DOT Fines Airline For Violating Price Advertising Rule

By: Release from U.S. Dept. of Transportation (Posted by Amanda Lanum)
By: Release from U.S. Dept. of Transportation (Posted by Amanda Lanum)
The U.S. Department of Transportation Wednesday fined Southwest Airlines $200,000 for violating the Department

Picture taken by a witness shows passengers evacuating Southwest Airlines Flight 345 after landing gear collapsed at LaGuardia Airport in New York City on July 22, 2013

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Transportation Wednesday fined Southwest Airlines $200,000 for violating the Department's full-fare advertising rules and ordered the carrier to cease and desist from further violations.

"Consumers should be able to trust that the price they see advertised is the price they'll pay for a seat," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. "DOT will continue to take enforcement action against carriers and ticket agents when our pricing advertising rules are violated."

DOT's Aviation Enforcement Office found that Southwest advertised one-way, nonstop fares "for $100 or less" for travel on Feb. 14, 2013, but failed to include a reasonable number of seats available in a significant number of city-pair markets in the fare sale.

In addition, on Jan. 30, 2013, Southwest advertised $66 one-way fares from Dallas Love Field to Branson, Mo., between March 1, 2013, and March 21, 2013. However, there were no seats available at the sale fare on any day during the sale period.

By advertising fares for which a reasonable number of seats were not available and advertising fares that were not available at all, Southwest violated the full fare advertising rule and engaged in prohibited unfair and deceptive practices.

The consent order is available at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2013-0004.


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