[Meltdown Continues For 6th Consecutive Day] PSA: Friends Don’t Let Friends Fly Spirit

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Update, 8/6: Spirit’s meltdown continues today for the 6th day in a row. They have cancelled 44% and delayed another 18% of the flights that were scheduled to fly today.

Update, 8/5: Spirit’s meltdown continues today for the 5th day in a row. They have cancelled 56% and delayed another 14% of the flights that were scheduled to fly today.

I always Say, Friends Don’t Let Friends Fly Spirit (Or Frontier).

This week has been no exception.

Spirit has cancelled 60% of its flight today. Yesterday 61% of its flights were cancelled and another 19% were delayed. On Sunday and Monday some 60-70% of its flights were delayed or cancelled.

Spirit’s operations are in shambles and show no signs of recovery.

Worse yet, when you book travel on an ultra low cost carrier like Spirit, they won’t rebook you on another airline. If things go wrong on United you can get moved to American or Delta, but that’s not the case with Spirit. Passengers have been waiting all week to get to their destination, or have ponied up for pricey last minute tickets on other airlines.

Many airlines are stretched ultra-thin with staffing and flight cancellations can have a ripple affect on operations that can be hard to recover from. We’ve also seen staffing issues with Delta’s call centers that have created epic hold times of 10 hours or more.

Spirit passengers in some airports have rioted and assaulted employees, which have caused remaining employees in those airports to go into hiding.

Yes, Spirit flights will often get you to where you want to go. But when thing go bad, they go spectacularly bad.

The airline has offered an apology. Just don’t expect them to get you where you need to go.

Mind you, American has not been much better. I have horrendously bad luck when I fly American, so I generally try to avoid them. They have left me stranded overnight too many times, though I’d still fly them over Spirit as they have the ability to rebook on other airlines.

American’s operations melted down this week with 12% of their flights cancelled yesterday along with another 29% delayed. On Monday they cancelled 18% of their flights and delayed another 33% of their flights. Their short staffing has hurt their operations all year long as they ramped up flights but don’t have enough staff to operate them.

It has not been a great week for airline operations to say the least. Have you traveled this week and run into operational issues?

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126 Comments On "[Meltdown Continues For 6th Consecutive Day] PSA: Friends Don’t Let Friends Fly Spirit"

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JetBlue Only

Only airline I will touch is JetBlue.


Out of 5 flights, 4 were delayed with one of those getting canceled. Then therbooked flight was delayed as well.
That’s in the past month.
A rainstorm triggered 2 of the delayed flights


4.5 hour delay last week LAX to EWR


They delayed my mom twice last week.

Jet who?

They’ve lost their touch. Starting to look like the rest of the airlines.


100%, they used to be great. They get heavy and bad delays like all the others.


Definitely. I also hate their new customer unfriendly policies. I find that Delta is the most reliable (generally speaking). They flew me through a snowstorm and got there early, while everyone else was delayed for hours.


JetBlue also won’t book you on another airline.


Wish i could avoid American but living in Charlotte its not really something we can do for most destinations.


Dan, what would suggest for someone who has booked thier family on spirit for beginning of next week?

Harley Kesselman



also book a backup flight with another airline that could be cancelled for full refund


Wife and kids flew to Orlando today with Southwest (bdl-mco) no issues actually had a great experience


Were probably wearing masks, so can barely call that “great experience”…


Would you classify a great experience as refusing to wear a mask, creating a Chillul Hashem, and having law enforcement escort you off the plane?


I think he meant that pre-Covid flying was a great experience.

Brian G

I have a Spirit flight coming up this week but also have a Southwest flight as a backup. Spirit is direct whereas Southwest is not so hopefully no hiccups with Spirit.

Brian G

Follow up. One of my two Spirit flights were cancelled. Had to take the backup SWA flight instead. I prepared for this so not a big deal for me.


What is causing this spirit meltdown? Are they also short on staff like AA?


Flew out of Cle with delta 4 segments. No issues.


Frontier seems to be a much more reliable ULCC with similar pricing to spirit. I’ve flown with them many times including just last week with no issues.


Flew southwest mdw to FLL last night

Was only like 1 hour 25 min late or so but still annoying.

Disappointed passenger

JetBlue has been a disaster lately as well. They have been known to have major delays, and cancel flights. Two weeks ago, they canceled our entire flight just 4-hours before we were to take off. It left 15 of us stranded. Since some of us had different reservation numbers, they assigned different people on random flights, some connecting in different cities. Our young kids were scheduled to fly the next morning by themselves from LAX via Austin to JFK, my wife was to fly at around 1:00pm direct LAX to JFK, and me leaving at 3:00pm LAX to EWR. Some of our wedding guests were devastated that they were going to miss work and urgent meetings. 3-4 hour hold times for Customer Service with JBLU is the new norm. They should be ashamed of themselves.


