Spirit Airlines, an American ultra low-cost carrier, refused to refund Florida widow Catherine O’Connell for her tickets despite the fact that her husband had died suddenly.
O’Connell, based in Palm Bay, FL, was devastated by her husband’s sudden death and left in a financially vulnerable situation. She had filed all the relevant documentation and called the airlines several times but received no refund for the two tickets to New Jersey, worth over $500.
The grieving woman did not hear anything from the airline until O’Connell had contacted her local news station to intervene.
She told Action 9 news, “I can't handle it. I'm too upset. I'm too emotional... I don't know why they can't take care of it.”
O’Connell added, “If they would just give me an answer, do something. They do nothing.”
George Hobica, from AirfareWatchDog, told the TV news, “I can guarantee you they have sold that seat already, so why not just give the money back.”
The airline has since refunded O’Connell the price of the tickets and sends the family their condolences.
The New York Times reports that the Transportation Department gets six to eight complaints per 100,000 Spirit passengers. The industry average, meanwhile, is 1.4 complaints.
The Better Business Bureau has more than 2,100 Spirit complaints, many involving sales, billing and service issues.
Here’s the WFTV Action 9 News report: