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Catch the Spirit…

If a tree falls in the forest do you hear it?  You do if Spirit Airlines is holding the saw.

In case you missed the latest coverage surrounding Spirit…dying Vietnam vet Jerry Meekins tried to get a refund after being told by his doctor that he was too sick to fly.  Spirit refused his request for days citing its iron-clad no refund policy.  They even suggested that he should have bought travel insurance.

We’re not privy to what happened at Spirit, but a company with a good monitoring policy and good antennae as to what could become a crisis would have picked this up and the rest of us would never have heard about this incident.

A firestorm ensued and finally, CEO Ben Baldanza said he would personally pay back the retired soldier and donate money to Wounded Warriors.  This was only after at least one media outlet sent Mr. Meekins a check for the $197.  We wonder if the “Boycott Spirit Airlines” Facebook page that went from zero to 41,000+ in a matter of days was a factor?

At CommCore we tell our clients to never underestimate the power of public opinion.  If management had fixed the problem quickly, it would have been our definition of an emergency:  A flash problem that was fixed and probably would have stayed out of the news.  It turned into a crisis when Spirit let it simmer into a full Social Media boil-over.

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