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Canceled flights are a traveler’s nightmare, perhaps even surpassing the hassle of lost luggage.
They can wreck a family vacation, interrupt work schedules and cost you money, especially if you didn’t purchase travel insurance. So knowing what to do if your flight gets canceled is important.
If you’ve booked a flight on Spirit Airlines, here’s what to know about Spirit's cancellation policy and what to expect if the worst should happen.
Why are Spirit Airlines flights canceled?
As with any airline, there are plenty of reasons a Spirit flight might be canceled, including:
Lack of staffing.
If any of the above should occur, your flight may be delayed, rescheduled or canceled. If this happens to you, it’s useful to understand the Spirit cancellation policy and how to proceed.
» Learn more: Trip cancellation insurance explained
What is Spirit Airlines' cancellation policy?
When you book a ticket on Spirit Airlines, you agree to the airline’s contract of carriage, which essentially states that it’s not liable if your flight is changed or canceled.
While this may not sound like great news, Spirit does offer travelers several options when a flight is canceled.
In most cases, Spirit will first attempt to book you on the next flight to your destination at no extra cost, provided seats are available. However, they have no obligation to book you on the same itinerary.
For example, if you booked a nonstop flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas, and there are only seats on a flight with a layover in Detroit, that’s what you’ll be offered.
Alternatively, for no difference in fare, you can rebook your flight for any time in the next seven days, as long as the departure and arrival destinations are the same as your original flight.
In some cases, you may also have the option to request a refund. If the airline can't rebook you or the next available flight will delay you more than two hours, you can choose to be refunded instead of rebooking your ticket.
Spirit will offer a refund of the entire fare if you haven’t traveled yet, or a refund worth whatever segments you haven’t flown if you’ve already left home. You may also opt for a travel credit to use in the future.
If your flight gets canceled and you have to spend an extra night at your destination, Spirit will only provide accommodation or reimbursement for accommodation if the cancellation was due to an avoidable occurrence like mechanical malfunctions or staffing issues.
If your flight was canceled due to unavoidable circumstances like inclement weather or air traffic control decisions, you’ll need to pay for your accommodation out of pocket.
Also note that you won’t be reimbursed or offered lodging if you’re still at your original departure destination.
» Learn more: How to book a flight that (likely) won’t get canceled
What to do if Spirit cancels your flight
If Spirit cancels your flight, you have two options:
Accept a rebooking on the next available flight.
Cancel your booking entirely and request a refund, which may be credited back to your original form of payment or as a Spirit Airlines flight credit.
Keep in mind that according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), if your flight is canceled, and an airline is unable to rebook you or you choose not to travel as a result, you’re entitled to a full refund of the unused portion of your travel as well as fees like seat selection and baggage fees.
» Learn more: What to know about flight delay compensation
How to rebook a Spirit flight
If you’d like to be rebooked on the next available Spirit flight to your original destination, you can do so at a Spirit counter if you’re already at the airport. Otherwise, there are several ways to do so:
Change your flight on the MyTrips section of spirit.com.
Chat using Spirit’s messaging platform on the website.
Text Spirit at 48763 or at 855-728-3555 if using WhatsApp.
Send a direct message on social media.
Call customer service at 855-728-3555.
Rebooking may be your best bet if you’re just starting your trip and you’ve already made lodging, attraction or rental car reservations that likely won't give you a full refund.
Just make sure to contact those companies to let them know you’ll be arriving later than expected.
How to get a refund
If no reasonable flights are available for rebooking, or you’d rather rent a car or book a flight on another airline, you may prefer to request a refund.
You can start the process at a Spirit ticket or guest service counter if you’re at the airport. Otherwise, you can contact Spirit via the same channels listed above. An additional option is opening a case directly on Spirit’s customer support page.
Make sure to keep any receipts or emails about the flight and its cancellation in case you need to provide documentation.
Learn more: How to get a Spirit Airlines refund
Travel insurance reimbursement
One good way to make sure you’re covered in case of a flight cancellation is to purchase travel insurance.
Before buying a policy, read the fine print to make sure flight cancellations and disruptions are covered for any reason. Then, reach out to the insurance company as soon as possible after the cancellation to start the reimbursement process for flights and any other affected reservations.
Some insurance companies can even help you rebook your flight if you contact them right away.
Additionally, some credit cards — like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — offer flight cancellation and delay coverage if you used the card to purchase your airfare. But not all cancellation reasons are covered, so check the terms and conditions before you file a claim.
» Learn more: Does my Chase credit card have travel insurance?
Spirit Airlines cancellation policy recapped
Flight cancellations are usually unexpected, and they’re never a welcome event.
It may bring peace of mind to know that if your flight is canceled, Spirit Airlines will do everything possible to get you on the next available flight. And if that’s not an option, you can request a refund for your ticket.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card