UPDATE: Spirit Airlines has refunded about $400,000 to its customers after a report that the airline had denied access to a passenger because she was a woman.
The airline’s vice president of marketing and communications, Jennifer Smith, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the company was aware of a claim in a media report and was “reviewing the matter” and was in the process of refunding customers who had been denied access.
“We were aware of the media report, and we were in the middle of refund process.
Our initial reaction was we wanted to take action, but we didn’t want to get into specifics because we wanted our customers to know we are committed to the very best customer service,” Smith said.
Spirit Airlines, which is owned by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, said in a statement that it was refunding the customers whose flights were canceled.
The airline has also agreed to pay a $250,000 fine and take a diversity training course on how to deal with sexual harassment complaints.
According to the airline, the incident was reported to management and the incident occurred before a recent change to airline policies.
Smith said the company had “received a large number of calls about this issue.”
Smith said the airline was also working with airlines in other countries that are under fire for similar incidents.
She said the group would review the claims in detail and then make a final determination on whether to refund customers.
After the incident with the woman, Smith said, the airline took steps to prevent similar incidents from happening.
She also said the carrier had hired an outside attorney and was investigating the situation.
Smith declined to provide further details about the incident, citing privacy concerns.
In a statement, Spirit Airlines said the incident has been resolved and the airline is committed to doing everything in our power to prevent such incidents from ever happening again.
It added that the organization is “actively engaging” with its employees and other stakeholders to address “the underlying issues that led to the incident.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.