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How America’s Most Hated Airline Is Trying to Change

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Spirit Airlines has become notorious for tardy flights.Photograph by Robert Alexander—Getty Images

If you’ve ever flown on Spirit Airlines, there’s a decent chance your flight was delayed or arrived late. This kind of service has earned it the title of the world’s most hated airline. But Spirit CEO Robert Fornaro is on a mission to change that.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Fornaro said that he wants to slash down the number of late Spirit (SAVE) flights to bring the airline up to par with its competitors.

“We’re No. 1 with price, and that creates a lot of benefits,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean you can’t be good with service.”

Spirit Airlines’ CEO Promises to Reduce the Number of Flight Delays

According to Department of Transportation data, just 69% of Spirit flights reached their destination on time in 2015. That’s the lowest score among all airlines examined by the federal government. Fornaro aims to bring the figure up to 75% over the summer and 80% by the fall.

He also outlined other efforts to boost customer sentiment (Consumer Reports calls the carriers’ satisfaction score “among the lowest for any service we’ve ever rated”), including better communication with passengers and more employee training.

There’s some early evidence that the effort, at least on flight tardiness, is working. The federal government’s most recent monthly report on air travel found that about 73% Spirit flights arrived at their destinations on time in April. That’s still the lowest among the 12 tracked carriers, but a marked improvement over last year’s results.