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Spirit Airlines apologies for denying Puerto Rican family on flight


Spirit Airlines apologized to a Puerto Rican family for preventing them from boarding a domestic flight from Los Angeles to the Caribbean Island because their toddler didn’t have a US passport.

Marivi Roman Torres, her husband Luis, and their 2-year-old son Alejandro were set to board the budge airline to visit relatives in Puerto Rico on April 25 when the ticketing agent made the mind-numbing decision to keep them off the flight.

American passports are not required for flights between the US mainland and Puerto Rico, which has been a US territory for some 125 years.

Puerto Ricans are American citizens and thus are not required to produce a passport in order to board a domestic flight.

“In this specific case, an agent at LAX who is new to the position misunderstood the identification requirements,” the airline said in a statement to CBS News on Thursday.

“We are providing the agent with additional coaching and reiterating proper procedure.”

The Post has sought comment from the airline.

Marivi Roman Torres, her husband Luis, and their two-year-old son Alejandro were set to board April 25 flight from Los Angeles to Puerto Rico.
CBS News

The flabbergasted mom told CBS News that she was first told that the flight was international, to which she responded: “Puerto Rico is not another country. It is a US territory.”

She said she and her husband showed the ticketing agent their passports to avoid a hassle.

But when the agent asked for young Luis’ passport, the parents said they didn’t have one.

The family said that the airline offered them either a refund or a rescheduled flight at a later date so that paperwork could be filed allowing them to obtain a passport for the child.

Roman Torres said she pleaded with the agent and their supervisor.

“Is there anyone else I can talk to? Can we call customer service together?” she said she told the agent.

The Spirit personnel were “completely inflexible,” Roman Torres told CBS News.

“There was no empathy. There was just walls,” she said.

The family then managed to buy a more expensive ticket for a JetBlue flight to Puerto Rico.


The ticketing agent at Spirit Airlines was not aware that Puerto Ricans are American citizens and are thus not required to produce a passport for flights between the island and the US mainland.
The ticketing agent at Spirit Airlines was not aware that Puerto Ricans are American citizens and are thus not required to produce a passport for flights between the island and the US mainland.
GC Images

Roman Torres said that the JetBlue agent told her that a passport was not needed to fly to Puerto Rico.

“And I’m like ‘I know!’” she said.

The family landed in Puerto Rico at 2 a.m. local time the next day.

“We sincerely apologize to our Guest and their family for the inconvenience, and we issued a refund for the tickets and provided them with future travel vouchers,” a Spirit spokesperson said.


The airline has apologized to the family and issued a refund as well as vouchers for future flights.
The airline has apologized to the family and issued a refund as well as vouchers for future flights.
AFP via Getty Images

Roman Torres said the budget airline can take its voucher and shove it.

“I do not feel like I’m going to book with Spirit anymore,” she said.

“I think that my trust was broken there on something that should not have happened.”



This story originally appeared on NYPost

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