Spirit Airlines refuses to let the Puerto Rican family take a flight from Los Angeles to Puerto Rico because their toddler did not have a passport despite the destination being part of the United States
- A Puerto Rican family traveling from Los Angeles to visit relatives in the US was denied boarding after learning they needed a passport
- The Roman Torres family have been told they cannot board their Spirit Airline flight to the island because their toddler does not have a US passport.
- The family tried to explain that Puerto Rico was US territory and the flight was not international, but the staff wouldn’t listen. the family chose to fly JetBlue
A Puerto Rican family traveling from Los Angeles to visit relatives on the island were denied boarding their Spirit Airlines flight because their toddler did not have a US passport – despite the destination being classified as domestic flight.
The frustrating incident happened on April 25 at Los Angeles International Airport when Marivi Roman Torres, along with her husband Luis and their two-year-old son, Alejandro, were hoping to fly to Puerto Rico to visit relatives.
Upon arriving at the check-in counter, an officer asked to see the family’s passports.
The Torres family explained that Puerto Rico was US territory and passports were not required to travel there. DailyMail.com has contacted Spirit Airlines for comment.
The Roman Torres family, who are Puerto Rican and hope to travel from Los Angeles to visit relatives in Puerto Rico, were denied boarding after learning they needed a passport.
The Puerto Rican family traveling from Los Angeles to visit relatives in Puerto Rico were denied boarding after learning they needed a passport and their toddler did not have one.
“At first she told me it was an international flight,” Roman Torres told CBS News. “I told him no, Puerto Rico is not another country. It is US territory.
Both Luis and Marivi had their passports and handed them over, but when asked for their young son’s ID they explained that the child did not yet have one.
The family were told they could not travel and were given the option of getting a refund or rescheduling their flight once they got a passport for their child.
They asked to speak to a supervisor, but their requests were essentially ignored as the trio faced staff who showed a lack of flexibility and empathy with their situation.
The family tried to explain to the check-in staff that Puerto Rico was US territory and the flight was not international, but the staff wouldn’t listen. the family chose to fly JetBlue
‘Is there anyone else I can talk to? Can we call customer service together? Torres begged the recording staff.
“There was no empathy. There were just walls,” she explained.
Feeling distraught, the family went to a nearby JetBlue counter which confirmed that no passport was required to travel to US territory.
Puerto Ricans are US citizens and the island of Puerto Rico is not an international destination.
Although last-minute tickets are much more expensive, the family decided to purchase a new set of tickets on JetBlue, ensuring they could still reach the island later that night.
The family eventually decided to fly with JetBlue and managed to arrive later the same day despite having to pay more for their tickets.
Spirit Airlines, which operates about 25 daily flights to three destinations in Puerto Rico, has since apologized to the family acknowledging that a new agent at LAX misunderstood the identification requirements.
“In this specific case, a LAX agent who is new to the job misunderstood the identification requirements. We are providing the agent with further guidance and reiterating proper procedure,’ the airline said in a statement.
The airline refunded their original tickets and provided them with future travel vouchers, although the family said they had no intention of attempting to travel with the carrier again.
“I don’t feel like I’m booking with Spirit anymore. I think my trust was shattered there over something that shouldn’t have happened,” she said.