Last week, 76-year-old Jerry Meekins made headlines when the terminally ill esophageal cancer patient bought a ticket to fly to New Jersey to see his daughter during surgery, reported Fox News. However, doctors monitoring Meekins's condition determined that he was unfit to travel. Meekins' then cancelled his trip, but Spirit Airlines refused to refund his ticket, prompting supporters to take to Facebook to announce a boycott of the company.
I am a veteran and Spirit Airlines is no longer in consideration for any travel I may do, wrote Facebook poster Scott Roche. This is deplorable.
THIS IS THE WORST AIRLINE EVER, wrote Facebook poster Dayna Medici. i just got all the way to the airport to check in, i checked the website before hand to make sure there are no delays with my flight, get to the gate to check in and they tell everyone that there is a problem and they have to cancel our flight last minute, AND they can not rebook us on any other flight at all.
Horrible Airline...will never use them and definitely be working on putting them out of business, wrote Irene Mann.
I hope all the negative publicity is worth $197, read another post.
The page started with approximately 700 likes earlier this week, has grown to over 30,000.
Meekins appeared on Fox News and said he appreciated the support from the thousands of concerned citizens. He has gotten numerous cash officer, but said he planned to donate the money to Wounded Warrior Project. Meekins said this was no longer about the money.
It's been tremendous, my phone hasn't stopped ringing, Meekins, of Clearwater, Fla., told FoxNews.com.
The airline is standing by their decision not to refund the $197 plane ticket, said Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Misty Pinson, reported Fox. Spirits said that their refusal to offer refunds and refusal to comprise allows costs from the company to remain relatively low, reported Fox.
Travel expert George Hobica said that Spirit Airlines, however, is not the only airline that has stood their ground and refused to refund a nontransferable ticket.
One of our subscribers reported a while back that her husband died just before they were scheduled to fly on US Airways and the airline refused to issue a refund, but they eventually gave in and returned the money, Hobica said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Spirit Airlines, however, is famously tone-deaf when it comes to public relations.
In addition to the vocal social media campaign, Veterans of the Vietnam War and the Veterans Coalition wrote a letter supporting Meekins on Tuesday, reported Mashable.