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Spirit Airlines’ Low Airfare Is Bait-And-Switch Tactic, Lawsuit Claims

A class action lawsuit accuses Spirit Airlines of using bait-and-switch tactics to trick customers into believing they are purchasing low airfare, “when, in fact, Spirit makes up whatever discount it purports to give consumers in fraudulent and unwarranted charges.”

For example, the Spirit Airlines class action lawsuit claims that a carry-on piece of luggage costs as much as four times the cost of a checked one. It also tacks on a “Passenger Usage Fee” at the time of ticket purchase, misleads consumers about the cost and quality of its “$9 Fare Club,” and intentionally limits the actions customers can take on its website so they are forced to call customer service where they must pay a fee to receive help, among other allegations.

“Spirit’s bait-and-switch and ‘gotcha’ tactics are designed to confuse, trick, and trap consumers to the public’s detriment,” states the class action lawsuit.

From a legal standpoint, a company could be accused of using bait-and-switch tactics when it engages in advertising efforts that are false or misleading, causing customers to behave a certain way or to purchase a product or service. This dishonest sales practice, unfortunately, occurs far too often and harms consumers by not giving them accurate information to make educated decisions about purchases.

The advertisement of a low-priced item, such as an airfare fee, is used to draw customers in, but then those consumers are encouraged or forced to purchase a higher-priced item. If you have been subjected to these kinds of actions by Spirit Airlines or another company, you may have grounds to file a consumer false advertising lawsuit with the help of a lawyer.

Did Spirit Airlines Use Bait-And-Switch Tactics to Mislead Consumers?

The Spirit Airlines class action lawsuit alleges the airline’s actions and omissions constitute fraud, violate the Consumer Protection Act of New York, and are in material breach of the understandings between Spirit Airlines and consumers.

Spirit Airlines uses the terminology “Ultra Low” when describing their travel opportunities. The bait-and-switch tactics lawsuit, however, believes that these advertised prices are especially misleading to consumers because the fees and charges assessed to consumers after purchasing the ticket are fraudulent, and are a bait-and-switch tactic designed to confuse and defraud consumers after the fact.

The fee structure, according to the lawsuit, is not clear to consumers at the time that they purchase an airline ticket, particularly if they obtain a Spirit Airlines ticket through a third-party vendor.

Third-party vendor websites and Spirit’s website do not conspicuously explain these fees and, therefore, consumers find themselves unaware of the “plentiful” fees they will incur until after they purchase a ticket that “initially appeared attractive,” the class action lawsuit alleges.

The case is Thomas Cox v. Spirit Airlines Inc., Case No. 17-cv-05172, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.

If you have been subjected to bait-and-switch tactics that enticed you to purchase a product or service that was misrepresented, you may have a legal claim. Obtain a FREE case evaluation by filling out the form on this page now. The attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher have years of experience helping consumers fight for their rights. 

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