Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spirit Airlines...Flt #180...the flight from hell!

Okay...I could write an entire book on the infamous Spirit Airlines and I plan to add another blog entry real soon based on my recent Spirit Airlines booking ordeal.   I must admit that it wasn't all Spirit's fault, but yesterday was my last flight on Spirit...FOREVER!!!   I've only flown them once before, years ago, when I questioned whether or not their old dilapidated aircraft was even capable of flying!   But again...Friday was the very last time Spirit will ever see me (or my family) again!

Flight #180 (from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to New York's LaGuardia airport) was scheduled to depart at 11:30 AM...boarding to begin at 10:45AM.   Sure enough, at 10:45AM they announced boarding to begin starting with "Zone 1".   We were assigned to "Zone 4".   My wife decided to run to the ladies room and, upon her return to the gate she noticed, on one of the many terminal displays, that this flight would be delayed and not depart until 12:15.

Spirit's "customer service" gate agent told us not to believe the terminal displays because the flight was boarding now and would depart as scheduled.   We boarded when "Zone 4" was called.   Shortly thereafter, around 11:15AM, the captain announced that the flight was indeed delayed and would not depart until 12:30 in the afternoon.   He also announced that, given the delay, we could disembark the aircraft but were asked that we not leave the gate area.   We did both.

We reboarded about noon and flight #180 pulled away from the gate at 12:30PM.   Once on the tarmac...the captain announced there would be another delay based on the foggy/inclement weather in the New York City area.   ( fault of Spirit.)   Engines were shut down.   That's when we, and many other passengers, became acutely aware of the family occupying row eight!   Their presence was an ordeal to remember!   After two or three announcements and twenty or so minutes later...flight #180 ran down the Fort Lauderdale runway and took off.   Finally we were airbound!

Then the agony really started!   My wife and I were in aisle seats (7C and 7D).   Behind us, in row eight, was a family of six....four adults, a male child of about 6 or 7 years old and a toddler that could be no more than two years old?   Throughout the flight, and even on the tarmac, when the children were not screaming or kicking the seats in from of them, the adults and children kept switching seats across the aisle...totally ignoring the captain's request to remain seated and fasten your seat belts.   I believe the toddler screamed damn near the entire journey!

The dialog (I believe in Chinese?), was at a deafening pitch THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE FLIGHT.   I began to wonder if these folks knew how to whisper or even talk in a lower pitch!   And it wasn't just me and the Mrs!   Everyone in several rows, for and aft, looked as though they wanted to open the exit door and push all of them out!   All of them!   If you looked around, several of the other passenger held their hands over their ears just to deal with the noise.   It got to a point that many of us just began to look at each other, shake our heads and laugh because we couldn't believe this was happening!   I longed to have a crying baby next to me!   It was that bad!

But what really astounded me (pissed me off) was the fact that the parents and the other two elders (grandparents maybe?) seemed to completely condone (or ignore) this behavior!   I was ready to reach back and grab these kids by the neck!   But not one word from the elders.   I may have heard them say, what sounded like, "stop" once or twice, but that was it...during the course of a 4+ hour journey/ordeal!

Finally we landed, around 4PM (one and a half hours behind schedule)...again no fault of Spirit.   It was the damn fog in the NYC area.   We pulled up to the gate.   A few minutes after the seat belt sign went off...the captain announced that the "jetway" operator was new (and in training) and was having a difficult time aligning the jetway to the airplane's front exit door!   Ten minutes later...the jetway trainee finally got it right and we were able to begin our exit from the flight from hell!

While waiting for our $30 (a piece) checked baggage to arrive on the baggage carousel...I looked down and saw my little Asian buddy trying to play on the carousel.   His Dad was completely oblivious!  

Welcome to LaGuardia!   As Joe Biden said....

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