Refund Request Rather than Credit Voucher

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
Apr 12, 2021
2
0
75
In March of 2020, I booked a flight from Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) to Atlantic City, NJ (ACY) to visit my brother and sister-in-law; something I have done for many years. Things were just starting to get dicey with the pandemic in both Florida and New Jersey. My brother, his wife, and I are all in that group of people over the age of 65 for which the Covid virus can be particularly dangerous. My relatives were apprehensive of me coming to visit and I agreed that it would not be safe for me to be flying.

I called the Spirit customer care center and explained by situation. They seemed extremely understanding; airlines were starting to shut down. They offered me either a credit back to my credit card, or a voucher for the full price of my booking, which would be good for a year (valid through 4/15/2021). Thinking that things would be back to normal in 2021, I accepted the voucher. They even gave me an additional $50 voucher to spend any way that I chose. I just left things as they were at that point.

Now, it became 2021 and I realized that things were still not ok. I called the customer care center again and asked that the credit be placed back on my card as they had originally offered because I had no idea of when I would be able to travel again. I told him that although they advertise how they clean their planes, I still didn't think it was safe for me to travel. The CDC, although they had loosened their guidelines, still advised to only do essential travel. The agent told me he could not put the credit back on my card and that my voucher had been extended to 9/30/21. He said he would send me written confirmation of that, but he never did. He just sent confirmation of my original voucher.

It was at this point that I decided to take other action. I went to the Elliott.org website and got the names of executives at Spirit. My first email was on March 28, 2021 to Joan McField-Mortimer and Vanessa Hardy-Bowen. I explained the whole situation to them. I told them there was no other destination to which I wanted to travel to use the voucher and asked for a speedy reply. I got a speedy reply from Joan, but it was to tell me she would be out of the office for the week. I waited for almost another two weeks and never heard a word from them.

On April 7, 2021, I decided to contact Ted Christie and John Bendoraitis. I quickly received a message that the email address for Mr. Bendoraitis was not good. In the email, I once again explained my situation and the CDC caution even for people who were fully vaccinated. I even suggested a compromise in which I would retain the voucher if they would extend it to 4/15/2022. Other than that, I wanted credit placed back on my credit card as they had originally offered to do. The email to Ted Christie produced an immediate response. On 4/8, I received a voicemail and a follow-up email from Kim (no last name), who claimed to be a Guest Relations Supervisor and Spirit's Corporate Headquarters. She commiserated with me that I was unable to fly with Spirit, but they could not honor my request for the credit since my flight was not affected by a Spirit cancellation or significant schedule change. No consideration of the pandemic was given. She simply listed ways that I could redeem the voucher.

I have flown with Spirit for over 20 years. I thought this response was cold and totally oblivious of this pandemic and how it has affected people and travel. They have had my money for over a year, and I have received nothing for it and do not see that I will have an opportunity to do so in the near future. It isn't for Spirit to say it is safe for me to travel. That is a decision for me to make considering the advice from the CDC. I would still like to get credit back to my credit card and I have been hoping that Elliott.org would be able to help me. Thanks
 
May 1, 2018
421
1,150
Unfortunately there's not much else you can do here. Once you accept a voucher at any travel supplier (airline, hotel, rental car, cruise line, etc.) it's nearly impossible to convert that back into a cash refund. Since you've already written to the CEO and they replied with a decision not to refund you there's no recourse left unfortunately. Obviously all of us here dislike that situation but there's nothing we can do.

Norwegian Cruise line has very recently decided to refund certain customers who are holding a voucher. There is some hope the rest of the industry may follow suit.
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
1,011
2,095
I noticed you used "WANT" when you were dealing with Spirit. Unfortunately You are not in a position to want things. You are in a position to beg for things. If you want any chance of the airline doing this for you you need to understand they absolutely do not have to do it. There is little you can do legally as you accepted this voucher and are now made whole. It does not matter that you can not use it. There are people that have vouchers with airlines that no longer fly to North America that are not able to convert the vouchers into refunds.
So you might have some luck ( very small chance) if you take the stand of asking for a big big favor. Do not use terms like I will never fly again with you or you have to do this or I will sue ( you would not win your suit).
remember the airline is broke and these voucher's cash value was long ago spent trying not to go bankrupt.
Did you have travel insurance? Maybe there is something you can get from them ( I would expect you would have to wait till your voucher expires to claim with insurance)?
I do expect that there will be extensions as needed and I think when they told you the have extended the date of your voucher's validity they were telling you the truth.
I honestly expect to see some legislation dealing with this topic in the future. And hope there will be some relief to those who had vouchers but could not use them. Some airlines have already stated that when your voucher expires you could apply for a refund. Maybe more will take this approach including Spirit. Who knows.
I wish you luck but in your case I think you are on a very uphill road.
 

