Fact Check

Military Dis Account

A Facebook user claimed Spirit Airlines refused to waive a baggage fee for a soldier on leave, after which an airline rep supposedly said the carrier doesn't "cater to the military."

Published Nov 2, 2015

A Spirit Airlines employee was rude to a soldier, charged him for a carry-on bag, and told his father that the airline "doesn't cater to the military."

On 21 October 2015, Facebook user John Hucul published the above-reproduced comment to a Facebook page called "Spirit Airlines Sucks." According to Hucul's account, his son traveled with Spirit Airlines out of Detroit on 16 October 2015 for military leave. Hucul's (unnamed) serviceman son reportedly encountered an unexpected charge of $55 for a garment bag containing his dress attire and when the elder Hucul complained to the airline, a rep told him Spirit "[does] not cater to the military."

While "Spirit Airlines Sucks" appeared to be a long-abandoned page created by a once-disgruntled flyer, tens of thousands of users found and shared Hucul's comment. A number of Facebook users subsequently took to the page to express disapproval with the airline's actions (as reported by Hucul) even though it was not officially affiliated with Spirit. We found no official Facebook page linked to Spirit Airlines on which the rumor had yet been officially addressed.

Hucul's comment wasn't the only social media complaint about Spirit Airlines, military personnel, and bags. Several tweets sent prior to the popular Facebook post referenced the purported policy (or lack thereof):

A page on Spirit Airlines' web site verifies that the carrier does not offer military discounts (for standard fares):

Q: Does Spirit offer discounts for bereavement, military, children, students, or senior citizens?

A: No, our fares are already very low, and we are unable to offer additional discounts.

An undated page on the carrier's web site confirmed that Spirit Air offered hundreds of free flights for "wounded warriors and their families," adding:

For active duty military traveling on Spirit, we will provide two free checked bags and a free carry-on, in addition to the already free personal item. The military member should arrive early enough to have their bags checked at the counter, and present their military ID.

We contacted both Spirit Airlines and Hucul in an attempt to verify details of the claim and will update this page if we receive responses.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.