Back in February, a new regulation kicked in that allows fliers to change their flights without penalty within the first 24 hours after booking. The folks at Spirit Airlines responded by tacking on a $2 “Dept. of Transportation Unintended Consequences Fee,” which they said was to cover the added costs resulting from the new rule. But a woman in Illinois says it’s just plain fraud.
The plaintiff in the case alleges that the naming of the fee makes it appear like the fee is required by the DOT. She claims that this is just profiteering “under the guise of a fee imposed by the government upon the consumer.”
She is seeking class-action status, compensatory damages and other remedies.
When the fee was announced, Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza said that the DOT rule was well-intentioned but that no one seemed to think about what it would cost the airlines.
“Wouldn’t we all like to eat all we want and not get fat?” he asked at the time. “Regulators like to try to sell the idea of this rule, but have ignored the cost impact to consumers. You simply can’t eat all you want without consequences.”