In a new twist on federal regulation, Spirit Airlines reports it has a launched a campaign to warn consumers about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s latest fare rules that go into effect this week. Spirit says it and other airlines are now mandated to hide the government’s taxes and fees in fares.
“We believe that the better form of transparency is to break out costs so customers know exactly what they are buying,” says Spirit’s President and CEO Ben Baldanza. “Spirit believes customers have a right to know how much of their fare goes toward government taxes and fees rather than hiding it in the fare.”
“If the government can hide taxes in consumer’s airfares – which they are mandating us to do starting this week – then they can quietly carry out their hidden agenda and increase the taxes consumers bear,” adds Baldanza.
Spirit said it is aware that some policy makers are considering increasing the Federal Excise Tax on air travelers and airlines and doubling several other governmental fees. Another proposal under consideration would add a new $35 takeoff tax to every ticket, Spirit says.
"Since these taxes and fees must now be hidden in fares, this frees policymakers to quietly move forward with their planned increases in hopes that consumers will not see what they’re doing," Spirit said.
"Suppressing air travel through higher taxes has direct and far-reaching negative implications for the nation’s economic health and the unemployment rate. Nationally, the airline industry is an important catalyst for economic activity. Each airline traveler spends money far beyond the cost of the airline ticket, and millions of jobs are supported by airline travelers," Spirit said.
Spirit said it is calling on airline customers, governmental leaders, policy makers, taxi drivers, hotel operators, cruise line personnel, restaurant employees, travel agents, tour operators and others who would be directly harmed by an increased tax burden on travelers to join us in its efforts to keep airline user taxes low.