A group of first-time Spirit flyers who booked their trips through third-party travel sites between 2011-17 sued the airline in 2017, claiming that it did not disclose its bag fees and other extra fees appropriately.
The flyers said the budget airline’s surprise carry-on bag fees were intentionally hidden in an effort to gain profit.
“Spirit falsely misled the Plaintiff and numerous other consumers, and continues to mislead consumers into believing that they are purchasing low airfare, when, in fact, Spirit makes up whatever discount it purports to give consumers in fraudulent and unwarranted charges,” the suit read.
“Spirit’s bait-and-switch and ‘gotcha’ tactics are designed to confuse, trick, and trap consumers to the public’s detriment,” it continued.
Flyers who have not paid for a carry-on bag in advance may be charged as much at $100 at the gate to have their bag on the flight, the suit claimed. Bags checked ahead of time usually cost about $40.
“Spirit’s fees are not conspicuously shown on its website or the websites of third-party vendors, and consumers are often unaware of Spirit’s large and plentiful fees until after they purchase a ticket that initially appeared attractive,” the defendants argue in the suit.
Members of the class will receive as much as 75 percent of the fees returned to them, though the payout may be lower depending on how many people claim refunds from the suit.
The Hill has reached out to Spirit Airlines for comment.