Spirit (-less) Airlines Charges Flight 1549 Survivors Cancellation Fee

Ouch, this airline badly needs Customer Service training.

Spirit Airlines is trying to charge passengers extra fees after canceling a flight, which forced the passengers to be on the plane that landed in the river Thursday.

Rob and Jeff Kolodjay were scheduled to fly on Spirit Airlines to a golf vacation with four other friends on Thursday out of LaGuardia in New York City. Their flight got cancelled, and they were rebooked on to US Airways flight 1549.

While the Kolodjay’s have good things to say about US Airways, they are less pleased about the policies of their original carrier. When they tried to cancel the return tickets on Spirit they could not use because they never made it to Myrtle Beach, the company representative insisted on charging them a cancellation fee.

Source: Fox61,   Consumerist, and soon all media outlets.  I doubt Spirit has even a clue about the magnitude of the PR Nighmare they are getting into…

Update: The story is making the rounds.  Her’s an interesting reaction:

You know, in some cultures the response to this would be to lock the customer service representative in a room with a gun and expect him to do the honorable thing. I’m not saying that this is the right solution – but it’s probably the one that Spirit Airlines might end up wishing that it could pursue…

(Photo Credit: CrunchGear)

Update:  Somebody who thinks woke up @ Spirit, reversing the earlier decision:

Spirit Airlines has given the Kolodjay family a full refund and have issued credits to their credit cards.  They will not be charged anything by Spirit Airlines..  We applaud everyone involved in bringing these passengers to safety wish the family the best.


Cisco’s PR Failure

I certainly am not familiar with the circumstances of Brazilian authorities’ raid on Cisco’s local offices, and am not attempting to divulge in details. What I do know is that Cisco has a PR problem. GigaOM reports based on local media:

40 people were arrested, including the current president of Cisco Brazil, Pedro Rípero, ex-President Carlos Roberto Carnevali, and two other company executives.

Brazilian authorities are seeking help from the U.S. in arresting five executives who allegedly masterminded the scheme.

Excerpt from the Cisco Press release:

Brazilian authorities visited and temporarily closed Cisco’s offices in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero. We understand that a small number of employees have been detained.

Sorry, Cisco, but a raid by 650 policemen is not a “visit”, and when your President is arrested, you can’t hide it behind the generic reference to a “small number of employees”.

Whatever the investigation will turn out, this episode will go down the books as a failure by Cisco PR.