Make us your home page
Instagram

Spirit Airlines scoffs at union outcry over beer logo on flight attendants' apron

Spirit Airlines likes finding new ways to make money besides selling tickets.

But Spirit flight attendants say the airline went too far this week with its latest innovation: requiring them to wear aprons with a Bud Light beer logo on the front.

"Turning flight attendants into walking billboards is unacceptable," said Deborah Crowley, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA president for Spirit flight attendants, in a news release.

The ads are demeaning and diminish a flight attendant's primary job of keeping passengers safe, said Corey Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the union. Their responsibilities include enforcing federal regulations against drunken passengers, and wearing a beer advertisement would send a mixed message at best, she said.

Spirit won't pull the logo from the aprons, the South Florida-based carrier said Wednesday. The airline should "be commended" for such moves that reduce costs and keep fares low for customers, said spokeswoman Misty Pinson in an e-mail.

"These initiatives not only support continued growth of the company but also help keep secure jobs for our valued employees at a time when the airline industry continues to cut capacity and jobs," she wrote.

Spirit is a small player at Tampa International, carrying nearly 400,000 travelers last year, about 2 percent of the airport's total traffic. The airline flies nonstop to Detroit, Fort Lauderdale and Atlantic City, N.J., from Tampa.

Spirit calls itself "the ultra-low cost" carrier. The airline imposed a fee for checking a single bag in June 2007, a year before major U.S. airlines adopted the idea.

Patricia Friend, international president of the flight attendant union, wrote this month to complain about Spirit reviving an ad campaign that uses abbreviations with sexual double meanings.

One shows a photo of a busty blonde in front of a Spirit jet with the message: MILF, Many Islands, Low Fares. The abbreviation also is vulgar reference to an attractive mother.

"If your intent was to insult and demean your customers, employees and future customers, you may well have succeeded," she wrote Spirit chief executive Ben Baldanza. "I can't imagine your strategy constitutes a sound and successful business model."

Spirit intends to continue with the ads, Pinson said. "Spirit promotes flights to fun, sexy destinations at incredibly low fares in a fun and cheeky way," she said.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

Spirit Airlines scoffs at union outcry over beer logo on flight attendants' apron 01/28/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 9:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]