Agreed. We were delayed on JetBlue for 4 hours without being told anything.


I flew to jfk-mia end of June and spent 8 hours traveling they delayed the flight twice the second time I was already checked in… user to be my favorite airline

I flew yesterday

I flew spirit yesterday and yes my flight was delayed over 5 hours and I was relieved to have flown at all. Many passengers on my flight were rebooked from previously canceled flights. That being said the staff were extremely nice I was flying with kids and they were super accommodating (don’t think my kids kept their masks on much) and I did get a ton of vouchers (not that they are worth much). Also flying from my local airport is very convenient. So all in all I didn’t have such a bad experience while admittedly had my flight been canceled none of the pros would have helped at all.


Another “benefit” of flying Spirit is that the clientele loves fighting on their flights, so you might capture some cool footage to upload to the internet.


Can one file a complaint with the DOT for the canceled flights?



Yesterday\'s delay

my wife missed her connection on Southwest b/c her first flight was delayed. Ended up arriving close to give hours after she was scheduled to land. Southwest also doesn’t book on other airlines (but far better than Spirit or Frontier)


And the price of gas is skyrocketing, or else I would say how more reliable the ol’ automobile is these days.


I was going to a concert in October but it’s has been rescheduled for the next year. Before rescheduling, I got very good Delta tickets but I don’t want to fly (with no concert) and I don’t want the credit.

Recently, they cancel the flight and Delta keeps on emailing me to contact them or to go to my account and cancel my flight ticket for an ecredit. They have put me o a different flight that’s just only a few minutes different from the original. Would that be enough to ask for the cash refund?


File DOT complaint for a cash refund, if they won’t voluntarily refund via cash.


I just got a cash refund on a delta economy basic flight which they advertise as nonrefundable. Delta changed the time of the flight twice so I just called them, as Dan mentioned this is no easy task, told them that the new time of the flight didn’t work out for my plans and requested a cash refund to the original form of payment. Good luck


Suggestion on booking award ticket next week from ord-phx ? Have miles with all.


Are $9 fare club prices available online only or in airport as well?


I’m not sure how the prices compare, but basic economy on a regular airline seems to be much better in comparison. You don’t deal with the additional cancellation and customer service issues, just lose a couple of benefits that you can sometimes do without anyway.


As a frequent Spirit flyer who has only had one negative experience since 2008, I hereby protest


We just flew with a family of 6 on frontier. We planned for the worst but it was so smooth bh! Although we didn’t pay extra for seats, we all say I’m the same 2 rows. We went with 4 car/booster seats, including a wheely for the booster seat and a stroller, no issues. Each of us had a backpack and no issues with it, took it on as a person’s item.

Stephanie Woods

I used to love Jetblue, but they won’t put you on another airline either. And they just canceled my flight from Miami and rebooked me to return a day early. Their schedule now has no flights at all on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between Miami and Bradley, so I now need to stay in Miami two more nights. American has cancelled my flights as well, and given me flights that turn into 22 hour marathons. I don’t think there are any good airlines any more. And American doesn’t even provide entertainment! I can’t even imagine flying on Spirit or Frontier-no matter how cheap they are!

They were short one flight attendant flight was de

Yes jet blue. They were short one flight attendant flight was delayed by an hour


It doesn’t completely excuse things, but AA was hit on Sunday with terrible thunderstorms at DFW which — as is often the case — completely disrupted their systemwide operations. Other than de-emphasizing DFW, I’m not sure what AA could actually do to make this occasional problem better. DFW is notorious for it’s bad weather operations.


That’s what happens when government makes it more lucrative not to work than to work. For shame. That’s the number one reason of staffing issues in ALL industries now.


I must be one of those rare people who has NEVER had a bad experience with Spirit. And I have flown with them. Alot. My husband flew with them today and the flight was on time. He is flying back with my sons on Friday and I really hope I didn’t just jinx this, lol


Flew allegiant from ewr to Grand Rapids mich and return nice experience flying next week on jet blue to fll from hpn thanks will include them in my prayers

South haven visitor

Well they canceled all flights back to new york this past Sunday with no reason given. (Allegiant)


All airlines suck these days. Spirit always sucks so this extra sucking is well, sucky.


