Spirit Airlines: How to Get Expenses Paid Back

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Hi, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer here with your quick shot of legal wellness.

By now, who hasn’t heard about the whole mess that has involved Spirit Airlines? Thousands of delayed and cancelled flights and tens of thousands of passengers stranded. It’s resulted in a lot of money spent on replacement airfare, rental cars, hotel rooms, missed work and wages, and missed events such as weddings.

I’ve been doing some reading and watching some videos and I’ve heard a lot of excuses. I’ve heard a lot of explanations but I have not heard anything about what Spirit intends to and should do for the passengers who are completely screwed over. I wanted to dig into that and try to figure out what rights folks like you, who may have taken Spirit, have because of what happened.

The first place you go when you want to understand your rights is what’s called the Contract of Carriage. It’s the contract that talks about the parties, meaning you and the airline’s, duties and responsibilities to each other. If you take a look at Spirit’s Contract of Carriage, it says a few jarring things:

  • Under schedule changes, delayed flights, and cancelled flights, it says Spirit is not responsible or liable for making connections, for failing to operate any flight according to schedule, or for changing the schedule of any flight.
  • Under rebooking, it says that Spirit may rebook the customer on Spirit’s first available flight on which seats are available to the customer’s original destination without additional charge.
  • Under amenities/services for customers, Spirit will not assume expenses incurred as a result of a flight delay, cancellation, or schedule change.

Let me tell you what happens when the airlines screw me over. It’s happened several times, not with Spirit, but with plenty of others, especially with COVID happening. I’ve missed flights because the CDC says not to fly, and I’ve been out airfare or credits that I can’t get back.

I send a letter – not a text or a live chat or an email – but a good, old-fashioned, old-school letter that says a few things.

First of all, it goes to the customer service folks, the general counsel’s office, and the CEO. I tell them that my flight was cancelled through no fault of my own and I give them my receipts and my itinerary so they can understand what I’ve paid out of pocket. I tell them I plan to file a draft nationwide federal class action complaint in federal court where I’m going to seek damages on behalf of not only myself, but everybody in my same position. I tell them that we can avoid it if they’d like to talk about resolution. Every single time, I get a phone call and a check.

Now, I don’t expect you to enclose a federal nationwide draft class action complaint but you can certainly send a letter that says you intend to go to small claims court in your town because you are out money. You’ll likely get a check in the mail or at least a phone call to discuss resolution. It’s much cheaper for the airline to do that versus hiring a lawyer, having him or her take a look at the letter and the file, and come to court to dismiss the case for thousands and thousands of dollars. It’s all about self-advocating and standing up for your rights.

I don’t know how many of these folks intend to do that because they don’t have the legal wellness or legal aptitude to know but having watched this video, you do. Protect yourself and don’t take this sort of garbage sitting down. It’s not your fault and you should not be the ones out of pocket.

That’s your airport-style shot of legal wellness. I hope you learned a lot from this and you’ll do something proactive and protect yourself.

If you want to learn more, go to my website, sign up for my newsletter, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I’ll keep putting this content out to keep you safe and raise your legal aptitude and wellness.

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