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Dying veteran battles Spirit Airlines' greed

Corporate greed strikes again!

Jerry Meekins says he bought a $197 airline ticket to see his daughter in New Jersey.  Then, the St. Petersburg man found out he terminally ill with esophageal cancer.

"Two weeks after I bought the ticket, I found out I was terminal," Meekins, 76, told NBC affiliate WFLA-TV.  

The Vietnam War veteran said his doctors told him he should not fly, so he called the airline to ask for a refund.  But the airline said no.

"I offered them all of the confirmation from my oncologist, from hospice, even my pre-paid funeral package," said Meekins.  "They didn't want to look at any of it or hear about it. They just wanted to keep the money."

Meekins has been protesting Spirit Airlines outside Tampa International Airport with signs, including one that reads, "corporate greed is spelled Spirit Airlines."

A spokesman from Spirit Airlines issued a statement:

"Our reservations are non-refundable, which means we don't do refunds and we are not going to issue Mr. Meekins a refund. We offer our customers affordable travel insurance to cover a variety of unexpected circumstances that may arise and many of our customers choose to take advantage of this option."

Spirit Airlines reportedly offered Meekins a credit, but he said the offer does him no good (obviously!).

Meekins now just wants the company to alter its policy and consider customers with special circumstances like his.

"I'm hoping I can cost them $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 in revenue for that lousy $197 and no compassion," Meekins said.

So congratulations Spirit Airlines for making a smart business decision to save the measly cost of a ticket.  It was definitely a better business decision than letting the story get out.  

As many are tweeting out today, the airline may have spirit, but apparently no soul.

Let us know what you think and what you would tell the managers at Spirit Airlines!