Little Brain In The News Spirit Airlines is a low cost, no frills airline that has a “no-refund” policy.

It is their business model and every business should run their business by the policies they believe will make them strong and profitable.

Unfortunately when policy and common sense collide, the legacy of the conflict is almost always a negative impact on the company with a policy that is too rigid.

A Veteran, who bought a ticket for a flight on Spirit Airlines, was told two weeks later by his doctor that his cancer was terminal and he should not fly. He called and asked for a refund. The response from the airline was a typical Little Brain ‘It’s our policy” line that expresses the right to preserve the policy. The airline kept the $197.00 to ensure a long-standing policy was fulfilled.

Read the full Little Brain story from MSNBC Travel:

Dying veteran protests Spirit Airlines’ no-refund policy

This is where companies lose big in the battle for customer loyalty.

Now, like many others experiencing Little Brain moments, Spirit Airlines will have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to rebuild a reputation that would have cost them $197.00 to preserve. And yes, they will eventually apologize. (Ed. note: Spirit Airlines has apologized, and we discuss it here. May 14, 2012.)

In these tough economic times keeping cost down is the key to survival, but every policy must have the ability to adjust to unique circumstances. That’s just good policy.

©2012 Kevin T. McCarney. All rights reserved.

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(for more on this topic, see page 128 in the book)

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