In the event that Spirit is unable to provide a previously confirmed seat and is unable to reroute the customer via Spirit, Spirit will refund as indicated below:
9.2.1. If no portion of the reservation has been used, the refund will be equal to the fare paid by the customer.
9.2.2. If a portion of the reservation has been used, the refund will be equal to the amount of the unused portion.
9.2.3. Customers involved in a Spirit Airlines initiated cancellation in excess of two (2) hours will have three (3) options available to them: 1) re-accommodation, 2) Future Travel credit, or 3) a refund.
So according to Spirit Airlines’ contract, the answer to Leadroot’s question is: absolutely not.
But just because the paperwork says you aren’t covered doesn’t mean you shoudln’t be covered. I think Spirit failed to notify him about the schedule change until he got to the airport, and in doing so not only inconvenienced him, but cost him an extra $808.
I agreed to contact Spirit Airlines on Leadroot’s behalf. The airline normally responds to requests like these with either a thumbs-up or, more frequently, a thumbs-down. This time, it pleaded the Fifth; I heard nothing but the sounds of crickets.
That’s too bad. Spirit already has a battered reputation, when it comes to customer service. A small gesture might have helped it score some big PR points. But apparently it just doesn’t care.
Mind you, Spirit didn’t have to do anything. It wrote itself a convenient contract that let it off the hook. And yes, Leadroot should have confirmed his flight before leaving for the airport. But still, this is no way to treat a customer, even when you’re an “ultra” low cost carrier.
Update (7.a.m.): I edited this post to point to the correct part of Spirit’s contract.