Spirit Airlines will fly you for as little as $9 each way, provided you don’t mind paying extra for choosing your own seat ($9-$20), checking in a piece of baggage ($100 for the third one), or drinking water while in the air (priceless).
And if you work for Spirit at its Miramar, Fla., low-rent headquarters, you’ll be expected to clean your own space, empty your own trash, and vacuum around you. Even CEO Ben Baldanza keeps his own Oreck at work to clean his office floor (at least he has an office, eh?). He brought the Oreck from home and replaced it with a Dyson.
Spirit has attitude too. Consider this now-infamous TV commercial: A younger man is lying in bed with an older woman (pictured) talking to his friend on the phone.
He: “Dude, there’s no way your mom is cheating on your dad.”
She: “That wasn’t Jay, was it?”
He: “Yeah, that was your son. Donâ€™t worry, heâ€™s not going to find out.”
Voiceover: “You think thatâ€™s low? Spirit Airlines fares are even lower.”
Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly (after viewing the ad): “Maybe we are living in Sodom and Gomorrah, and I just havenâ€™t seen the sign change.”
More infamous perhaps even than this TV spot was an e-mail that Baldanza wrote about a customer’s complaint that leaked to the blogosphere:
“We owe him nothing as far as Iâ€™m concerned,” Baldanza wrote in his response about a customer’s complaining about a flight cancellation. “Let him tell the world how bad we are. Heâ€™s never flown us before anyway and will be back when we save him a penny.”
So if you want to travel cheap and let the airline assign your seat, and you can forego baggage, food and water–and endure verbal abuse for your complaints–Spirit is all for you.