Can I book United flight with points using the Chase Portal and be able to change it (For more than thirty days) and then cancel it to get my points back, if my Spirit flight works out? Or it would only work if I do it through united website?


I flew with delta Friday to lax via Atlanta Brilliant experience. Just a slight delay at Atlanta.
I was standing online 5am at Newark for a coffee where passengers where going bonkers spirits canceled the 9pm Thursday flight it was 5am Friday morning and no updates. Apparently they where on the runway the plane turned back police came on board they told the passengers technical failure.
Bh I had a smooth ride lax ewr red eye Monday.
With united. Both ways flights where full they offered complimentary free carry on check in.

Frustrated with American Airlines

Got messed up with American TWICE this week. First we were delayed sitting on the tarmac at EWR for 45 minutes for maintenance once we were on the plane. That caused us to miss the connection in Charlotte and had to wait about hours for the next flight available.

And then on my return flight from this short trip, I got an email the day before that the schedule 6:30 pm flight was cancelled and they put me on a flight for the next day. I didn’t want to wait a tiger day, and had to book a last minute flight on United and paid a lot more because American cancelled for no good reason.

Is there any way American would reimburse me for the extra cost I had to pay to book with United, since they cancelled and had no flights that day?


San, My flight w Spirit was canceled last night.

How likely is it to get a refund + some?

You get what you pay for

Spirit & Frontier took over for where Tower Air left off. They are always brainstorming, how can we make the lives of our paying customers miserable?! What can we do to make them angry?! What more can we do to treat them like dogs? They must be laughing in some smoke filled backrooms watching their gullible customers suffer.

Texas Totty

Landed twice recently with Southwest in HOU and everything was smooth until 30-45 min wait for baggage claim. and it’s a royal balagan down there. Presumably staffing issues in the airports as well.

Texas Totty

And here’s a gem from Mendy Pellin: https://twitter.com/MendyTV/status/1422924626519281667


My AA flight from Memphis to Charlotte got cancelled on Tuesday with about 16 hours notice. I was able to get a callback from them about 2 hours later, and rebooked on a flight that left 2 hours earlier than previously.

As an added bonus, my 2nd segment got a 1st class upgrade! (Temporary platinum status from 3 month challenge)

Harabi MiUto

American put me on a next-day flight from Israel after I misssed mine in the last minute (thanks to Israeli Ministry of Health beaurocracy) for only $180. That was very nice of them. Their international call center hub was very helpful, courteous and efficient. I give credit where credit is due.

Anyone know ?

“Flat Tire Rule” ? I guess I managed to miss that piece of Dan’s wisdom – Can you please explain ?


I flew Frontier round-trip last week. Family of six.
The first flight was delayed by an hour and a half, but I got text and email notifications sufficiently in advance so we were not puling our hair out at the airport.
The return flight was delayed about forty-five minutes. There was no advance notice. But 45 minutes is not terrible.
Both flights were otherwise fine. They allowed my kids to visit the pilots and gave them stickers. They were not overly zealous about the little ones wearing masks (though my kids generally wore them throughout the flights).

too tired

This morning Southwest canceled a 5:30 flight from Hartford to Detroit right before departure time due to a mechanical issue. My 17-year-old son and 16 of his friends returning from camp have been stranded there high and dry since then. Southwest has been completely impossible to deal with, refusing to try to book them on any other airline. Ticket refunds and a $200 voucher, and have a nice life. We may need to book a bus for them for $7000 because no other options.


sooo crazy! As someone who evac’d China during early covid days. That could have happened to my kids at a church camp if covid shutdowns had happened a few other weekends. Thank goodness I was with my kids when it happened.


We’re any flights going to lga cancelled this week?


just called American, wait time on hold will be over 2 hours…


Just curious where you get your stats from?


Hi Dan.
I have a flight from Orlando to New Jersey this Monday bh for a wedding
Why do you recommend I do?


Southwest may not be glamourous, but it WILL get you to your destination. Cancellations are a NON-issue.

too tired

See my 11:12 comment. 15 Detroit boys still stuck there without resolution from SW.


I just flew American yesterday and it was great and on time !


friends tell true friends buy shares in Spirit or other LCCs so you can easily afford to avoid flying them.


I primarily fly F9 & NK.
I never had an issue.
I haven’t had any issues flying G4.
Haven’t tried MX or XP.
I don’t think it’s fair to blame NK specifically. As noted, the aren’t enough people willing to work throughout our country.
I flew AF last week, we were delayed an hour upon arrival because they didn’t have a gate available.


