Does my mother-in-law have a case?

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Oct 5, 2019
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On 10/3/2019, my mother-in-law, my wife, and 3-year old twin sons were scheduled to leave Orlando, FL to Indianapolis, IN at 5:30 PM. When my mother-in-law used the self-check in kiosk, she noted the twins' boarding passes did not print. They went to the ticket counter and asked them to print the twins' boarding passes. The agent at the counter said it was not needed because the TSA doesn't need to check the boarding passes of minors. My mother-in-law insisted on them printing the boarding passes, but the agent repeated her statement that the twins didn't need a boarding pass.

Lo and behold, the TSA refused to let the boys through without their boarding passes. It took enough time to get through security to that point that when they made it back to the ticket counter, they would miss their flight. My mother-in-law demanded to speak to the agent's supervisor, who told them they needed to purchase new tickets for the entire family because they missed their flight. What infuriated my family was that the agent denied telling them the twins didn't need their boarding passes.

Desperate to return home, the family instead booked four tickets on Southwest Airlines. I don't know what resolution my mother-in-law wants, but my wife thinks this is a case of "he said, she said," and there is no chance for any reimbursement. So I'm running it by the forum first to see if it's worth pursuing.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#2
Sadly I think “He Said, She Said” is what this is. However, a brief and very polite letter to Spirit detailing what happened may get you a Customer Service gesture (a small credit towards a future flight). Avoid threats, or calling the agent a liar but of course you can say the adults in your party each heard her say it not once but on ____ different occasions.

While I know Spirit will not reimburse for the Southwest Tickets you should request a refund of the tickets you purchased on Spirit. Maybe you will be successful. Use our addresses at the top of the page and start with Customer Service, do not start with the President! Work your way up the list leaving a week between emails. Good Luck and let us know how it works out.
 
Jul 2, 2018
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No. I was told that once when I was flying with my child. I luckily had enough time to make it back to the desk to get a boarding pass and make it through security in time, but I was told that.
 
Sep 18, 2018
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#7
Is it possible that the twins were 2 when their tickets were purchased, and then turned 3 before the flight? If so, that might explain the issue at the kiosk and then the ensuing confusion at the ticket counter. How airlines treat ticketing for children often hinges on whether they are 2 or younger.
 
Feb 28, 2018
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#9
I have learned that the Spirit Airport ticket counter workers are often ignorant of TSA or other airlines' connection/baggage requirements. I learned that I had to know such rules and requirements whenever I used Spirit airlines in my travels. One worker told me that she only had to know the Spirit Airlines rules ,requirements and fees. I requested a supervisor and was told there was none.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
I have learned that the Spirit Airport ticket counter workers are often ignorant of TSA or other airlines' connection/baggage requirements. I learned that I had to know such rules and requirements whenever I used Spirit airlines in my travels. One worker told me that she only had to know the Spirit Airlines rules ,requirements and fees. I requested a supervisor and was told there was none.
Why would Spirit know about other airlines connections or baggage? Spirit does not interline or have any agreeements with other airlines. And it is better that the passenger get TSA information from the TSA and not an airline worker.

Ultra low cost carriers like Spirit save money by having minimal staff and no interline agreements.

What Spirit agent should know is that everyone with a seat needs a boarding pass.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#11
It occurs to me that your mother in law may have one persuasive argument. Tickets must have been purchased for the twins to fly Spirit, so the question would be: Why would she pay for tickets and then approach TSA without boarding passes, especially when she had her own and your wife had hers. That would make no sense, and, of course, is not what happened.

So I suggest she include that argument when contacting Spirit with the events as they happened. Seems to me that's more than he-said-he-said . . .

UPDATED: At a minimum, I think, Spirit should refund the airfare on their airline for four (4) tickets. If they do not, you can file a complaint with the Department of Transportation.
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#12
It occurs to me that your mother in law may have one persuasive argument. Tickets must have been purchased for the twins to fly Spirit, so the question would be: Why would she pay for tickets and then approach TSA without boarding passes, especially when she had her own and your wife had hers. That would make no sense, and, of course, is not what happened.

So I suggest she include that argument when contacting Spirit with the events as they happened. Seems to me that's more than he-said-he-said . . .

UPDATED: At a minimum, I think, Spirit should refund the airfare on their airline for four (4) tickets. If they do not, you can file a complaint with the Department of Transportation.
She could not print the twins boarding passes at the kiosk - apparently it printed the two adults but not the two children. She knew the kids needed boarding passes - she knew more than the agent did.

When my mother-in-law used the self-check in kiosk, she noted the twins' boarding passes did not print. They went to the ticket counter and asked them to print the twins' boarding passes. The agent at the counter said it was not needed because the TSA doesn't need to check the boarding passes of minors. My mother-in-law insisted on them printing the boarding passes, but the agent repeated her statement that the twins didn't need a boarding pass.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#13
She could not print the twins boarding passes at the kiosk - apparently it printed the two adults but not the two children. She knew the kids needed boarding passes - she knew more than the agent did.

When my mother-in-law used the self-check in kiosk, she noted the twins' boarding passes did not print. They went to the ticket counter and asked them to print the twins' boarding passes. The agent at the counter said it was not needed because the TSA doesn't need to check the boarding passes of minors. My mother-in-law insisted on them printing the boarding passes, but the agent repeated her statement that the twins didn't need a boarding pass.
Correct. And if the agent should deny that, she can counter with "that makes no sense"
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#15
I wonder if there was a problem with the tickets for the twins.
I am wondering too. If the tickets were purchased when they were 2 as lap children I can see this scenario happening.

OP- can you confirm when the tickets were purchased and how much your in-laws paid for them?

This is why we don’t take third party cases- we need information from the people actually involved so they can answer questions.
 
Likes: Patina

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#16
This sounds like a horrendous experience. But your story is one of the reasons we insist on hearing directly from the OP. We cannot give valid advice or guidance unless we know what happened. There's no sense going after an airline with no customer service unless your story is rock-solid. With yours, we don't know. If it does turn out that the airline is responsible, it will take MONTHS to receive some consideration ... they have little or no CS department to handle situations like this.
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#17
This is also why we really need to hear from the people traveling with the children, instead of a 3rd party account.