The U.S. Department of Transportation imposed new regulations on airlines Jan. 24 that were supposed to benefit consumers. The rules require all government taxes and fees to be included in advertised fares and allow passengers to withhold payment for 24 hours after making a reservation, if it’s one week before the flight’s departure.
Some consumers might be jumping for joy that the nanny state is imposing new rules on airlines. But for low-cost carries like Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air, it’s grounds for a lawsuit against the federal government.
This week on Scribecast, we spoke to Spirit Airlines President and CEO Ben Baldanza about the airline’s opposition to the new federal regulations and why consumers should be wary about the government’s supposed “passenger protections.”
Since the new rules took effect Jan. 24, Spirit has waged a high-profile campaign to inform its customers about the government’s actions. Spirit has a prominent warning displayed on its website and added a charge of $2 per ticket — dubbed the Department of Transportation unintended consequences fee.
Baldanza said the federal government is forcing airlines to be less transparent about ticket prices because customers are now seeing taxes and fees included in advertised fares. This makes it easier for the government to raise taxes without customers ever noticing why the ticket’s price is increasing.