Spirit Airlines Says Posting Full Airfares Is Government's Way Of Hiding Taxes

In recent years, the Dept. of Transportation has been cracking down on airlines, especially discount carriers, for advertising airfares that don’t actually represent what consumers will end up paying. With the latest round of rule changes having just kicked in, low-budget airline Spirit is fighting back, telling its customers that this is all about the government trying to hide higher taxes in airfares.

In an e-mail sent out to customers (see screengrab at bottom of story), Spirit writes:

New government regulations require us to HIDE taxes in your fares.

This is not consumer-friendly or in your best interest. It’s wrong and you shouldn’t stand for it.

Starting January 24, 2012, fares are distorted.

Thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s latest fare rules, Spirit must now HIDE the government’s taxes and fees in your fares.

If the government can hide taxes in your airfares, then they can carry out their hidden agenda and quietly increase their taxes. (Yes, such talks are already underway.)

And if they can do it to the airline industry, what’s next?
As the transparency leader and most consumer-friendly airline, Spirit DOES NOT support this new USDOT mandate. We believe the better form of transparency is to break out costs so customers know exactly what they’re buying.

Some might take issue with Spirit’s classification of itself as the “most consumer-friendly airline,” considering it was the carrier that introduced fees for carry-ons (which they called a “consumer benefit”), think you should have to pay to speak to a human being, and believe you should be charged $5 to have your boarding pass printed at the airport.

Most recently, Spirit was fined $50,000 by the DOT over Tweets touting $9 flights that didn’t exactly cost $9.


Thanks to Jeff for the tip!

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.