Spirit Airlines Sends Plane To Rescue Family Stranded Due To Medical Diversion

Filed Under: Spirit

Usually Spirit Airlines is in the news because of the fights that passengers manage to get into, so the positive ending for this story is a nice change of pace…

A Spirit Airlines flight diverted due to a medical emergency

On June 30, 2020, Spirit Airlines flight 3216 was scheduled to fly from San Juan to Philadelphia. A young girl on the flight had a medical emergency, so the plane diverted to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, so that she could receive medical treatment.

The young girl and her parents were taken off the flight and brought to a hospital there, where she recovered quickly.

At that point there was just a slight problem — not only did the family not have passports, but apparently the airport was still closed to commercial service otherwise, so the family had no way to leave the island.

Spirit Airlines comes to the rescue

Knowing about the situation, on July 1 Spirit Airlines sent a plane to Providenciales to fly the family back to San Juan. Yep, the family had the plane all to themselves, as this was otherwise not a scheduled flight.

The family even got to sit in Big Front Seats — no word on whether they were charged for carry-ons or packaged snacks. 😉

Spirit Airlines even made a big deal of it, and had staff greeting them in San Juan, and sent someone along to film the whole thing.

Bottom line

While Spirit Airlines clearly used this as a bit of a PR opportunity, all the more power to them. The airline diverted to Turks & Caicos to begin with (which was costly), and then even picked up the family to fly them back home when there was no commercial service.

It’s always nice to see airlines do the right thing…

  1. The carbon footprint of that trip is insane, and what about all the other customers there has to indirectly pay for that insane trip (or taxpayers)? Maybe was the right thing to get them back, but then they could have paid for a rented car or something like that. Insane.

  2. Renting a car wasn’t an option here – Turks & Caicos and Puerto Rico are both (different) islands in the Caribbean, separated by about 500 miles of water.

    I am a little surprised they sent one of their own planes, instead of chartering a smaller aircraft from someone else, but I guess the marketing works better if they’re on Spirit metal? Maybe it was actually cheaper to use their own metal, perhaps they were repositioning the jet otherwise?

    Very interesting either way!

  3. I think spirit did the right and kind thing here, that they milked it for PR is understandable.
    Imagine the headlines “spirit dumps sick girl on deserted island during pandemic”

    Kudos to spirit!

  4. American citizens are subsidizing Spirit and and all other American airlines, so we helped pay for the flight and other things until October 1.

  5. Matthias must be trolling because nobody is this damn stupid. Ooof… SMH

    Great job Spirit Airlines and never thought I’d say that.

  6. Pilots will be happy to get a few flight hours out of it.
    Maintenance will be happy that the plane is being moved instead of rusting while resting.
    Family will be happy to get home.
    PR department will be happy to get a good story.
    Viewers will be happy to read a good news during bad times.
    T&C government will be happy that they do not have to take care of these poor people while they are stranded.

    That’s a classical WIN-WIN-situation for everyone involved.

  7. If a diesel DUCK vehicle can go about 6,800 nautical miles without refueling, then Matthias may be on to something since Providenciales and San Juan are less than 6,800 nautical miles away from each other. A shore-to-shore drive in a rental DUCK would probably be about 500 nautical miles. Such a drive would leave a lower carbon footprint and Josh Gates should pursue the feasibility of this drive on Expedition Unknown. Given the US is seeing a dramatic rise in RV rentals because of Corona, there may be a growing market for tourists who would rather drive, than fly, to a vacation in the Caribbean Islands. Driving to the Caribbean Islands would certainly be the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  8. I’m thinking about going to the Maldives from New York. Thanks to this thread, it’s great to know that I could potentially rent a car instead of flying! 🙂

    Kudos to Spirit! I heard so many horror stories and then threw them a few times, I actually find it to be a decent airline, especially if you spring for the extra ~30 bucks for the Big Front Seat, cheapest first class in the sky!

  9. To be honest, Turks & Caicos isn’t a bad place to get stuck until the virus situation gets better.
    If insurance is paying for it then it’s even better.


    How dare you!!!!!!
    Not according to Greta. The can still sail back.
    Greta will slice you into pieces and eat your guts because she can’t eat beef and allergic to cow farts.

    Even if they are stuck there, insurance will likely pay for it.
    It’s not American citizens subsidizing airlines, it’s insurance and health care ripping Americans off with astronomical bills and expenses. Some treatment cost 1000x more in USA.

    Exactly, either Spirit rescues them or get headlines for abandoning a family.

  10. I bet Spirit Air would get the same subsidy regardless whether or not they made this flight. At least someone is benefitting. I also wonder if Turks and Caicos government held Spirit partly responsible for resolution. In that case Spirit may realize greater cooperation and good will there in the future .

  11. Had to be one person always is, in this case Matthias to turn such a nice story into a negative matter! Kudos to Spirit. Nice to hear something good about that company for a change.

  12. Somehow I think Avis would frown on a rented Nissan Altima being driven through the Atlantic, but maybe I’m thinking about it the wrong way

  13. That’s a long drive and time to hold your breath. Maybe James Bond will loan them his underwater Lotus…..

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