Spirit Airlines Warning E-Mail About New Gov Regulations

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MLW20, Jan 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. MLW20
    Original Member

    MLW20 Gold Member

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    I got this e-mail from Spirit:

    WARNING:
    New government regulations require us to HIDE taxes in your fares.
    This is not consumer-friendly or in your best interest. It's wrong and you shouldn't stand for it.
    Starting January 24, 2012, fares are distorted.
    Why?
    Thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation's latest fare rules, Spirit must now HIDE the government's taxes and fees in your fares.
    If the government can hide taxes in your airfares, then they can carry out their hidden agenda and quietly increase their taxes. (Yes, such talks are already underway.)
    And if they can do it to the airline industry, what's next?
    As the transparency leader and most consumer-friendly airline, Spirit DOES NOT support this new USDOT mandate. We believe the better form of transparency is to break out costs so customers know exactly what they're buying.
    What can you do to help stop this injustice?
    Join us in keeping government taxes and fees low and transparent by contacting your elected officials.

    They have a site with the info http://keepmyfareslow.org/
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Nothing looks different to me in the way that DL displays fares on its website.
     
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  3. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    That's one of the more ridiculous distortions I've seen. Shame on Spirit,
    already one of the lowest of the low. Fact is that all-in pricing is best
    for the consumer, period.
     
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  4. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    It's one of those things where you hope that people (i.e. the general public) are smart enough to see through the ploy/distortion of facts... but you never know...
     
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  5. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    That is what I thought. I'd much rather know what I am paying all-in. I was wondering where this e-mail was coming from and was curious what fellow MPers would make of it.
    (can't say that I've been checking fares for the last 9 months so I haven't checked for changes)
     
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  6. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    Wait....what?
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Spirit is welcome to tell me whenever I purchase a ticket how much of it goes to the government. Oh, wait, I don't buy Spirit tickets.
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Me too, and somehow this email does not cause me to change my mind.
     
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  9. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I flew Spirit a while back and it's as bad as they say.

    Nevertheless, I can see where they're coming from somewhat... you could make the argument that a $224 fare today is $199 plus $25 in other taxes and fees, and tomorrow when you're presented with $254 you don't really know if it's the base fare or some newfangled tax/fee that was levied against it. With that said, I don't think it matters as much, because a) taxes and (government) fees are uniform across carriers for the same type of ticket and b) people don't really have a choice and will most likely not care.

    But you have to hand it to them though... they have to fight it, because it turns their entire (fake) low cost carrier approach on its head. There won't be any more huge blinking $9 banners on their site or any other such nonsense. And they're obviously terrified that people will start seeing the real cost of flying Spirit -- a "$50 fare" turns into $50 + $51 "fuel cost" each way + $55 in taxes.
     
  10. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Some will just claim ignorance or consumer abuse and attempt to file a class action lawsuit...:confused:
     
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  11. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    Same here. I flew them once about 4 years ago.
     
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  12. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Glad to say I've NEVER done so. :)
     
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  13. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    But it was a very good deal to Panama over the holidays! lol
     
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  14. javacodeguy

    javacodeguy Gold Member

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    If they are so concerned about "hiding" taxes then they can just do what US Airways appears to be doing now.

    I was buying a ticket this morning and saw the new layout of fare prices. They show your all in fare in bold but then right above or next to the price they split up the price. Taxes are still completely laid out for me, but the all in fare is front and center. Nothing is being hidden.

    I love seeing the all in right from the get go instead of having to do one more click through to see my taxes.
     
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  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Who cares? If the fare is $254 do you as a consumer care if $150 or $50 or $250 of that goes to the carrier? I certainly do not. All I care about is how big the number is that shows up on my CC bill.
    I've lost all faith in humanity. No way do I have any confidence that people are going to see through this.

    It is also worth noting that Spirit is featuring this campaign on their home page. When you go to the site the main page is grayed out and they have a huge alert inviting customers to view a dedicated site - KeepYourFaresLow.org - to sign up for their email marketing list to "keep updated on the topic" or to contact their representatives in DC to express their displeasure.

    Finally, there is nothing stopping them from showing the breakdown if they want to. So long as they are featuring the main price they can show any other details they want. They are simply trying to hoodwink the public. Again. With no shame.
     
  16. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Actually in a way, I kind of do. And I kind of don't. :)

    If Spirit tells me LGA-FLL is $224 on their homepage today and $254 tomorrow, it's probably not a big deal to me because a) I won't fly Spirit :) and b) I can check with other carriers, kayak, whatever, to see how competitive that is.

    But this is where their argument falls flat though... this actually helps them (Spirit) hide additional fees. The fare could be $254 tomorrow and it could be because Spirit added two $15 bathroom fees to the fare, and the consumer wouldn't know any better.

    But like I said that would be a bad thing in the days before fare aggregators and search engines. "We" don't care because we won't rely on the total and care more about the base fare for fuel dumps for example, but I can see how this can be twisted to get people to think The Man is out to get them.
     
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  17. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    Same with UA you see the total all in fare, then you can click to see a breakdown of base fare + taxes. Hopefully one day Spirit will go belly up, would rather walk then fly with them. Maybe they should be called the "kettle" airline.
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The "full" fare reporting only must include all mandated fares/taxes/fees. It still doesn't include baggage fees, BoB prices or any other optional charges that might be part of the experience.
    I don't care (in this context) about FDs and such. Most of the time I just want to know the price of the flight.
     
  19. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I'm pretty much a find-the-lowest price kind of guy. But even I won't fly Spirit.
     
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  20. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I don't see that. If the fare includes two mandatory bathroom fees, displaying the fare without the fees in it is false advertising. If that $254 were $1 airfare and $253 bathroom fees, should the airline be allowed to advertise $1 fares?

    Next — hotel resort fees!
     
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  21. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    PREACH.

    And parking fees, which sometimes seem to account for 50% of my room rate, depending on where I stay. :)
     
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  22. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    While true (and annoying) parking fees are not automatically assessed on each room — only if you arrive by car and choose not to park elsewhere. So I see them as different from resort fees, which are simply part of the room charge taken out to make the charge appear falsely lower than it really is.
     
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