Consumers who purchased an airline ticket from Spirit airways and were charged a "passenger usage fee."
It has been alleged that $40 million may have been lost by Spirit customers who were charged passenger usages fees.
According to reports, Spirit currently lists the fee, which ranges between $9 and $17, as "optional" on its site, but allegations have surfaced that this hasn't always been the case. Rather, it was listed as an unavoidable part of the base fare and can be found in itineraries next to the words "passenger usage fee."
Spirit Airlines has been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that it misled consumers into believing that its "passenger usage fee" was a government-required charge. The suit claims that the low-cost carrier deceived passengers out of millions in charging this fee which offered no service or advantage to the flyer. The class action lawsuit further claims that Spirit Airlines advertises low-cost flights, only to tack on more charges which are typically included in the total cost of the plane ticket.
Spirit Airlines Deceptively Extracted Millions from Passengers: Suit
Since 2008, Spirit Airlines has intentionally used deceptive means to extract tens of millions of dollars from unsuspecting customers, according to the suit. It has been alleged that the passenger usage charge is an “illusory fee,” the only goal of which is to increase the airline’s profits. Spirit claims that the fee is issued to provide website and phone service to customers, but the suit alleges that passengers are not receiving any good or service in return for paying the charge.
The Department of Transportation requires that airlines disclose their fees to customers. It has been reported the DOT has cited and fined Spirit Airlines over the passenger usage fee. Allegedly, the airline has made as much as $40 million in profit by charging the fee, making the $375,000 DOT fine appear minimal in comparison.