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Spirit Airlines $2 fee over DOT regulation prompts lawsuit

Spirit Airlines recently found itself in a piquant situation after a passenger filed a lawsuit following a new $2 fee to cover the unintended consequences of federal regulations.

Media reports said that a woman from Illinois has sued the ultra low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines, and contended in her lawsuit that the airline had violated state consumer fraud laws by falsely imposing the charge under the guise of a fee imposed by the government upon the consumer.

The passengers booking Spirit Airlines flights tickets were required to pay $2 fee beginning January 31 this year. After imposing the fee the airline had said that this would cover the costs of a new U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulation allowing fliers 24 hours after booking a trip to change their plans without penalty.

The plaintiff had filed the lawsuit recently in a Cook County, Illinois state court, and cited that she booked a roundtrip Spirit Airline flight on February 19, 2012, and her receipt showed a $4 charge covering “Unintended Consequences of DOT Regulations”.

According to the plaintiff, the charge was nothing more than a profit-generating device, and the airline falsely represented that it was a government-mandated fee.

The plaintiff has sought class-action status, compensatory damages and other remedies.

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