Court rules Spirit Airlines must face lawsuit over ‘gotcha’ fees for carry-on bags

Posted on September 12, 2019 by in Travel Deals, Travel News

A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit by Spirit Airlines passengers who said the low-cost carrier blindsided them by imposing unexpected carry-on bag fees. These fees were for tickets bought through Cheapoair, Expedia, Priceline, and Travelocity.

The Court Ruling for Spirit Airlines

The passengers said the unexpected fees could exceed the cost of their tickets, referring to them as “gotcha fees.” The passengers said the airline misled them and did not disclose carry-on bag fees when they purchased their tickets through third-party sites. A court decided those passengers could sue for breach of contract because there was no evidence that Spirit promptly notified them about the fees, and there were ‘ambiguities’ in the prices they would pay.

“This is a great victory for air travelers nationwide,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer John Hermina said in an interview.

Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees

Spirit Airlines is one of the most popular ultra-low-cost carriers but with its low prices can come some very high baggage fees. Passengers that choose Spirit airlines are charged for both carry-on and checked bags. This is so that the airline can keep their ticket prices low. Spirit Airlines passengers are not entitled to any free checked baggage allowance. If purchased online during the flight booking process, the fee is typical $37. If, however, the allowance is purchased during online check-in, the fee increases to $45 as standard. After that, it increases to $55 at the airport or $65 at the gate. The fees for baggage that exceed the weight and size limits can also run quite high.