TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Spirit Airlines has canceled more than 1,700 flights in just one week. The chaos leaves people struggling to get home, including here in Tampa Bay.
“We really want to go home, but we can’t go home. We’ve been here eight days. We’ve been stuck here for eight days, ”said Lamaiya Robinson.
Robinson said she has been fighting with Spirit Airlines since Monday.
“They tried to refund us, but it’s a refund of $ 80,” she said.
She could switch to another airline, but Robinson said she would have to pay out of pocket, which is not an option.
“It’s too expensive. We don’t have the money right now. We don’t have the funds,” she said.
She is not alone. Thousands of Spirit customers are facing similar issues across the country.
Paul Hudson, a consumer advocate at Flyers Rights, said there are other options.
“The first thing you can do is ask for what’s called an involuntary refund, regardless of whether your ticket is non-refundable. If an airline doesn’t fly, they cancel their flight, they don’t keep your money, ”Hudson said.
He also advises to dispute the charge of the note with your bank if you are unable to get a full refund. You can ask Spirit to transfer you to another airline. If you’re stuck for a day or two, ask for meal and hotel vouchers.
Overall, Hudson said you have a “plan B” if you fly at any time.
“You can’t rely on the airline to get to your destination on time, so you have to make another plan, assuming they really cancel or delay your flight,” he said.
A Spirit Airlines spokesperson said the problems started last weekend with weather-related cancellations. They also blame the influx of summer travelers, staff shortages and IT problems.
If you would like more advice on how to proceed, you can contact the Organization of Flyers’ Rights.