Today California Senator Barbra Boxer responded with a letter to Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza:
Dear Mr. Baldanza:
I write to you today regarding my concern with Spirit Airlines' deliberate attempt to deceive
the flying public about a new Department of Transportation (DOT) rule that will improve the
transparency of airfares for consumers. I have been shocked by the failure of your airline to
tell the truth in an email sent to your customers earlier this week as well as warnings posted
on Spirit.com that read, "New government regulations require us to HIDE taxes in your fares."
Nothing could be further from the truth.
What the rule says is that you have to tell your customers the full cost of a ticket. It prohibits
Spirit or any other airline from advertising fares "that exclude taxes, fees or other charges
since the major impact of such presentations is to confuse and deceive consumers."
And despite Spirit's claim that the airline must now hide relevant information, the rule "allows
carriers to advise the public in their fare solicitations about government taxes and fees..."
Today's consumers are faced with many options when planning air travel and being able to
compare the full price before purchase is both necessary and fair. Your recent statement that
"the better form of transparency is to break out costs so that consumers know exactly what
they are buying" is exactly what this new DOT rule will help do.
I urge you to immediately send a clarifying email to your customers and remove the misleading
information from your website.
Thank you for your attention on this important consumer issue.