Aerolineas Argentinas was fined $50,000 for violating the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) new rule on full-fare advertising by failing to include government taxes and other fees in advertised airfares. The DOT ordered the airline 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 Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. DOT will continue to take enforcement action against carriers and ticket agents when our price advertising rules are violated.
DOT rules 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, DOT notes.
Airfare searches made by the Department of 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, DOT says.