Spirit Airlines, famous for its $9 airfares – which cost considerably more once all taxes and fees are added – has responded to new full disclosure in advertising regulations from the Department of Transportation by not advertising. At least for the moment.
The new regulations require all publicized airfares to include mandatory taxes and fees.
How Spirit Avoids Advertising Full Fares
On its website, the ultra-low cost carrier now proclaims, “Fares from ???”
Spirit explains as follows:
“Taxes and fees can be different by destination, by country, based on whether you are flying into or out of an airport, and so on. You get the point – it makes it too difficult for us to provide the list of fares. In fact, by the time we could figure out how to calculate that, you’d be done with your vacation already.” -Spirit website, Jan. 30, 2012
Other Airlines Fall in Line
However, all other U.S. airlines seem to be having no trouble figuring it out and have been advertising their fares – complete with taxes and fees – on their websites and elsewhere since the regulations went into effect last week.
DOT Fines Spirit for Previous Violations
Meanwhile, Spirit faces another challenge from the DOT. Late last week, the government agency announced it was fining the airline $100,000 for violations going back to 2009 and 2010, including “failing to appropriately record and respond to complaints about the carrier’s treatment of passengers with disabilities.”