Can I get a Spirit Airlines refund? Nicaragua is in a deadly crisis

Nicaragua is in a deadly crisis. He wants a Spirit Airlines refund.

Nicaragua is in a deadly crisis. But Gregory Green planned his family’s summer vacation there months before the turmoil began. When he receives a rejection of his Spirit Airlines refund request, he turns to the Elliott Advocacy team. Can we help?

Question

Hello! We have a scheduled flight for my family to Nicaragua from July 18 to 25 for a family reunion. Currently, Nicaragua is in a deadly crisis. I can’t take my family there for a vacation now. I have a real safety concern for my family.

At the time of this email, over 140 people have been killed in protests — including a U.S. citizen. U.S State Department has Nicaragua listed as a level 3 warning. I’m not risking my family to take this trip until the situation is under control. Obviously, the time frame for the end of the current Nicaragua crisis is unknown.

At this point, our Spirit Airlines refund has been rejected because the flight is still scheduled. Spirit says I can reschedule, but it will cost me $360 to change the flights. Spirit will not waive the change fee.

We would love just to go somewhere else. I am requesting your assistance in resolving this matter. We would like a Spirit airlines refund or a waiver of the change fees. Thank you in advance. Gregory Green, Homestead, Fla.

Answer

Of course, you can’t take your family on vacation to Nicaragua at this time. The country is currently in what amounts to a civil war.

The current Nicaragua crisis began in mid-April when President Daniel Ortega, proposed social security reforms. These new policies would place a heavy financial burden on the people of what is already the most impoverished nation in all of Central America. And Ortega’s constituents weren’t pleased.

Widespread protests began immediately after the announcement of the proposed reforms. Initially, the events were peaceful. But the situation quickly intensified when police snipers fired on the crowds who were, for the most part, college students. Dozens of people were killed, including a 15-year old.

From there the violence escalated on both sides. As more citizens perished in the ongoing protests, Vice President Rosario Murillo, who happens to be Ortega’s wife, fueled the ire of her people by calling them “criminals” and “vampires.” These statements propelled the protests into high gear.

Unfortunately, for the citizens of this embattled nation, there are no indications that this crisis in Nicaragua will end soon.

Suddenly Nicaragua is in a deadly crisis

In March when you scheduled your summer family reunion, you saw no signs of the impending Nicaragua crisis. In fact, you had visited the Department of State’s website, as we always suggest travelers do before planning any international vacation.  No significant warnings appeared for Nicaragua.

However, after days of violent protests, the state department issued a level 3 warning for travel to Nicaragua.

On April 23, 2018, the U.S. government ordered the departure of U.S. government family members and authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. government personnel.

Rallies and demonstrations are widespread and occur daily with little notice. In many instances the government responds using tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and live ammunition, leading to significant numbers of deaths and injuries. Looting, vandalism, and acts of arson often occur during unrest, including in tourist areas. The perpetrators are often government-controlled thugs in civilian clothing, sometimes using vehicles without license plates. Government authorities detain protesters, and some people have disappeared. Human rights groups have documented credible claims of torture of detainees.

This warning went on to advise that all travelers should reconsider any plans to visit the embattled nation.

And you certainly did reconsider your family’s vacation. You weren’t about to risk the safety of your family and attempt this trip. And who could blame you?

You asked for a Spirit Airlines refund or a waiver of the change fees. But the airline informed you that its flights to Nicaragua were still operating as scheduled. You could change your flights, by paying a $90 modification fee per ticket.

Will Spirit Airlines refund this trip?

When I read your request for help, I hoped that I could help get your summer vacation back on track. Of course, not to Nicaragua, but to a safer destination.

Although you had followed most of our travel planning advice, one significant error remained. You neglected to insure your trip. A sudden, dramatic shift in the safety of a destination would likely qualify for a claim on a good trip insurance policy. But because you didn’t purchase any travel protection you were at the mercy of Spirit Airlines to provide you with a goodwill gesture. Or pay the $360 Spirit Airlines modification fee.

Your situation called to mind a somewhat similar problem our advocacy team tackled last year. In that case, though, Jorge Taborda made a more glaring error in his travel planning. Not only did he fail to insure his trip, but he also booked a family vacation to Venezuela — a country embroiled in turmoil for years. With widespread famine, violence and political unrest affecting almost all of Venezuela, it’s certainly not a vacation destination.

At some point, a friend tipped Taborda off to the dangerous trip he had planned for his family. And he contacted the Elliott Advocacy team with a plea for help. Because he had two small children scheduled for this ill-advised trip, I took the case. American Airlines granted a goodwill gesture and the family was able to vacation in a more suitable destination.

The good news for you

Knowing that Spirit Airlines is always more than fair to the passengers who contact us (including last week’s saga of Alla Machavariane who missed her Spirit Airlines connection while daydreaming at the gate), I felt confident that your case could be favorably resolved. I reached out to our executive contact at Spirit Airlines and his team quickly agreed that you had a reasonable request. Unlike Taborda’s case, there was no advance warning of the current dangerous chaos in Nicaragua.

Spirit Airlines agreed to waive the $90 modification fees on your tickets. You are now busily planning an alternative summer trip for your family. And I hope that the awful situation in Nicaragua will soon subside.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirportParkingReservations.com

With nearly 20 years in the industry, over 128 airport covered in the U.S. and Canada, and over 1,000 Hotel and Parking Partners-we provide travelers the best options on how to get to the airport when flying. Whether you want to; drive yourself and park near an Airport (Airport Parking), stay the night before your flight at an airport hotel and leave your car (Hotel and Parking Package), or take a shared Shuttle/Private Car/Limo to the Airport- we got you covered. The best deals can be found online, and booking a reservation has never been easier. You can explore all of our options by visiting us at AirportParkingReservations.com, ParkSleepFly.com, AirportParking.com, and ShuttleFinder.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at Cavalrytravelinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by G1G.com

Since its inception over three decades ago, G1G has continued to revolutionize the travel insurance industry by being the only aggregator to operate a customer portal, placing all of the user's primary needs in one place. We have continued to innovate and disrupt the market by reimagining the way travel insurance can be delivered to the end user in ways no competition can. Simply put, no one knows the market as well as its founders and no one else shares G1G values and mission.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend