Spirit Airlines is terrible. This is not news. Everyone knows the airline sucks, including Spirit. But in the interest of making headlines, Spirit embraced the hate and asked its clientele exactly what makes it suck so hard. And disgruntled passengers happily (or not, really) obliged.
Turns out, fliers don't hate Spirit for non-existent legroom or its rock-bottom worst flight attendants. No, hidden fees take the hate-cake, in large part because nobody likes paying more than they thought they were paying, and because Spirit maintains a "when you fly with us, you pay only for what you see" tagline.
According to the airline's “State of the Hate” report, which collected responses from 28,205 passengers, Spirit's still the most hated airline, garnering 40% of the ire directed at airlines, thanks to its draconian fee policies.
But that's not the only reason for all the negativity.
The report also breaks down what aspects of flying people hate most regardless of airline: 20% of respondents say airplane seats are the worst, while lost bags (16%), delays, and poor service (both 15%) drive passengers up the wall. Surprisingly, fliers are least concerned by cancellations; just 1% worry about canceled flights.
“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”, CEO Ben Baldanza said in a press release. “But in this case we were surprised that most consumers chose to share their frustrations about other airlines."
Well, sure. A full 60% of the complaints were about other airlines, but that was spread out among 10 companies; people still hate Spirit more than three times as much than they hate Delta (12%), and five times more than they hate American Airlines (8%). And those airlines are wayyyyy bigger than Spirit.
Additionally, respondents used colorful language to express their universal hate. “Ass” came up 370 times; “crap”, 201 times; and the F-bomb, 75 times. The most popular word, “suck” -- used 914 times -- confirms everyone’s belief that a lot of airline passengers are unhappy.
Conclusion: everyone sucks, but Spirit reigns supreme when it comes to suckdom.