Airline Fined $50,000 For Falsely Advertising $9 Flights On Twitter

Ultra-low-cost airline Spirit Airlines is being fined $50,000 for violating federal rules prohibiting falsely advertising prices. And they did their advertising on Twitter.

According to Market Watch, Spirit Airlines sent multiple tweets advertising a $9 flight sale.

And when something sounds too go to be true, it usually is.

Although the flight was advertised as only costing $9, when users clicked over to the Spirit Airlines website they were notified that there would be additional taxes and fees, and that they were required to purchase a round-trip flight to unlock the deal. And, the total was not revealed until further into the purchase process.

The US Department of Transportation fined the airline $50,000 for deceptive pricing in their tweets, as well as leaving out the fine print in billboards and fliers promoting the price.

Given the limited number of characters that businesses have to work with on Twitter, the deceptive pricing could have been an honest mistake. Still, it wasn’t a smart one.

When advertising a sale, of course it’s a good idea to promote the lowest price. However, with something as complex as a seat sale – which usually does have additional fees and taxes attached – it is important to ensure that all information is upfront.

Whether that means pointing customers to a “terms of sale” page from the link within the tweet or including those in fine print at the bottom of the sales page is up to the business (and its legal team).

Do you think $50,000 is a fair fine for deceptive price advertising on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.

(Image: 1971yes via Shutterstock)