Spirit Airlines Lawsuit Over Carry-On Bag Fees
A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit by Spirit Airlines passengers who accuse the low-cost carrier of charging unexpected carry-on bag fees on tickets bought through OTAs such as Cheapoair, Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity. They claim these fees often exceeded the cost of their tickets, and totaled millions of dollars a year.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said 22 passengers could sue for breach of contract because there was no evidence that Spirit promptly notified them about the fees, and there were “ambiguities” in the prices they would pay. They know that its online travel agents hide the “gotcha” bag fees people would have to pay at the airport.
Spirit countered that federal law precluded the lawsuit, and that its “contract of carriage” specifically provided that a passenger could take one carry-on bag into the cabin, for a fee.
Compared with many carriers, Spirit relies more on ancillary fees to offset the financial drag from lower base fares. Other low-cost carrier follow the same business model.
The case is Cox et al v Spirit Airlines Inc, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 18-3484.