Spirit Airlines Fined for Bumping Passengers Involuntarily
Spirit Airlines bumped more than 1,000 people from oversold flights, and claimed they volunteered to do so. The U.S. Transportation Department announced a fine for the carrier for the unfair treatment of its customers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation fined Spirit Airlines $350,000 for violating federal rules protecting passengers who are denied boarding on oversold flights, and for not providing accurate reporting of passengers denied boarding. The airline was also ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations, the press release says.
Consumer complaints filed with DOT said that Spirit required passengers who were involuntarily denied boarding to sign waivers or documents suggesting that those passengers were “volunteers.” Additionally, Spirit offered travel vouchers to passengers who were owed denied boarding compensation after being involuntarily bumped from oversold flights without first informing them that they had the option of receiving cash or a check, as required by federal law.
Know Your Rights
You should check the U.S. Department of Transportation’s airline consumer website and be informed about your rights as a passenger. The page on bumping and oversales can be found here. If you think an airline has violated your rights in the past, you can file an airline complaint with the Department here.