That’s Not the Spirit

Spiriti Airlines Airbus A320: Nice plane, un-nice airline

Spiriti Airlines Airbus A320: Nice plane, un-nice airline

On Wednesday, June 12, Linda drove me to the Metro before 5:00 AM. Rode it to Union Station, then the MARC (Maryland suburban train) north to Baltimore airport. Then the fun began: a consulting client had booked me on Spirit Airlines, now classified as an “ultra low-cost carrier.” Cheap ticket. Canceled flight. They were able to rebook me – I was frankly surprised – on US Airways via Charlotte. It took most of the day to get to where I was going, back to Dallas/Fort Worth, but I made it. High point of the journey was a few hours in Charlotte, which will become an American Airlines hub after the two airlines merge later this year; it’s a pleasant, mid-sized hub airport, very clean and well organized.

Landed DFW about 4:30, and hopped on the DART shuttle bus to the Orange Line light-rail line. I wanted to save my client some money and see my travel friend Ken Gilbert (we were in Spain together in March), so I billeted at his house – third time in seven months, nice. Ken picked me up from the train and in no time Ken, wife Peggy, and I were in their favorite Tex-Mex joint, Tupinamba. Total regulars, the bartender brought their drinks without asking. I had a Tecate Mexican beer. We had a good yak, about kids, travel (naturally), and more. It’s always fun to talk with experienced travelers who know their way around the world.

Ken was headed to see his aged parents in Vermont the next morning, and we rode back to DFW. My client picked me up. We had a good meeting, a caloric breakfast at IHOP, and he dropped me back at DFW. Spirit did not cancel the return flight. It was fast and it was safe. But their flight attendants (who are probably pushed around a lot, given that everything, even carry-on bags, costs money) were rigid, practically Soviet. I never flew on Interflug, the airline of the former East Germany, but I suspect their cabin crew were more cordial than Spirit’s. I was glad to land at BWI, then reverse course by train and home.

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