Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spirit Airlines - crashing for flying too "low"

Have you seen this video?
("What video?" you ask . . . you don't really want to know. The picture will link you to another article - not the video. I don't want to link to that trash.)

Did you get the email from Spirit about their latest contest?

Have you ever even heard about Spirit Airlines?

I found out about Spirit Airlines a couple years ago when we were going through our adoption process. I was looking for a low-fare way to go visit our daughter. I was so excited to find Spirit Airlines and the ridiculously low fares that they offered from time to time! However, I was sad to find out that Spirit Airlines didn't fly to our airport. I even wrote the city leaders (as suggested by Spirit) to request that our airport be a destination for Spirit. I don't know if they ever got that email . . . . and frankly, right now, I am ashamed I was ever interested in having this company service our area. Why??

I received an email telling about their latest contest in which someone would a year's worth of free airline tickets if they submitted the winning video.

The topic - it was supposed to be related to their "low" fares.

Their slogan - "How low can you go?"

Didn't sound too bad at first. But read on. . .

"As you know, our fares are famously low. But we want to know what you think is even lower. Something crude, lewd and just plain low down. Ever taken money from a church offering basket? Spit in someone's drink when they weren't looking just because they were rooting for another team? Whatever it is, we want to know. . . . . Show us just how low you'd go." They were encouraging video submissions - SHOWING just how low you would go to win these tickets!! The videos would be shown online (and possibly tv), and the most views would win.

Hunh?? What?? They've got to be kidding . . .right??

I was shocked and found it highly offensive. Is this what we want (or should) be promoting?? Instead of ranting and raving more to you - let me just post my emails to Spirit Airlines(and the one response I've received back so far) . They say most of what I would say (but I tired to say it in a nicer tone than what I wanted to. :) . . . . I tried.)

I encourage you to email them as well. They obviously have not received enough negative comments - based on their email back to me. (BTW - I used the "other" tab on their comment page instead of the "offended by ad" tab - as it wasn't letting me even send it once I typed it out. . . . .coincidence?? I don't think so. )

Dear Spirit Airlines -

LOL - I can't believe you actually have a sub-tab under advertising called "offended by promotional ad". Man - how many complaints do you get? Doesn't that say something?? I am writing to comment on your latest email promotional ad/contest to win a year's worth of free flights. I love great deals and, of course, contests/sweepstakes. But I was quite shocked to see what kind of contest you guys are running. This is unbelieveable. My view of Spirit Airlines was just "low"ered. :( I don't find this contest in good taste at all. It's offensive. I will be unsubscribing to your emails. I would encourage you to come up with a different promotion that uplifts and promotes good things . . . I definitely will not be promoting Spirit Airlines to my friends anymore.


Lori West

Dear Lori West,

Thank you for writing in and letting us know your feelings and thoughts about one of our new marketing campaigns. I apologize that you find this campaign of concern. There are a lot of edgier campaigns out in the marketplace and in popular culture today. We've received a lot of positive feedback and people are taking advantage of our low fares for our many destinations.

Thank you again for taking the time to write us and we look forward to serving you on a future flight.


Sylvia J.Silva

Corporate Consumer Relations Spirit Airlines

Dear Sylvia Silva,

Thank you for your response to my comment/complaint. I am glad that Spirit Airlines takes it seriously to personally address the issues brought to them by their customers and the public in general. In rereading not only your response to me, but also the ad in question - I guess one of my main issues is the sentence "Show us just how low you'd go". . . . to encourage people to "show . . . how low" they'd go . . . that's offensive and wrong. It's encouraging the wrong things/behaviors/actions in life.

Your reasoning - "There are edgier campaigns out in the marketplace and in popular culture today" - reminds me of my kids saying "But mom - everyone else is doing worse stuff than me. What I'm doing isn't nearly as bad as everyone else!" . . . . but it's still not right (on many levels). Just because the culture accepts something, or because many or most of the people around us are doing things, doesn't make it right. But that is what we have been taught to believe (in some ways and on some levels).

I am raising my kids to have integrity in all they do. That means, that even when all their friends around them are cheating on tests, that they will, instead, study hard and do their best. When all the kids around them are wanting to take something from a store and shoplift ("C'mon man - it's only a soda . . .or a piece of candy . . or a (whatever) . . . Everyone does it. It's no big deal. The store won't even miss it!"), that they will be honest and pay for the items they are taking out of the store. That no matter what life (or the culture around them) throws at them - that they will maintain their integrity, honesty and reputation . . . even if it means that they do not have the chance to win a year's worth of airline tickets, or a trip to Disney, or an I-pod, or a million dollars, etc. Our integrity and reputation are worth far more than anything materialistic out there. You can't buy them back once they are gone.

Our nation's economic troubles right now are due, in part, to people's willingness to "go with the crowd" and do "whatever it takes" - to go as "low" as they can to earn a buck, to get that house, to sell a mortgage, to receive a bigger bonus, to make their company look like it's doing great when it's sinking fast. And what was the end result? . . . . Catastrophe! Who are people able to trust now? Who do they want to turn to? Those that maintained their integrity throughout all the greed and pressure from the culture when "everyone was doing it". Those are the banks, businesses and institutions that will be blessed during these tough economic times and that will still be standing when this is all over.

Lastly, I would expect a controversial and "edgy" ad campaign from certain types of businesses, but I definitely did not (and would not) expect it from an airline - a business that services all kinds of people - especially families and kids (as I'm sure you get alot of business from that population as their wallets are tighter than the business men and executives - since you offer such low fares. As a mother of 5 kids - I know how expensive it is to travel anywhere with kids!). This is not a family-friendly campaign. But maybe you are not a family-friendly airline/business. ??

Thank you again for taking the time to read my comments/complaint and for addressing it appropriately. I do pray and hope that your ad department (and company in general) will take my thoughts and concerns into true consideration. I do believe that you offer a great service for a great price - something that people definitely need in this day and age. But I would love to see it done with just a little more integrity in the future. I hate knowing that you are "rewarding" someone for being or doing the most despicable (low) thing they could think of. Is that really where we want our society to end up - even worse off than it is now? I, for one, want to positively affect my children, community, schools, city, and nation - to encourage integrity, honesty and greatness! America is an awesome country with awesome people living in it . . . but it could be even better! That's what I want to encourage! We need to teach and encourage not only our children, but those around us, to strive to see how "high" they can go (not only in honesty and integrity, but in good works, helping others, giving of ourselves, getting a good education, taking care of this planet and the people on it, etc). Obama wasn't elected to office because he said he would go "as low as he could" (though I don't necessarily agree with all his policies and agendas) - but because he wanted to bring change . . . positive change. That (obviously) is what people want! I don't think anyone would truly elect someone to public office because they did something "low"er than all the others. Usually they are kicked, forced or otherwise removed out of that position or campaign. Yes - I know this is not about politics - but it is about the human race, and the responsibility we have to live with decency, honesty, integrity and within the law.

Thanks again.


Lori West

1 comment:

Lori :) said...

This is from my dad. I just had to post it.

Here's what I suggest you post:
"I have a video of one of your mechanics deliberately damaging one of your airline engines. He thought it was funny.

Another video shows a man calling in a fake bomb threat to the airport about one of your flights. He wanted to win your contest and thought it was really cool.

Or--here's a video of your bookkeepers stealing some of your money.

Is that low enough?

That is the type behavior you are promoting in this PR campaign."

If I fly with an airline, my life depends on it. I would not trust my life to someone who promotes unethical, untrustworthy behavior. It's a stupid campaign and a dangerous one.