rather than our 45th anniversary cruise,” Vozar said.
Spirit blamed weather for the problems and offered passengers an apology and $50 vouchers. Industry expert Benét Wilson with About.com said she was shocked to learn Spirit even offered that.
“You get rock bottom fares, but you also get rock bottom service,” Wilson said, adding that in recent months the airline’s new CEO had made a point to try and improve the company’s customer service image.
“This $50 voucher and the fact that they rented these buses, that’s kind of a big deal because if this had happened a year ago, those people would have not have gotten any of that,” she said.
But the gesture did not change Vozar's mind.
“You think I’m going, at this point the way I feel, I’m going to go a schedule another flight with Spirit Airlines?” he asked, "I don’t think so!”