A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

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Dispiriting Airline Fees

By Will Bartholomew

“Unintended Consequences of DOT Regulations: $1.86.” What does that even mean?

“Passenger Usage Fee: $16.99.” I get charged again for “using” the services I’ve paid for?

Anyone who has ever bought a plane ticket is probably familiar with frustrating “hidden fees” that seem to be tacked on at every turn. I bet many have thought to themselves: “How can they get away with this? This has got to be illegal.”

A recent New York Times article memorialized the exasperation travelers experience, and this piqued our interest here at LASIS. We decided to more closely examine one of the culprits listed in the article, Spirit Airlines, to help explain the law on hidden fees, and how an airline like Spirit tries to get around it.

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