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Family has medical emergency, is forced to land in foreign country, gets stranded. Spirit Airlines steps in and saves the day.


What a wonderful gesture

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Spirit Airlines recently spirited away a stranded family from Turks and Caicos and took them home.

What are the details?

A Puerto Rican family found themselves stranded in Turks and Caicos over the Independence Day holiday.

Spirit Airlines, however, jumped at the chance to help out the family, and sent an emergency plane to bring them home.

Santiago Rodriguez and his family were en route from San Juan to Philadelphia when the family's 4-year-old daughter suffered a medical emergency shortly after taking off.

The flight had to make an emergency landing in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, in order for the child to receive the medical attention she needed. She was able to recover, but the family found themselves stuck because the family didn't have passports, which are not required to fly between the U.S. as well as its territories, such as Puerto Rico.

Worse yet, Turks and Caicos — a British territory — was also experiencing a shortage of available commercial flights, since the country hasn't officially opened to international travelers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spirit Airlines jumped at the chance to help the family, and found them a place to stay while they were diverted to the country. Further, it sent one of its empty planes to Providenciales in order to fly the family home to Puerto Rico.

What happened next?

The family landed in San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín Airport on Wednesday, where they expressed their gratitude to the airline for stepping in when they needed it most.

"I have no words to describe how thankful I am to the airline and the people of the island who were so good to us," Ana Desiree Rodriguez Sanchez said. "We left all of our luggage on a flight to Philadelphia and didn't have anything on us to spend the night, so they quickly helped us find a place to stay, clothes and food for us. The airline was so great to us, and we are so thankful."

In a statement, Andrea Baigorria, the airline's external communication manager, said the company was "very happy to have been able to help the Santiago Rodriguez family return home and offer them a sense of peace after a moment of anguish."

Baigorria continued, "We worked in collaboration with the family, our Spirit Airlines members and the local governments in each city to help quickly facilitate their return flight back home. We also want to thank the American Red Cross in Providenciales for helping the family during their time here."

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