¡Hola, El Perú!: DiSpiriting

To show us how cool they are, they pumped in super cold air. Check the vapor right!

It may not be enough to expect on time and good service in flying today. Spirit Airlines already kind of does that. So on my recent trip to Perú, I probably needed something more of a jolt for a more Spirited experience. I was not to be disappointed.

The first jolt came with booking the flight. Checking Expedia first, then following by checking in with the actual airline, I found how creative Spirit was. I have traveled enough to know, that the fare I begin with, is NEVER the fare I end with. That great 911 tax, that the airports got tacked on to fares, as a result of the disaster after years of their own inefficiency to screen passengers, has not given the passenger the perception that they are more safe, nor more comfortable. More seems to have yielded less.

For example, in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), there was no apparent staff to help an Hispanic woman understand her huge gold hoop earrings might be the problem she could not pass muster through security, as she held up dozens of passengers late for flight. Nor could the same staff have taken a more sensitive approach to trying to get a wheelchair bound autistic child to walk through security. Bless the wonderful female employee, who did finally help persuade him in a cramped awful atmosphere of noise and raw nervousness. So please, before FLL pats itself on the back for 2007 safety, it should try to go through its less than adequate 2011 numbers of personal staff for the number of flights. In fact, ALL airports should be subject to numbers of staff present to numbers of passengers departing. Orlando (MCO) has been just as awful at times. That wonderful 911 airport tax, if anything, has left passengers in better running shape, due to number of flights they have had to hurdle for!

Passengers be damned, security first. That goes for United, which slams doors on connecting passengers with it’s 15 minutes close the door before policy. Or it’s “I’ll-give-you-or-a-blanket-or-hotel-discount” when I am late with your connection.”  Or JetBlue, in JFK, when they told 3 out of 5 planeload of passengers to Florida in 2008, not to come up to the window, but email in for a new flight–hello! whadayado if you don’t have a laptop, or don’t know NYC? Which is how I got to FLL in the first place. If I missed a flight, I planned to rent a car and go home. I could not do that easily from Houston, Newark, Bogotá or Cual es la capital de Panama. Time has taught me not everyone is Lufthansa, which puts you up for the night!

Spirit offers on time service, leather seats and good piloting. It really does. But its creativity in pricing gimmickry is as bad as the stupid way Southwest had you line up for your “wish” seat. You know the one you wish you had after you paid 6 bucks. Spirit, of course does not charge 6 bucks. For two way national and international flights, they charged $28 for the cheapest seats. I measured the space between seat to back of passenger seat in front and it was the length of my hand stretched: 8″. Then, of course, the additional $33 dollars for one bag one way! We will not fail to mention an additional $2 charge for curbside check-in. Nor the $3 tip the employee tried to take at MCO when I handed him a five.


Confirmation Code: zzzzzx
Booking Date: Fri 24 Jun 2011
Baggage Information:

Name Bags
Mr. x 2 Checked Bags (one less than 40lb bag each way only)
Mr. A 0

Flight Information:

Date Flt Depart Time Arrive Time


Sun 31 Jul 2011 675 Orlando, FL (MCO) 8:48AM Fort Lauderdale, FL / Miami, FL AREA (FLL) 9:49AM


Sun 31 Jul 2011 977 Fort Lauderdale, FL / Miami, FL AREA (FLL) 5:15PM Lima, Peru (LIM) 9:51PM


Sat 06 Aug 2011 978 Lima, Peru (LIM) 10:52PM Fort Lauderdale, FL / Miami, FL AREA (FLL) 5:44AM


Sun 07 Aug 2011 338 Fort Lauderdale, FL / Miami, FL AREA (FLL) 7:20AM Orlando, FL (MCO) 8:18AM


Fare & Charge Breakdown:

Fare + FET:






Travel Taxes and Fees:



Total Fare Price:


z Card :



Balance Due:


FET = 7.5% Federal Excise Tax


But the real fun began with finding out that not only on a national flight, but an international one that lasts 5 hours, you will not be given anything to eat or drink. Unless, you pay for it on-flight, or you brought a $2 bottle of water while you sat in the airport. Remember you are screwed because no liquid policy that we have as a federal law! So who wins? The airline or the airport? BINGO! Us, because we made like a bunch of camels and slept. Coming back we were wise and hid eats in our under the seat bag. Except for drinks that we almost bought in the Lima Airport, except, there are NO drinks on international flights!!!! People were chugging down their $2.50 bottles of San Mateo, before boarding. We noticed in Lima airport goods were often in Nuevo Sol, but food was in US$. Many said, they were tired of Spirited hidden fees upon fee, including one student who took her meds with the last gulp of someone else’ s water.

Spirit is trying for that NYC subway look, they have posted ads to junk up the cabin. Will selling space for graffiti artists be far behind?

Nickel and diming passengers may be great fun for Spirit, but it doesn’t buy much loyalty. McDonald’s didn’t make it in 50 years by checking their bottom line every minute.  Neither did Disney. Check out the fine cuisine and prices (click on photo to actually see it!). I noticed their menu was more bilingual than their flight attendants going.  Someday creeps like Microsoft and Apple will learn the power sophisticated users of Linux have. Spirit might want to do the same.

I guess if Spirit stays more creative they can have some kind of a bathroom charge. You know, like a $6 on-flight toilet paper fee: charge or debit card only!


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3 Responses to “¡Hola, El Perú!: DiSpiriting”

  1. dweebcentric Says:

    we recently book our august flight to england. the fees were just as much as the ticket. my favorite: arrival and departure fee. give me a fucking break!

  2. Rischmöller Real Estate Says:

    I know that it’s already done, but what were the other airlines charging? The price you paid seems extremely expensive, especially coming from Florida. Granted, you were in July which is the high season, but for being a “discount” airline, I don’t see the savings! I hope that price was for 2, maybe?

    • teacher Says:

      Yeah, the price was for 2, and I had checked other airlines. I did not want to go through Colombia, or Texas for that matter. I knew if I had trouble, I could rent a car and drive home. It ran about 300 less than what my tour company was going to charge.

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