Overhead Bin – Spirit Airlines fined for deceptive advertising

You didn’t think those $9 fares were real, did you?

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined Spirit Airlines $50,000 for using misleading price advertising in a series of billboards, posters and Twitter messages. 

In a statement, DOT noted that when advertising a new Los Angeles service in June 2011, Spirit sent Twitter messages announcing $9 each-way fares and that, in violation of current rules, the amount of additional taxes and fees to be levied were not disclosed until two clicks into the airline’s website.

DOT also noted that billboards and posters that were part of the same campaign had an asterisk next to the advertised fare. Again, in violation of DOT rules, the small print stated that additional taxes, fees and conditions would apply, but did not disclose how much those taxes and fees would be.

Prices should just include the taxes. People just get annoyed if they find out about them in the end. The end result is no sale anyways.

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