So much for the friendly skies. A Marine fighting a battle with esophageal cancer has been told by Spirit Airlines that they don't care that the veteran is dying. They won't give Jerry Meekins a refund for the plane ticket he bought right before doctors discovered his cancer had spread so far it is now considered terminal.
Spirit would have had to give up $197 if they'd decided to show a little compassion for a dying man. Instead the company CEO is sounding like an insensitive jerk today, insisting that a 76-year-old veteran of our military should have bought traveler's insurance so he could recoup his money for a flight cancellation. Gee, I hope the company bought insurance against losses if their spokesperson comes out in public acting like a jerk.
Technically, Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza is right. Spirit does not have to give Jerry Meekins the money. They can hold true to their policies.
But then travelers don't have to hop a flight on Spirit either. And if this is the way a company treats an old man who just learned he is going to die without even being able to take one last trip to see his daughter, I know I don't want to hop on that plane. The number of people "liking" the Boycott Spirit Airlines page on Facebook has been skyrocketing since news of the Marine's plight has spread on the interwebs. It's up to 32,000 pissed off travelers at press-time.
I like companies that care about people, not money. And the ironic thing is, when companies do the former, they tend to draw in the latter. Baldanza claims that giving a refund to Meekins would destroy their bottom line as more and more down-on-their-luck folks put in for money back. Maybe. He doesn't know what would have happened.
What he does know, what we do know, is that Spirit's a company that lacks compassion. And in our free-market system, we can tell that company what we think of them with our money.
It's a beautiful thing, isn't it? Spirit is free to do what they want. We're free to do what we want. And we're free to show a little love for a man who sacrificed for us all to have this kind of freedom by serving in our US military.
Who gets your support here? Jerry Meekins or Spirit Airlines? Check out this other bit of news from Spirit -- they're hiking baggage fees big time:
Image via alaskan dude/Flickr