USA: airlines fined for violating advertising rules
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in separate cases assessed civil penalties against Continental Airlines and US Airways for violating the Department’s rules prohibiting deceptive price advertising in air travel. A review of Continental’s website revealed instances in which the carrier failed to include fuel surcharges in its listed fares. US Airway’s homepage advertised fares to Rome for $659. There was an asterisk next to the fare and a statement that additional taxes and fees might apply, but there was no information on the type or amount of fees in either the ad or on the homepage. Although the reference to taxes and fees included a hyperlink, the link did not take the reader directly to an explanation of the additional charges.
The consent orders are available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2011-0003.