Swarms of people are now furious with Spirit Airlines. Not because of fare hikes or baggage fees or the lack of leg room -- problems familiar to any flier -- but because of the airline's lack of heart. Jerry Meekins, a 76-year-old Vietnam veteran from Florida who is battling esophageal cancer, bought a $197 ticket to visit his daughter in New Jersey. Two weeks before his trip, his doctors told him his cancer was terminal, and that he should no longer fly. Meekins tried to get a refund from Spirit, but the airline refused, as Meekins had bought a nonrefundable ticket. Protesters are taking to a Facebook page called "Boycott Spirit Airlines," which has over 30,000 "likes" to voice their disgust. Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza tried to explain that a refund would have been issued had Meekins bought the $14 travelers insurance. Maybe so. But how do you put a price on this growing PR backlash? "Shame on you Spirit Airlines!" posted one angry Meekins supporter. Said another, "I would rather walk than fly on Spirit."
For 22 years, Chris James has been unable to see as a result of a genetic condition called retinitis pigmentosa, which causes light receptors in the eye to deteriorate. Now, the light is being turned on again. James is one of two people who have had a tiny sensor implanted in their retina. The sensor, powered by a small battery hooked behind James's ear, picks up light, which it converts to electronic signals sent to the brain. So far, James can only make out shapes held up close to him, but soon he'll be able to see his wife of 7 years for the first time. Can you imagine the pressure? "Honey, I thought you were a blonde?" Mrs. James, if you read this, let us know how that reunion goes.
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