The tables have turned and now Spirit Airlines is having their money taken from them. Spirit has been handed a $350,000 USD fine by the Department of Transport for misclassifying passengers removed from overbooked flights.
For those that don’t know, here is how Spirit handles an overbooked flight. First, flight attendants ask for volunteers to leave the aircraft and be compensated with a later flight and a hotel voucher, free of charge. If not enough passengers disembark, Spirit then begins the process of removing passengers at random. Over 1,000 of these passengers involuntarily removed by Spirit were classified as volunteers. Spirit also failed to inform these passengers they could receive cash instead of the vouchers. This means the passengers were effectively signed up for Spirit’s volunteer program.
Here’s a Spirit A319 burning fuel like the airline is burning cash.
Out of the more than 1,000 passengers affected, only 86 reported this inaccuracy to the DOT. This sparked an investigation which led to this verdict. For an airline losing $58 million in the first quarter of 2020, this fine is throwing gasoline on an inferno. What are your thoughts on this situation?