NEW YORK – A federal appeals court revived a spirit of Spirit Airlines passengers saying that the low-cost carrier blinded them by imposing unexpected carrier bag fees on tickets purchased through Cheapoair, Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said 22 passengers could sue for breach of contract because there was no evidence that Spirit immediately notified them of the charges, and there were "ambiguities" in the prices they would pay.
Spirit and its attorneys did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
Compared to many transporters, Spirit relies more on additional fees to offset the financial operation from lower base prices.
The plaintiffs accused Miramar, a Florida-based carrier, of knowing that its travel agents were hiding the "gotcha" baggage fees they would have to pay at the airport.
They said that these fees often exceeded the cost of their tickets and amounted to millions of dollars a year.
Spirit countered that the federal law precluded the trial, and that its "transport agreement" specifically provided that a passenger could take a carry bag into the cabin for a fee.
The Supreme Court returned cases to US District Judge William Kuntz in Brooklyn, which had dismissed it last November.
"This is a great victory for air travelers across the country," complainant's attorney John Hermina said in an interview. He said his clients will pursue their case in district court.
On Tuesday, Spirit marketed bag fees for an Oct. 1
The case is Cox et al v Spirit Airlines Inc, other U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 18-3484.