West Michigan Parents Fighting Airline Over Marine Son’s Return

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VICKSBURG, Mich. (June 9, 2014) – The family of a West Michigan Marine is fighting Spirit Airlines over tickets the Marine can’t use because he was redeployed.

Brock Farrington, 23, has served several tours overseas in the past four years but told his family he was finally coming home. So they booked him a flight back to Michigan.

A recon Marine serving in Yemen, Brock’s plans to come back to Vicksburg after completing his tour changed when he was deployed to Bahrain on another mission.

That’s when they said Spirit Airlines told them tough luck.

“It’s hard enough as a military family when you endure four years of this, you know, of them being deployed,” said Sam Farrington, Brock’s father. He and his wife Melanie were heartbroken when they learned Brock wouldn’t be coming home after all.

“You try to carry on with your life, but ya know, in the back of your mind you’re always there,” Sam said about the fears for his son’s safety.

When they learned Brock was deployed again unexpectedly, the Farringtons called Spirit Airlines to change his flight.

“We didn’t even care about the money, we just said he can’t come home now,” Melanie Farrington said. “He’s doing things for his country, and the military more or less told me ‘Well the military cost your son money.’”

Spirit Airlines says their transcripts don’t show any rude comments to the Farringtons, though they don’t deny they refused to help with the tickets.  Spirit denied our request to see the transcripts.

“I knew that I could fly him home. That wasn’t the point,” Melanie said.

She and Sam want to see Spirit Airlines change their policy. “We feel that anybody fighting or deployed and fight for this country should be taken care of, and that policy shouldn’t apply to them,” Sam said.

Spirit says they receive numerous requests to change, refund and reschedule flights, all denied because it doesn’t go along with their business model.

Melanie said that just doesn’t seem to be the American way.

Spirit Airlines called the Farringtons Monday night to tell them their employees had taken up a collection to refund Brock’s flight.

The Farringtons refused that money and asked that it go to a soldier in need.  They still hope Spirit Airlines will reconsider their policy for members of the military.


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  • Bob

    Spirit Airlines called the Farrington’s Monday night to tell them their employees had taken up a collection to refund Brock’s flight.

    I have to side with the airline's right to stick with policy here, but only slightly. But when they have their EMPLOYEES taking up donations, they've done something wrong.

    Fail on that. Pay for their ticket or give them credit for god's sake. Don't make your low wage employees cough up the money.

  • tc1

    You go with the lowest price airline, you get the lowest amount of wiggle room when it comes to ticket changes. It's not about disrespecting the military for God's sake, it's happening to everyone who buys tickets with this airline. I am a 22 year USAF retiree, and even I know that when I take a chance with a low-cost airline, it could blow up in my face but that's the risk I take.

  • kenr

    just stop using Spirit until they go up and become American….
    Its pretty bad when the employees are so ashamed of their own employer that they cover for them .


    • Shelby

      Exactly. My son was sent to Okinawa for 2 years and had to pay out of pocket to fly home. I was livid when I found out. It's bad enough these men and women don't really even "make" any money – they have to buy their uniforms, the ribbons they earn, boots, etc. and they are charged a fee every month for food whether they eat it or not – they also have to pay to come home from a place they didn't choose to go.

      • us veteran

        what military is your son in? everything you just said isn't true in the least. initial issue of uniforms is free, then you have a uniform allowance. the first ribbon/award you receive is gratis, if you want more then you pay for more ribbons/awards if you want them. you aren't charged for meals, you eat for free. if you live off-post or are married and in family housing you're given a meal allowance and a housing allowance. if you're transferred, you are given a ticket on the most affordable/convenient mode of transportation to your next duty station and often are given an absurd amount of time to get there if your traveling by pov. now, if you're going home on leave you can pay for it yourself or you can catch a military hop. I mean seriously, does your company pay for your airfare to Disney for your vacation? by you posting what you posted you're disgracing the service your son gave to his country. learn the facts, your 'son' is a man now, and a soldier, quit disrespecting him and his admirable service to his country. btw, i'm a vet so I know what i'm talking about. at least in this instance I do.

  • Armymother

    First off what would it hurt, per the family's request to pass the ticket onto a military member in need? The family was not seeking a refund, but rather a means to not have the ticket go unused. Spirit Airlines is a business and with that said, can afford to make concessions for our military members. The fact that their employees felt compelled to take a collection for the refund should be a disgrace to Spirit!

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