Saul Martinez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bailey Bennett
November 21, 2017

Spirit Airlines may be known for its affordable “bare fare” flights, but it’s also known for skimping on customer comfort and service. While the airline has previously reported the highest profit margins in the business, charging passengers for everything from bags to beverages, according to the Los Angeles Times, it has received the highest rate of complaints at the same time.

Spirit has always sold itself as the “no-frills” airline, priding itself on the decision to give passengers exactly what they pay for (and nothing more). The complaints, however, extend past the lack of amenities to issues like frequently canceled flights, delayed departures, and poor customer service.

In order to address problems with timeliness and customer service, Spirit has turned to the Disney Institute, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, to help change its reputation and better train its employees for success.

Disney, which is consistently voted one of the best places to work in the country, is helping other companies achieve similar cultural success through the Disney Institute, a Florida-based subsidiary that offers professional development and leadership training for a variety of students. Courses include training in quality service, employee engagement, and business excellence — all of which are areas Spirit Airlines is due to improve on.

According to a Spirit press release from November 15, much of the training has already taken place “behind the scenes.”

“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,” they stated.

The release also points to an upward trend for the airline’s service goals, which could, in part, be a result of the Disney Institute training. The airline highlights an 87.1 percent on-time arrival rate for October, which they predict will be one of the higher monthly industry rankings. They even celebrated the improved arrival rate with 87.1 percent off flights.

“We listen to our guests every day to find out how we can deliver a better travel experience with Spirit,” said Bob Fornaro, Spirit Airlines’ CEO in the statement. “Our operational improvement and new technology demonstrates our commitment to deliver reliable, friendly service, all while offering the lowest fares possible.”

We can’t say whether the Disney training will directly result in that friendly service, but the House of Mouse does know a thing or two about keeping people happy.

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