Skift Take

Baldanza is right in his cynicism -- flyers almost always focus on price first -- but we still will avoid flying Spirit whenever we can.

Spirit Airlines is nearing the one-year mark of its Bare Fare campaign that both celebrates the airlines’ reputation for cheapness and embraces the hate many, many flyers feel for the no-frills carrier.

This week it released its second State of the Hate Report video on YouTube. The puppet-driven, five-minute broadcast walked through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s January report on complaints, delays, and cancelled flights, which pulls from data in November 2014.

It begins by clearly acknowledging the airline’s troubles. “Our top story tonight,” reads the felt-covered newsman, “is that Spirit Airlines is one of the nation’s most complained about airlines.” The airline received 7.9 complaints per 100,000 passengers during the last quarter. The next highest number or complaints per 100,000 was Frontier, which had 3.3. Southwest performs the best at .37 complaints per 100,000.

The puppet is joined by human CEO Ben Baldanza, who assures watchers that they are more likely to be injured by a chainsaw than complain about Spirit Air. Referring to the DOT report, Baldanza also says that Spirit is “one of the best airlines when it comes to not canceling flights or losing you bags.”

After making light of the complaints, Baldanza begins focusing on why passengers fly Spirit: It’s just cheap.

“We’re the number one airline for what most people care about, a cheap flight.”

Spirit may want to watch its back, though. The latest DOT figures released this month and detailing January complaints show that Frontier was the most complained about airline in the U.S. with 8.61 complaints per 100,000 passengers. Spirit hasn’t lost its edge completely, though: It upped its complaints from 7.9 in November to 7.99 in January.

The full video is here:

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Tags: low-cost carriers, spirit airlines, youtube

Photo credit: Spirit Air CEO Ben Baldanza (L) and a puppet. Spirit Airlines

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