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DOT Fines Aerolineas Argentinas for Violating DOT Price Advertising Rule

DOT Fines Aerolineas Argentinas for Violating DOT Price Advertising Rule

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined Aerolineas Argentinas $50,000 for violating the Department’s new rule on full-fare advertising by failing to include government taxes and other fees in advertised airfares and ordered it to cease and desist from further violations.

“Consumers deserve to know the full price they will have to pay for air travel, including all fees, before they purchase their tickets,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “DOT will continue to take enforcement action against carriers and ticket agents when our price advertising rules are violated.”

DOT requires all advertisements that include airfares to state the entire price to be paid by the consumer.  Prior to the rule taking effect on Jan. 26, advertised fares were not required to include certain government-imposed taxes as long as these additional charges were clearly disclosed in the ad.  Under the new full-fare advertising rule, all government taxes and fees must be incorporated into the advertised fare.  The rule applies to both U.S. and foreign airlines as well as ticket agents.

Airfare searches made by the Department’s Aviation Enforcement Office on Aerolineas Argentinas’ website after Jan. 26 returned separate listings of base fares for outbound and inbound legs that did not include additional government taxes and fees on the initial webpage.  By failing to advertise the entire price of the flight, the airline violated the full-fare advertising rule.

The consent order is available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2012-0002. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012