The New York Times piece earlier this week on the bare bones service policy at Spirit Airlines struck me as a good example of low-end disruption. Clayton Christensen wrote about this phenomenon in Strategy & Innovation: Cheaper, Faster, Easier: Disruption in the Service Sector in which he outlined the low-end approach exemplified by Spirit Airlines.
The basic idea is that quality is relative to the job a person is trying to get done. Low-end services offer “good enough” performances at lower prices. Spirit’s customers seem completely willing to embrace the “lower price” part of the equation; it’s the “good enough” part that’s causing some trouble.
See also: The 2008 WSJ article on “low service” hotels.