Meekins said that he and other veterans groups were calling for Spirit to soften its stance on refunds in cases such as his.
"I would like them to change their policy to at least have the courtesy to have a case-by-case review of the reason someone requests a refund," he said. "If you have a head cold, you're certainly not going to get a refund, and that's understandable. But in my case … I didn't know I was terminal when I purchased a ticket, and I found out two weeks later and just asked out of curiosity, 'How do we go about getting a refund?' and they said no way.
"It's unconscionable — that's the way I feel," Meekins said.
Meekins said when he explained his situation to Spirit, the airline offered to give him a credit so he could fly in the future, which "really got to me," he said.
Spirit did not immediately respond to request for comment Tuesday, but the airline has said publicly that it stands by its policy against refunds.