I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “time is money.” Time is related to money, for sure:
- People exchange their time for money at their jobs.
- People choose to pay others to do tasks that will take time away from something they’d rather be doing.
- People take time to make lunches, change their own oil, mow their lawn, etc., to save money.
- People pay more to live in a city to cut down their commute time to work.
- And so forth …
There is one big difference between time and money, which is why time is not exactly the same thing as money. Time is scarce. Money can be lost, made back, saved, spent, invested, multiplied. Time can only be spent. It provides no return, and everyone gets only so much of it. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
And when your time is almost gone, it becomes incredibly valuable. The value of money dwindles to nothing at this point.
Which is why that it’s sad to hear that Jerry Meekins, a veteran of the Vietnam War, has decided to make it his “primary goal” to get Spirit Airlines to change its blanket no-refund policy on airline tickets. The crux of the linked story is that Mr. Meekins bought a plane ticket from Spirit Airlines, found out two weeks later that he was terminal, requested a refund, and the refund was refused, in line with the airline’s (presumably clear) policy that the tickets are non-refundable. Additionally, the airline offers low-cost travel insurance ($14 for $300 worth of coverage) that pays out if documented “sickness” is provided, so it’s probable that Mr. Meekins would have gotten his money back with this coverage in place.
Why be remembered for a fool’s errand?
It’s Mr. Meekins’ choice how he spends his final months. (Maybe he’s already quit fighting the airline. I hope so.) What I don’t get is that why he chose to waste any time at all on this issue. Is fighting for the cost of a plane trip — with an airline that has made it clear that it will stand up to the bad press it will get by not issuing the refund — a good use of his time? Even if he does get his money back — will it be worth his time? Not at this stage in his life.
The people that know and love Mr. Meekins will remember his war record, his service, and the other good things he’s accomplished with his life. Lots more people will just know that he had a bone to pick with an airline, and some of them will side with the airline, not him. (I think the airline did nothing wrong here.)
He should just let the ticket go. It’s lost. Fuhgeddaboutit. (And, by the way, he should have bought the travel insurance.)
I know that this tiff with Spirit Airlines isn’t his life’s meesage. He should spend his remaining time getting that out, whatever it is.
Time is not money. Time is way more valuable than money.