LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Spirit Airlines says a new federal regulation aimed at protecting consumers is forcing it to charge passengers an additional $2 for a ticket.READ MORE: Orange County Deputies Open Fire Inside Foothill Ranch Walmart, Suspect Wounded
Spirit calls the fee the “Department of Transportation Unintended Consequences Fee.” The new regulation allows passengers to change flights within 24 hours of booking without paying a penalty.READ MORE: Russell Westbrook Benched In Final Minutes Of Lakers Loss To Pacers
The airline claims the regulation forces them to hold the seat for someone who may or may not want to fly. But there is a consequence. A traveler may not be able to buy that seat because the airline is holding it for someone who may not show up for the flight.
“This is just another example of the disrespect with which too many airlines treat their passengers,” Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in an e-mailed statement. “Rather than coming up with new and unnecessary fees to charge their customers, airlines should focus on providing fair and transparent service — that’s what our common sense rules are designed to ensure.”MORE NEWS: Long Beach Unified's Classified Workers Threaten Strike After Contract Talks Break Down
According to a statement on the airline’s website, “Spirit Airlines empowers customers to save money on air travel by offering ultra low base fares with a range of optional services for a fee, allowing customers the freedom to choose only the extras they value.”