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Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air lose joint legal bid to stop new airfare ad rules

Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air have lost their joint legal bid to thwart the implementation of the new airfare advertising rules laid down by the federal government, according to recent media reports.

A 3-judge appellate panel of District of Columbia Circuit in a one-paragraph order ruled that the case being jointly fought by Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air had not met “stringent requirements” required to win and subsequently put an immediate halt to new government regulations. The panel said that they will, however, be permitted to continue with the case on a normal timetable.

The US Department of Transportation had in its new guidelines made it mandatory to advertise airfares including all fees and taxes up front. This was strongly contested jointly by Spirit Airline and Allegiant Air. Currently, only the airfares are displayed. The airport fees and taxes are not displayed along with the airfares. The printed ads usually list the taxes and fees in the fine print.

The new airfare advertising rules were supposed to have been implemented in October this year. However, the federal government had postponed the implementation until January 24, 2012 on the plea by airlines that the timeframe given to them was inadequate and would make the implementation difficult. The airlines had sought more time from the federal government saying that an extra time to reprogram their booking engines was required.

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