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Popular U.S. Airline to Pay Millions in Class Action Over 'Gotcha' Bag Fees — Find Out If You Qualify for Cash The deal was disclosed late Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • Spirit Airlines has agreed to pay up to $8.25 million to settle a class action lawsuit over "gotcha" carry-on bag fees.
  • Frontier Airlines also faces a class action suit over alleged deceptive practices around carry-on bag fees.
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Travelers who opt for budget airlines often snag ultra-low ticket fares — but end up paying in other ways.

Passengers who booked with Spirit Airlines via third-party travel services allege they were hit with surprise carry-on bag fees, and now the company has agreed to pay up to $8.25 million to settle a class action lawsuit, Reuters reported.

Related: What Is Going on With the Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Merger

The deal was disclosed late Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn, and the class includes first-time Spirit customers who bought their tickets on Expedia, Travelocity, Kiwi, CheapOair, CheapTickets or BookIt between August 2011 and May 2017, per the outlet.

Those eligible who request refunds will be reimbursed for up to 75% of their fees, though the final payout depends on how many class members seek refunds, and the $8.25 million maximum will include attorneys' fees as well, per the motion.

Plaintiffs in the 2017 lawsuit, who initially sought $100 million in punitive damages, claimed Spirit advertised deceptively low prices without mention of the "gotcha" carry-on bag fees that sometimes cost customers as much as the tickets themselves, according to Reuters.

Spirit isn't the only budget airline facing legal action for carry-on bag fees either.

A Frontier Airlines passenger who was forced to pay $100 for a carry-on bag that didn't fit into the dimension checker at Orlando International Airport claims the sizer was deliberately made smaller, TheStreet reported.

Related: Frontier Airlines Debuts Unlimited Flight Pass | Entrepreneur

The woman filed a class action lawsuit to seek a refund of the baggage fee, $10,000 for alleged violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and $100 million in punitive damages.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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