Spirit Airlines has agreed to pay up to $8.25 million to settle a class action lawsuit over “gotcha” carry-on bag fees, according to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Under the settlement agreement, Spirit Airlines has agreed to provide class members with a $50 voucher for each carry-on bag purchased between March 16, 2013 and September 10, 2017, for a total potential payout of up to $8.25 million.
The lawsuit, which was initially filed in 2015, alleged that Spirit Airlines purposely incentivized passengers to save on baggage fees by scheduling costly fees for carry-on bags. According to the suit, the airline was charging $100 for a carry-on bag when a passenger checked in more than 45 minutes before departure. Passengers then faced a fee of nearly $50, if they failed to check in to the flight within the 45-minute window.
Spirit Airlines has denied any wrongdoing and believes it has sufficient defenses to the claims, but has agreed to settle in order to avoid potentially costly and protracted litigation. The airline has also agreed to make the passenger notification process more evident going forward.
The $50 vouchers are set to be available to class members within 45 days of final court approval of the settlement. Any questions and claims in regards to the settlement should be directed to claims administrator at www.yestocomplaintsettlement.com.