Spirit Airlines, the low cost air carrier that so many people love to hate, has apparently decided their reputation is getting in the way of gathering even more profits (they already report some of the biggest profit margins of any airline in the country because of their charging practices), so they’ve turned to one of the most customer satisfaction-oriented companies in the world to help them with their problem of customer service.
Yup. In a message to all its employees, the President and CEO of Spirit, Bob Fornaro, reported the airline with the majorly damaged reputation has partnered with the Disney Institute to, “create a common purpose and a fresh set of service standards.”
Originally begun in 1996 as a hands-on learning, personal development and interactive learning center for guests of all ages as part of (or simply as) their Walt Disney World vacations, the Disney Institute eventually evolved into the professional development and external training arm of the Walt Disney Company. The company showcases ‘the business behind the magic’ through seminars, workshops and presentations, as well as programs for professionals from many different industries, including healthcare, aerospace/aviation, government/military, food/beverage and retail. As per their website, the Disney Institute has worked with Haagen-Dazs International, the National Football League, Volvo and the Orlando Magic basketball team, among many other large, well-known corporations.
As per a press release, Spirit says that, “every Spirit Flight Attendant participated in Spirit Signature Service training, a new program developed around a common purpose and fresh set of service standards created in partnership with the Disney Institute; additional training will roll out at our airport stations next year.”
Now, as per Fornaro, guest satisfaction scores at the airline already have “reached an all-time record high.” Unfortunately, as per the Department of Transportation, their data suggests that as per their most recent records, Spirit’s complaints are about seven for every 100,000 passengers, which is still more than double that of other carriers. Granted, the Dept. of Transportations’ records don’t delve into whether complaints were aimed at Spirit employees who had or hadn’t gone through the Disney learning program, but regardless, I’m not sure if, “We’re still last for customer service, but we’re not AS MUCH behind” is something to be proud of. I guess it’s a start? But let’s just say that as of this writing, Spirit will still not be an option for Joe and I.
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