Woman discovers photo of her and her ex is used in Spirit Airlines ad. She never gave them permission

Leonard Zhukovsky/ShutterStock @sunkissedqt/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Did your ex sell the photo?’: Woman discovers photo of her and her ex is used in Spirit Airlines ad. She never gave them permission

'I WISH this would happen to me ... get that bag, sis.'


Vladimir Supica


Posted on Feb 9, 2024   Updated on Feb 14, 2024, 12:33 pm CST

A TikToker is claiming that Spirit Airlines used a decade-old photo of her and her ex-boyfriend in an advertisement without her knowledge or consent.

In a video posted on Feb. 8, Heather, also known as (@sunkissedqt) on TikTok, shared a screenshot of a text message conversation with a friend who allegedly spotted her image in an ad at LaGuardia Airport.

In the video, Heather reads the text correspondence with her friend, saying, “So I get a text, ‘Is that you?’ Like, yeah, where do you see this? LaGuardia Airport? I was like, ‘What is this for?’ It’s for freaking Spirit Airlines.”

“And I never signed anything for them to be using a photo of me,” she adds.

The image in question is a photo of Heather and her ex-boyfriend, which she says was taken over a decade ago. Heather expressed her frustration, asking her followers for advice: “Honestly though, what do I do about this? Like, can I sue? Because I never signed anything for them to use a photo of me. So, what do I do? TikTok, help a girl out.”

@sunkissedqt @Spirit Airlines you have some explaining to do!!!! #spiritairlines #flights #2024 #spirit #airlines #lawyersoftiktok #copyrightlaws #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Heather🐯

In the video’s description, she tagged Spirit Airlines, writing, “@Spirit Airlines you have some explaining to do!!!”

The video has since gone viral, accumulating over 76,200 views, with many commenters suggesting the TikToker should “lawyer up.”

“The way I wouldn’t even tag them while I lawyer up cause every day they still use it is more [money] for you,” one commenter wrote.

“That could be $10+K for every 30 days they’ve had it up,” a second commenter claimed.

“Free Spirit flights for life, don’t settle!” a third commenter said.

“Go get your money girl,” another chimed in.

According to legal experts, if a business uses the image or likeness of an individual without their consent or permission, they may file a suit for misappropriation of likeness.

However, when another commenter posed a question about how Spirit Airlines obtained the photo, Heather responded by saying it was from “a stock website.” In such a case, the legal responsibility might fall on the person who uploaded the photo to the stock website without obtaining Heather’s consent and not the airline.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Heather via email and to Spirit Airlines via its press email.

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*First Published: Feb 9, 2024, 9:00 pm CST