I booked a trip through Cheap Flights for airfare and hotel. Within a couple of hours I cancelled the trip. Cheap Flights cancelled the room but not the flight. They also did not advise me how to cancel. Now, Spirit Airlines is billing me for the flight and a penalty. What recourse do I have?
You need to read what you are buying before you buy it, not simply assume it works like Walmart where you can return anything for money back.
Most airlines sell their tickets non-refundable, and although people are free to hate or avoid the model, once you agree to buy it that way, you are bound by the contract. It doesn't matter if the airline really loses money on you backing out, or if your family died, or whatever good reason you have; contracts are binding. By buying you sign that contract, and ignoring the fine print does not allow you to act against it.
That being said, there are cases where tickets are refundable (if sold as such), and there are cases where fine print is considered 'surprising' and you can win a court case for it being invalid. However, today's ticket selling has such clauses in 90+%, so you cannot claim it as a 'surprising' clause (surprising to you doesn't matter). Chances are slim that you bought a refundable ticket; they are much more expensive and most people ignore those higher priced offers with a snort. Check the details in the contract to be sure, but don't get your hopes high.