Documents allegedly poorly drafted in a class action lawsuit suggest that once the JetBlue-Spirit Airlines merger is complete, prices could rise significantly.
Travelers accustomed to lower, “unbundled” fares on Spirit Airlines could be forced to pay significantly more for their tickets if the merger with JetBlue is finalized.
Law360 reports that the plan to raise airfares was revealed in improperly worded documents submitted by class action plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against JetBlue.
Leaked information reveals flight prices could soar between 25% and 40%
After conquer the board of directors of Spirit Airlines in a competition against its compatriot Frontier Airlines, a very low-cost carrier, the New York-based company has remained silent about its plans. After the merger was announced, a group of flyers sued JetBlue in federal court in Massachusetts, arguing that the merger could lead to antitrust violations. The case is still pending and no decision has been made for either party.
While nothing has been officially announced regarding the two fleets coming together, an alleged document mistakenly drafted by plaintiffs’ attorneys and submitted to the court to oppose the carrier’s motion for summary judgment may suggest what JetBlue is up to. head for Spirit. The document is no longer available for public listing.
If the new all-Airbus airline were created, the plaintiff’s document alleges that older Spirit planes would not only receive a fresh coat of paint, but also see 24 seats removed from each plane. With 200 cells, this would reduce the airline’s capacity by 4,800 people.
The number “24” would also play a role in the possible increase of tariffs from their current level. The leaked document reportedly claimed that “JetBlue plans to raise fares by at least 24% for aircraft it acquires from Spirit.” The document would further claim that they have “direct evidence” that the price increase could be as high as 40%.
One of JetBlue’s main arguments for the merger was the creation of a larger airline with Spirit, providing a low-cost nationwide network operating in underserved communities. The leaked document suggests that if the current Spirit routes were to be cut – as JetBlue promised in certain situations – this could result in a 30% price increase across the entire market.
The plaintiffs in that case, JetBlue or Spirit Airlines, did not comment on the allegations in the allegedly leaked document. FlyerTalk was unable to retrieve an independent copy of the court docket document to independently verify the information.