Spirit Airlines, I’d like to talk. I’m feeling really angry about something. You crossed an important line today by trying to cash in on the Jennifer Lawrence hacked-nude-selfie fiasco, and I’d like you to apologize and resolve not to do it again.
I’ve only flown with you once, but I had a great time. You got me home from Myrtle Beach with a flight that was faster than advertised, hilarious in-flight briefings, clean planes, and helpful staff. I’m a fan. I’ve considered getting your credit card so I can earn miles and fly with you more often.
I even like your irreverent tone. I dig the way you point out the hidden costs in aviation by posting the “Government’s Cut” and translating it into a percentage cost. There’s a lot to like about you, Spirit Airlines.
“Bare Fare” — well played
“Bare Fare” is a clever piece of marketing, given your ideal of offering minimalist service to which people can pay more to add the services they actually want. I admit it, I laughed aloud when I first saw “bare fare”: it’s the kind of clever wordplay I love.
“Our Selfie Leaked Too…”
Here’s the problem. This showed up in my inbox today, two days after Jennifer Lawrence was targeted by criminals and had her property stolen.
Our selfie leaked too… Our Bare Fare was hacked! Our Bare Fare was leaked!
We feel naked; you were never supposed to see this Bare Fare! It was meant for a special someone (who isn’t you). Now it’s all over the internet for you to take advantage of as you see fit. Scandalous! We thought the cloud was our friend, y’know, because we spend so much time flying with ’em. But now our private prices are on display! Bad for us; GREAT for you.
I hope tomorrow will be celebrated in the annals of Spirit Airlines history as the last workday of whichever of your copywriters thought that was a good idea and whichever team lead signed off on it.
What on earth (or in the clouds, I guess?) were you thinking?
Aside from the fact that your email is pretty tasteless and crass in general, you’re also tacitly encouraging people to think of the leaked photos as, perhaps, unfortunate for the ladies in question but “GREAT for” all the rest of us, and you’re trivializing the violation of trust and laws that occurred in stealing those images.
I felt really good about flying with Spirit when I took that flight in July. Now I feel dirty for having given you money, especially since this is how you’ve chosen to ask for more of it.
So here’s what you can do.
I’d like to fly with you again, but right now I don’t want to give any cash to a company that thinks this sort of thing is funny. (Apparently they think it’s fine; see their response.)
Everyone makes mistakes, and I’d like to know that you see this as one. I’d like you to publicly apologize, and then put some effort into making sure this never happens again. (Spirit responded and did not apologize.)
You’ve got a press page for releasing news about Spirit Airlines. You could write a statement about how you regret the tasteless and crude email you sent, including a screen capture of the email. Talk about why it was wrong, so we can be sure you get it.
Then you post that statement on your press page, and you email me the link. I’ll post it here so your customers can see that you’re a good company that tries to do the right thing when it makes mistakes. (They didn’t do this either.)
Finally, you should ask yourselves whether you want to continue being represented by whoever wrote this email. You’ve got a careers page for people who want to work for Spirit. It would be a great place to post the job opening (“sudden vacancy”) to replace whoever wrote this. (Nope nope nope.)
I really want to like you, Spirit. I—and others—are watching to see how you respond to this. Your team goofed today, and it’s up to you to fix it.