Florida Resident Files Nine Figure False Advertising Lawsuit Filed Against Frontier Airlines (Alleged Hidden Fees)
According to a report from TravelPulse, a resident of Florida has filed a $100 million false advertising lawsuit against Frontier Airlines. The complaint—which was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida—alleges that the Denver-based low-cost airline improperly used hidden fees to deceive consumers. Here, our West Palm Beach FDUTPA claims attorney provides an overview of the specific allegations raised against the airline in the false advertising lawsuit.
The Allegations: Frontier Airlines Improperly Deceived Customers With Hidden Fees
Frontier Airlines is facing allegations of charging customers excess fees based on the size of their carry-on items. The plaintiff, Amira Hamad, claims the airline used a smaller than advertised bag sizing measurement tool at the Orlando Airport. As a consequence, she was charged a $100 fee, which was nearly quadruple the standard checked luggage fee. Ms. Hamad contends that her bag fit into a TSA-approved bag sizing measurement tool at her destination. Beyond that, she accuses Frontier of failing to disclose potential high gate-check fees to customers. For its part, Frontier Airlines declined to comment on the matter citing its policy on pending litigation.
False Advertising is a “Deceptive and Unfair” Trade Practice in Florida
False advertising in Florida is considered to be deceptive and unfair trade practice. As such, it is a violation of the state consumer protection laws—most notably, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). By providing misleading or false information about products or services, a business effectively infringes upon consumers’ rights to make informed decisions. Consequences for such practices may include penalties, injunctions, or even business closure. Notably, the FDUTPA is a state law that contains a private right of action. An individual consumer can file a lawsuit—and potentially a class action lawsuit—to pursue a remedy for damages caused by false advertising.
False Advertising Can Be Difficult to Define: A Case-By-Case Basis
While false advertising is generally broadly understood informally, the more precise legal definition can often be far more complex. Indeed, the delineation between persuasive marketing and misleading claims is not always clear-cut. A case-by-case evaluation is a must. The factors considered can include the advertisement’s overall impression, its potential to deceive a reasonable consumer, and the materiality of the falsehood. The FDUTPA (Florida state law) defaults largely to federal definitions of false advertising. That is to say that the FDUTPA instructs a Florida court to consider the regulations and guidance on advertising from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Speak to a FDUTPA Attorney in South Florida
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we are a solutions-forward commercial litigation law firm with extensive experience handling a broad range of FDUTPA cases, including false advertising claims. To arrange a completely confidential initial appointment with a top attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Our firm handles FDUTPA cases throughout South Florida, including in West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Fort Lauderdale, Wellington, Coral Gables, Boca Raton, Miami, and Miami Beach.