Spirit Airlines Adds New $2 Fee, Blames New DOT Regulations

Spirit Airlines is adding a new $2 fee to all future airline tickets because of new Department of Transportation regulations that took effect last week. The low-cost carrier calls this its ‘unintended consequences fee’ which it says is due to the government’s actions.

New DOT Regulations – Explained

$2 Fee Based on ’24 Hour Hold’ Requirement

Spirit is lashing out at a requirement that forces airlines to hold shoppers’ airfares for 24 hours after booking without payment or penalty. Spirit calls this rule “misguided and expensive” and suggests it is forced to charge this new $2 add-on, which it calls the ‘Dept. of Transportation Unintended Consequences’ fee.

Spirit’s WAR Against the Government

Spirit CEO: ‘Wouldn’t we all like to eat and not get fat?’

As far as unintended consequences of the 24-hour rule, Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza is quoted in his airline’s press release as saying, “Wouldn’t we all like to eat and not get fat?” This somewhat puzzling statement is even more of a head-scratcher when you consider that some airlines have been granting shoppers this 24-hour grace period long before it was mandated by the DOT – and they don’t seem to be gaining weight.

Spirit’s War with the DOT

The airline is already waging an entertaining war against the DOT because of one of those regulations – specifically, the rule that requires advertised fares to include mandatory taxes and fees – but that’s understandable in the context that the rule effectively ends Spirit’s famous ‘$9 Fares’ campaign.

Spirit Responds to Ad Rules by Not Advertising

On the other hand – Spirit has always done things its own way – with its racy or political ads and its status as sole airline to charge a carry-on baggage fee. It has fiercely loyals fans of its cheap fares and no reason to expect the airline to change now.


Published: February 1, 2012