How I refunded a Spirit Airlines ticket in 2 minutes via text message

Apr 16, 2020

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Put the terms “Spirit Airlines” and “requesting a flight refund” in the same sentence and you might imagine a painfully arduous, time-consuming and perhaps borderline impossible process. But, at least for now, you’d (shockingly) be wrong.

Months ago, I booked a pair of Spirit Airlines tickets from Houston to Las Vegas at the airport to save some cash. But now, the once-exciting plan of a quick budget-friendly trip to Vegas to celebrate my husband’s early May birthday was no longer a good idea. Like millions of other travelers, we were left needing to cancel our Spirit Airlines flights.

Related: Everything you need to know before flying Spirit Airlines

Luckily, I’d already received notice of a “flight change notification” for our flights when Spirit changed our nonstop early afternoon departure to a late evening departure, which wouldn’t have worked for us even if it was safe to travel right now. To better align operations with demand during coronavirus realities, Spirit, like every other airline, has dramatically reduced operations. This means that my original flight was canceled (though the change notification email didn’t use that term), thus opening up the ability for me to request a true refund, rather than just a future flight credit.

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The email encouraged me to “click here” to cancel and receive a reservation credit. But, it went on to say that there was an online FAQ that outlined other options, including information on refunds — yes, please. 

While there wasn’t a way to request a refund without contacting Spirit Airlines, the FAQs revealed a virtually painless way to contact the airline … text message.

Related: How to monitor your airline reservations for changes

To get a Spirit Airlines refund, you can text 48763 using regular old-fashioned text messages or use WhatsApp 801-401-2222 and simply start the conversation by sending the text, “Hello.”

Immediately, the system responded with a follow-up text that included a few multiple-choice questions about my reservation and my cancellation preferences.

Within one minute, I was offered by text the option to cancel and get a refund or receive a reservation credit for the full value of my booking, plus a $50 Spirit Airlines voucher. Normally, that would be pretty tempting as $50 can go a long way on Spirit. However, I have no idea when I’ll book additional future leisure travel on Spirit, so it was probably best for me to just get the money back and start fresh when the time comes.

Related: Why you should think twice before taking an airline voucher credit

Within two minutes, the texting back and forth process was complete. You do need to have your flight confirmation number and the email associated with the reservation handy to complete the process.

A few hours later, I received a text from an actual person at Spirit confirming that my refund of $66.82 was issued, which indeed posted back to my credit card that same day.

Spirit Airlines’ refund process was painless. There were no hoops to jump through, no funny fees involved, no long hold times, no mind-numbing hold music, nothing but a straightforward process. Taking apart trips you were looking forward to is sad, but it helps tremendously when the process is this simple.

While it can be quirky, I already kinda loved flying Spirit Airlines for certain types of trips. This simple process solidified that I’ll 100% be a return customer when it’s again time to plan leisure trips to destinations such as Las Vegas, Orlando and beyond.

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