The Department of Transportation has fined popular airfare search website Travelocity for violating its rules for advertising airline tickets prices.
The DOT said Travelocity had not included fuel surcharges on international flights when it offered passengers the option of checking airfares on multiple “flexible dates.” The website was fined $180,000 for the violations.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said it was important to enforce the the advertising rules, which were part of DOT’s “Passenger Bill of Rights,” which the agency started implementing in 2010.
“Many consumers choose their flights based on price, which is why we require all airfare ads to include the full price consumers will have to pay,” LaHood said in a statement. “We will continue to make sure that airlines and travel agents comply with our price advertising rules and will take enforcement action when they do not.”
DOT said it uncovered the violations during a September 2011 investigation of Travelocity. The agency said the website listed prices for flights that did not include the fuel fees higher than flights that did in lowest to highest price rankings.
Customers were not notified of the extra charges they would have to pay until they selected an itinerary, which is prohibited by the DOT advertising rules, the DOT said.