For us simple people:
F9=Frontier Airlines,
NK= Spirit Airlines
G4=Allegiant Air
MX=Breeze Airways
AF=Air France


Does delta basic cabin booked with points allow free cancellation?

United is no longer what it was

United’s CS is getting worse by the day.
I waited on the phone for 2 and a half hours before hanging up.


I just flew American back and forth in one day seamlessly


yes with jetblue


@Dan- I have a flight in two weeks with 5 children flying on Spirit to Orlando. I just called Chase(reserve) and asked if I can dispute the charge proactively due to recent events(then I will book on another airline) They said sure. Does that make sense?


We flew American, Spirit, and Jetblue in the last 2 weeks. American flight was cancelled, and even when rebooked, the flight was delayed an hour cuz the Captain showed up late. Spirit flight was “delayed” 15 hours (waiting for flight attendants). Jetblue was a breath of fresh air, left exactly on time.


My travel agent (a relative) once offered me a stack of free Spirit flight certificates, and I said “no thank you”. He was shocked that I wouldn’t take them, but, you know … Spirit. Even for free, it’s not worth the hassle.


Had a jfk-mco jetblue flight on Sunday, it had to land in Tampa first because there wasn’t enough fuel to circle mco to wait out the 20 minutes extra for the storm to pass. 2.5 hour diverged flight delay, wasn’t fun.


Do friends let friends buy Spirit stock? It’s up 50% in the last year, despite events of the past week. About the same performance as American, and better than United. My guess is that their profits will be higher this quarter because of higher loads, even after cash refunds to many customers. At least Spirit publishes its fares, while Southwest claims copyright infringement if search engines dare to disclose their prices.


I flew on frontier on Sunday from Philadelphia it was a mess The flight was delayed for four hours because they couldn’t put together a crew then they waited another additional 45 minutes for the last stewardess to come they were many other frontier and spirit flights in the same terminal and all were either canceled or very long delays I also had a pretty new Donna carriage which upon landing when they brought up to the gate back it was completely broken the handles no longer move with a big dent in it I reached out to them for a complaint they still haven’t responded It ruined the whole trip because we couldn’t wheel the the baby properly And we could rent a car because we arrive too late

Spirit Stock

At the moment Spirit Stock is only down 4.5% for the week. Perhaps shareholders are happy that Spirit is overbooked …

Delta Fan

Flew Delta this week round trip JFK-LAX. Very smooth, no issues and arrived early with both flights.


We went to Florida for the Yeshiva Break in January into February of this year. We were supposed to go back to Newark from Fort Lauderdale on February 2. The NY/NJ area had a snowstorm on Jan 31 – Feb 1 and a ton of flights were cancelled from Jan 31 – Feb 2. We double booked to go home on United and Spirit on Feb 2. I was shocked to find the United Flight got cancelled but the Spirit one did not. We paid only $24 each to sit in their front 2 rows of big seats. For the most part, I agree with the assessment of Spirit Airlines, but this particular time, they could not have done better.


Personally I would walk instead of flying Spirit, of Frontier. I made the spirit mistake years ago, never again.
Terrible service and they act like they are doing you a favor by allowing you onto the plain. Hideous


A few of us from the Jersey Shore and Lakewood area do love the Atlantic City Airport, which is mostly Spirit Airlines. They fly to Florida from there. It’s such a small airport. Daily parking is a fraction of what major city airports charge. The walk from parking to the terminal is less than the amount you might walk from your car in a mall parking lot, to the stores. Maybe 3 planes take off an hour. If you are used to Newark, you board the plane, they close the gate, and maybe 30 mins later you’re in the air. In atlantic city, you are in the air 5-10 mins after they close the door. On top of that, the line for security is 10 mins on a bad day. It negates most of the pain that Spirit might inflict.


I recently had a great hack (maybe others thought of it dunno…) I was trying to reach AA and the hold time said 60 mins. So I hung up and called the Israeli number and pressed 2 for English and someone picked up right away! The thing is they weren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack… but it is worth a try sometimes.


I was canceled on American last week. After waiting on hold 5 hours to try to get rebooked I called the Australian call center and got helped with rebooking. I’ve also had really bad luck flying American, although I would say that the service from Tel Aviv to Miami was great. Is there any compensation available for these hold times? I’ve been compensated in the past for EU flights that were canceled due to staffing shortages.


Is this mess still ongoing?


Jet blue delayed flight 3 1/2 hours- (not due to weather). Gave $50 travel credit. Is it worth
it to fight for more?


More than 1,000 Southwest flights canceled today, the second day of Southwest’s meltdown. I wonder when Dan will notice. Do friends let friends fly Southwest?