Spirit Airlines Gambling With Your Money

May 20, 2008

Spirit Airlines - $9 Fares (if you can get \'em)Spirit Airlines, which prides itself on offering super low fare tickets, has apparently figured out a new way to get folks to gamble on getting $9 airline seats for only $39.95 a year. Only trouble is that after you’ve paid your money, good luck on finding any “$9 tickets.”

Here’s the deal as advertised. You pay a $9 dollar entry fee to join the “$9 Fare Club,” which gives you a 3 month trial period. During that time, you will be notified when special $9 seats become available. Sound great? Read the fine print. “Membership in the Club does not guarantee availability of special fares.”

Also, the $9 entry fee automatically becomes a $39 annual fee after three months, and you will automatically be charged this increased fee. Unhappy? “Annual fees are nonrefundable.”

We have heard stories from many members of this “Club” that after joining they had extreme difficulty finding ANY seats at the $9 rate. The few seats that became available were on dates and places of no use to them. And when they tried to complain, they couldn’t even find a customer service number.

At the very least, Spirit should be required to inform the public as to how many, where and when such $9 airline seats they intend to make available for your $39 annual investment. For all we know, you might get better odds in Vegas.

And what’s with the automatic annual renewal? Shouldn’t it be up the consumer to decide whether the program is worth renewing or not? It sounds like some of the “free credit reports” you see advertised. Read the fine print and you’ll see that you are actually signing up for a costly credit monitoring service which will be automatically renewed unless you later remember to “opt out.” There’s nothing wrong with credit monitoring, but it’s hardly “free.”

Spirit should be giving its customers full information and disclosure so they can make a financially sound decision, instead of buying $9 seats to nowhere.