ASTA Warns Agents to Follow DOT Ad Rules

ASTA has warned members to follow the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) full-price and code-share advertising rules. Failure to follow these rules may result in steep civil penalties, ASTA notes.

According to DOT’s full-fare advertising rule, airline fare advertisements, including advertisements of tour packages containing an air component, must state the full price to be charged the consumer. 

The DOT only allows certain government-imposed taxes and fees, such as passenger facility charges (PFCs), international departure taxes and security fees, to be stated separately in advertisements, and in such cases their existence and amount must be clearly indicated in the advertisement so the consumer can determine the full-fare to be paid, ASTA says.

When noted separately, DOT requires these taxes and fees to be individually named, such as “September 11th Security Fee.” In addition, advertisers are required to disclose if an advertised one-way fare is actually available only as part of a roundtrip ticket.

ASTA also notes that the DOT’s code-share disclosure rule requires agents to disclose code-share arrangements when advertising. Full details of the DOT’s rules can be found online at www.ASTA.org or www.DOT.gov.

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