Spirit won't refund dying man's ticket
Does the Vietnam veteran have a case against the airline?
- Duration 8:13
- Date May 3, 2012
Does the Vietnam veteran have a case against the airline?
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And welcome back to foxnews.com.
-- buzz story picking up a lot of steam up potential nationwide boycott by veterans of Spirit Airlines.
There was a that.
Who is tragically dying his name is Jerry meek and -- in his seventies now.
And he it was due to travel to visit his daughter and he bought a nonrefundable 197 dollar ticket.
And then got so sick with esophageal cancer that his doctor told them that he should not fly so Sydney made the trip.
By car -- but he did ask Spirit Airlines for a refund and they turned him down and veterans nationwide are.
Outraged over this and they are threatening to boycott the airline and joining us right now.
I'm questioning I'm so sorry I had pretty speaker -- you can tell us you can restore public on that airfare watchdog dot com.
Think you I had that in front of me someplace that I -- -- it.
And you you support the idea of boycotting spirit.
I think that's very should give the money back I think in this case at least they could give a credit for -- future flight I -- what would it cost them.
I think spirit is the most tone deaf.
Carolina when it comes to media relations and public relations.
And I also think that they think that any publicity is good publicity.
Well yeah -- I'm not so sure about that in this case that's for sure we're talking about potentially millions of people.
A boycott in the airline and Jerry weakens the man in question I think that it would be quite effective and let's listen to what he said this morning on enough fox and friends with.
Steve Doocy and and to Al is talking about the boycott -- you do you want people boycotts yes I do you do yes because I believe that.
Maybe a connection board meeting.
When this quarter's financial -- Bottom line as the -- maybe to board of directors -- safe city guide it's currently CEO.
-- little young maybe you better change your thoughts.
All right well we do -- -- response from my spirit we're gonna put that up on the screen now they say our reservations are nonrefundable which means we don't do refunds.
And we are not going to issue mr.
beacons or refund we received many requests for refunds every day for similar situations.
It wouldn't be fair to -- policy for one.
And not fall -- so at Georgia you know that's that's the crux of their defense is that you know.
People have reasons some of them very valid why they want there a refund on a nonrefundable ticket.
And we would have to set up a whole committee that would have to spend all their time analyzing these -- going to be the potential for fraud a lot of people can forge a doctor's know come up with something.
And that they just have to stick to their rule no exceptions.
Yeah actually there and a has been a lot of fraud in the past with doctors' notes and excuses.
But I do think that in this case spirit could at least issue a credit not a refund but a credit and it may never be used five perhaps.
A daughter a relative.
However other airlines have a similar policy.
But they are more bendable I know and one case somebody sent an email to us that airfare watchdog.
Her husband -- -- Shortly before -- it's going to take a flight and he had a heart attack.
And they had to nonrefundable tickets and originally your Terry said no we're not that -- -- but they they relented.
And if somebody's dead.
And they're not gonna fly I mean certainly -- you can't forge a a death certificate.
You know I think -- should be more flexible on this -- just be good for media relations and public relations.
Think that surprising to me that there is not a policy where if someone actually passes away.
That they don't get a refund but you know there is that and the airline industry will say well if you buy a Broadway tickets.
It's non refundable what the difference -- you can give that Broadway ticket to somebody else or sporting event ticket.
Or concert ticket so that argument doesn't wash with me and I don't think it washes with the general public because this ticket was non transferable he couldn't.
Postpone it use it for later trip -- he couldn't give it to a relative reference absolutely gone I mean I think if somebody to death certificate.
Coupon issue -- refunds.
Bora -- or credit what how could it hurt right well so and another argument that they make is that they offer insurance you can pay a little bit of extra.
For refund insurance so that is something like this happens you can -- claiming you can get your money back and that this was not purchased in this case and that's why they can't do.
Right and actually insurance is sometimes a good idea it -- maybe nine dollars a ticket or twelve dollars and ticket.
And it covers a lot of other things besides dying or are becoming fix them.
That might be a good.
Method to ensure against.
This kind of thing -- I have to provide proof to the insurance company yes and I'm sure that the airline gets a kick back from every policy that is purchased and that's the reason why they do it that way.
These guys just they just don't get it right it's about customer service which is something that you know.
We would like to thank the journalists.
Most companies -- be a little bit more -- Right so that's -- you might hear it it's an important point they're saying that that he was actually offered credit you sure about -- Okay they're saying that sure about that -- was offered a credit -- does that help.
That he could transfer to somebody else I think -- and somebody else use the credit I think that's fair.
No no -- can use the -- Yeah dead so that's an event really -- -- guy that's the same thing because the whole point is he can't fly he is dying of esophageal cancer now so it's not like he's gonna be able then.
Fly in a month.
Should be a coupon or thumb I keep on credit that can be applied by somebody else maybe -- -- immediate family.
A lot of airlines.
Some airlines actually now we'll give you.
A transferable ticket for fifty dollars -- Sunday as the -- in Europe.
You can transfer even Ryanair I believe which is notorious for fees I believe they won't give you.
For fifty dollars you can transfer -- the airline ticket to somebody else it was non refundable so -- Fair -- you know spirit says look the reason we have such low prices is because that we are kind of no frills shall we may -- be a big on customer service we don't -- these people.
Who can sit around and evaluate these claims and that's how we keep the prices low.
And if -- were to start providing that level of customer service everybody would be paying for it with a higher ticket.
Absolutely and and that's a valid argument for sure.
The fact of the matter is you know if they refunded -- -- 200 dollars it might have been the best 200 dollars they spent -- because I.
He's going on the FOX & Friends and if there that is very add very media savvy -- there apparently is.
-- -- and I don't want sort of turn the tables on dirtier but you know there's a culture of sort of this you know corporate air travel it's not as personal as it once was -- don't have these sales people who are given license to you whoever the discretion to.
Make personal exceptions here -- there.
And maybe you know with the rise of the Internet being a medium where everything is sort of electron you know the transactions are very electronic and not -- face to face.
It's difficult to make that sort of of them emotional appeal and people have to you know stay within the bounds of a very rigid policy that that have been set up and or to keep their first look for everybody I -- that argument.
Well yeah but you know Brian Conway says you know -- -- that as it may he's one of our -- most airlines will give a break to persons distress -- many offer for example bereavement fare for -- and west get to a funeral.
And -- short on money spirit needs to get burned for this George.
I think they will be you know a lot of people hate spirit.
Except when it's the only way they can afford to fly I mean you're often has the lowest -- by.
Several hundred dollars on some -- they have nineteen -- and 29 dollar fares.
People hate them except that they loved them when they don't have enough money to fly on American or united or delta.
Right you you can't have it both ways I mean if you're paying -- cheaper -- something's got again but.
Excuse me -- that happens here.
Nancy good time to thank George over -- and again -- -- -- airfare watchdog.
Dot com dot com very good thank you so much and he's also consumer travel expert thank you for joining us and thank you to the chatters is.