Q. Due to a family emergency last December, I had to cancel a trip and have since been holding a credit of over $3,000 on Spirit Airlines to use toward future air travel. I plan to use it for a family trip to Costa Rica in November. With the major cutbacks in service and personnel that they are having, if they DO go under or they are no longer serving Costa Rica, do you know what my rights are? Would my bank credit card company get involved to recover the money? Any advice for what I should do in the meantime?

A. If Spirit goes under there is no protection other than standing in line at bankruptcy court, which would be fruitless. Because the payment was made last December, credit card protection under the Fair Credit Billing Act would not cover you (that protection only kicks in if you challenge the charge within 60 days of the charge appearing on your credit card statement). In the meanwhile, just hope that Spirit keeps flying. And next time, consider travel insurance.

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