We were supposed to be arriving on island Saturday. But a miscalculation of the number of people our Spirit Airlines plane could accommodate began tumbling dominoes that resulted in our being grounded, just as a 10-12” snow storm hit Washington, DC.
Two hours after we were supposed to take off for Fort Lauderdale, the airline bumped 25 passengers from the flight, including two guys who said they would miss their cruise sailing.They even offered $400 if two other people would agree take their place in getting bumped. No takers.
After Spirit had unloaded all the baggage of the bump-ees, then the airplane intercom system failed. Security regulations require it be in order. The airline saw that there was no way they could find us all hotel rooms in Fort Lauderdale, since all of us with connecting flights (us, to St. Thomas) were going to miss them. They told us to leave the plane, offered us a refund or re-booking a day or two later.
The airline had a couple of standout staffers in the mess. Carlos, one of the pilots, was helpful, and embarrassed as he could be. It was he who explained that someone in charge of scheduling airplanes had made a big mistake by assigning an MD-80(81-82-83)-size plane to our flight instead of an Airbus 319. The former cannot handle the number of passengers and baggage and still meet the operating safety requirements of Washington’s National Airport.
At the ticket counter, after we got off the plane, the customer supervisor on duty, Curtis, could not have been more helpful – or embarrassed, too. He helped us and gave us his card and invited us to call 24/7 if there were more problems. There were. And we did. Curtis is a keeper.
But whom ever couldn’t do the math in Logistics or Facilities, or whatever department, ought to be fired.
The snowstorm that it the Capitol canceled our flight Sunday. We’ll try again Monday.