Alexander Pahany

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Jan 6, 2021
644
2,103
Houston, TX
I noticed you used "WANT" when you were dealing with Spirit. Unfortunately You are not in a position to want things. You are in a position to beg for things. If you want any chance of the airline doing this for you you need to understand they absolutely do not have to do it. There is little you can do legally as you accepted this voucher and are now made whole. It does not matter that you can not use it. There are people that have vouchers with airlines that no longer fly to North America that are not able to convert the vouchers into refunds.
So you might have some luck ( very small chance) if you take the stand of asking for a big big favor. Do not use terms like I will never fly again with you or you have to do this or I will sue ( you would not win your suit).
remember the airline is broke and these voucher's cash value was long ago spent trying not to go bankrupt.
Did you have travel insurance? Maybe there is something you can get from them ( I would expect you would have to wait till your voucher expires to claim with insurance)?
I do expect that there will be extensions as needed and I think when they told you the have extended the date of your voucher's validity they were telling you the truth.
I honestly expect to see some legislation dealing with this topic in the future. And hope there will be some relief to those who had vouchers but could not use them. Some airlines have already stated that when your voucher expires you could apply for a refund. Maybe more will take this approach including Spirit. Who knows.
I wish you luck but in your case I think you are on a very uphill road.
You and the rest of you in the travel industry may know: Are these vouchers transferable, like a gift card would be? Could the OP hypothetically sell his voucher at a discount to recover something?
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
26,145
29,498
New York
www.promalvacations.com
You and the rest of you in the travel industry may know: Are these vouchers transferable, like a gift card would be? Could the OP hypothetically sell his voucher at a discount to recover something?

Vouchers are almost never transferable for a flight.

Had the OP waited until Spirit canceled the flight, they would have been entitled to a full refund.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,168
13,521
San Francisco
I agree with Comicman, it is worth a shot to ask for the refund. The important words here are "asking for an exception to their rules". This is referred to as "artful begging". Be polite and appreciative. We have seen travel providers occasionally show compassion and grant requests. Spirit is a low-budget airline, so start a letter writing campaign, give them time to get to your request, and escalate up the executive ladder. Keep it simple. Your request should be a couple of paragraphs; just state the facts ... a long letter usually gets set aside "for later".
 
  • Like
Reactions: Comicman and VoR61

smd

Mar 14, 2018
911
2,009
Had the OP waited until Spirit canceled the flight, they would have been entitled to a full refund.
Spirit did offer the OP a full refund, so presumably the flight had already been cancelled/changed. Spirit also offered people in this situation an additional $50 voucher to take a credit instead of a refund. Unfortunately, the OP chose this option.

Spirit has extended the terms of these credits per their web site: "All Reservation Credits issued since March 2020 have been extended. These Reservation Credits are redeemable for trips traveled by December 31, 2021, which must be booked by September 30, 2021."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Comicman

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
26,145
29,498
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Spirit did offer the OP a full refund, so presumably the flight had already been cancelled/changed. Spirit also offered people in this situation an additional $50 voucher to take a credit instead of a refund. Unfortunately, the OP chose this option.

Spirit has extended the terms of these credits per their web site: "All Reservation Credits issued since March 2020 have been extended. These Reservation Credits are redeemable for trips traveled by December 31, 2021, which must be booked by September 30, 2021."
I’m not so sure. OP states : “ They seemed extremely understanding; airlines were starting to shut down. ”

However, it’s a moot point since OP accepted the credit. You usually can’t go back once you accept that.
 
Apr 12, 2021
2
0
75
have you reached out to other contacts that are higher up on the list?
Yes, I did. Ted Christie and John Bendoraitis were listed as the top executives on the Elliott site. The response was very quick after contacting Ted Christie, but the response was cold and indifferent with no acknowledgement, that my situation could possibly been affected by the pandemic. Thank you
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
26,145
29,498
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Unfortunately, Spirit usually doesn’t budge on these type of requests. I think whoever you spoke to originally erred in even implying you could get a refund if you were canceling the trip before Spirit canceled the flight.

This article and particularly #5 might explain-

 
  • Like
Reactions: Comicman and VoR61