Spirit Air, home of fees for everything from buying your ticket online to being a victim of a plane crash (OK, they dropped that one), has been hit with a record $375,000 fine from the Department of Transportation for, among other things, false advertising, adding extra fees to its fares (toldja) and taking as long as 14 months to compensate passengers for lost luggage. Spirit’s response? Some perks are bound to fall by the wayside when you’re an “Ultra Low Cost Carrier.”
According to the Department of Transportation, the $375,000 fine is a record for the kind of violations Spirit is being charged with.
The Department’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that Spirit bumped passengers from oversold flights but did not provide compensation or a written notice of their rights to compensation, as required by DOT rules. … Spirit failed to resolve baggage claims within a reasonable period, on one occasion taking 14 months to provide compensation. Spirit also was found to violate DOT rules by providing compensation for delayed baggage only for the outbound leg of round-trip flights and only for purchases made more than 24 hours after arrival. In addition, Spirit violated baggage liability laws governing international travel by refusing to accept responsibility for missing laptop computers and certain other items it accepted as baggage.
Spirit insists that all of the issues in the complaint “occurred prior to the Spring of 2008″ and have since been addressed Oh, and the airline “takes its responsibilities under the Department’s consumer protection regulations very seriously.” Well, that certainly sets our minds at ease.