Spirit Airlines has announced that it will refund the air fare for Jerry Meekins, a Vietnam veteran with a terminal form of cancer. Meekins has been seeking a refund from the airlines since late April when his worsening condition prompted his doctor to tell him not to fly. He had purchased the $197 non-refundable ticket to visit his daughter who is recovering after surgery, and he wanted to be there to help with her recovery. Up until this week the airline had stuck to its policy of no refunds. Given his medical situation, Meekins thought Spirit should make an exception to its policy and refund his fare, even though he had purchased a nonrefundable ticket.
USA Today reports the airlines’ change of heart came after more than a week of mainly negative press on the subject, including an interview that ran on FOX News.
Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza said "Every day we seek to balance customer service with customers' demands for the lowest airfare possible, but sometimes we make mistakes.” In addition to refunding Jerry Meekins' $197 fare, Spirit will make a $5,000 contribution, in his name, to the charity of his choice, Wounded Warriors.