West Michigan Parents Fighting Airline Over Marine Son’s Return

Posted at 9:31 PM, Jun 09, 2014

VICKSBURG, Mich. (June 9, 2014) – The family of a West Michigan Marine is fighting Spirit Airlines over tickets the Marine can’t use because he was redeployed.

Brock Farrington, 23, has served several tours overseas in the past four years but told his family he was finally coming home. So they booked him a flight back to Michigan.

A recon Marine serving in Yemen, Brock’s plans to come back to Vicksburg after completing his tour changed when he was deployed to Bahrain on another mission.

That’s when they said Spirit Airlines told them tough luck.

“It’s hard enough as a military family when you endure four years of this, you know, of them being deployed,” said Sam Farrington, Brock’s father. He and his wife Melanie were heartbroken when they learned Brock wouldn’t be coming home after all.

“You try to carry on with your life, but ya know, in the back of your mind you’re always there,” Sam said about the fears for his son’s safety.

When they learned Brock was deployed again unexpectedly, the Farringtons called Spirit Airlines to change his flight.

“We didn’t even care about the money, we just said he can’t come home now,” Melanie Farrington said. “He’s doing things for his country, and the military more or less told me ‘Well the military cost your son money.’”

Spirit Airlines says their transcripts don’t show any rude comments to the Farringtons, though they don’t deny they refused to help with the tickets.  Spirit denied our request to see the transcripts.

“I knew that I could fly him home. That wasn’t the point,” Melanie said.

She and Sam want to see Spirit Airlines change their policy. “We feel that anybody fighting or deployed and fight for this country should be taken care of, and that policy shouldn’t apply to them,” Sam said.

Spirit says they receive numerous requests to change, refund and reschedule flights, all denied because it doesn’t go along with their business model.

Melanie said that just doesn’t seem to be the American way.

Spirit Airlines called the Farringtons Monday night to tell them their employees had taken up a collection to refund Brock’s flight.

The Farringtons refused that money and asked that it go to a soldier in need.  They still hope Spirit Airlines will reconsider their policy for members of the military.