DOT FINES BRITISH AIRWAYS FOR VIOLATING PRICE ADVERTISING

(The following press release from The U.S. Department of Transportation was 
received by e-mail. The sender verified the statement.) 
October 1, 2012 
Contact: Bill Mosley
Tel.: (202) 366-4570 
*DOT Fines British Airways for Violating Price Advertising, International 
Baggage Compensation Rules* 
WASHINGTON – British Airways violated the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 
(DOT) rules on full-fare advertising as well an international treaty on 
reimbursements for mishandled baggage, DOT said today. The Department fined the 
carrier $250,000 and ordered it to cease and desist from further violations. 
“Consumers deserve fair treatment from airlines when it comes to price 
advertising and being reimbursed for lost, damaged or stolen baggage. To 
surprise consumers at the last minute of the purchase process with additional 
unadvertised costs is deceptive and unacceptable,” U.S. Transportation 
Secretary Ray LaHood said. “At DOT we will continue to make sure airlines treat 
their customers with the respect they deserve.” 
DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that British Airways violated a number 
of the Department’s original price advertising requirements that were in place 
prior to the strengthened full-fare advertising rule that took effect in 
January 2012. The carrier promoted award travel in emails and on websites 
without providing disclosure of taxes and government fees through a hyperlink 
or other appropriate method. It also failed to include carrier-imposed charges, 
such as fuel surcharges, in the award prices. For example, one promotion in 
connection with British Airways credit cards advertised two tickets to London 
without disclosing that, in order to obtain reward travel tickets, passengers 
were required to pay mandatory surcharges imposed by the carrier that could 
total as much as $600 per person. 
British Airways also published a number of advertisements about one-way fares 
that were available only by purchasing a round-trip ticket. In some ads, the 
notice of the round-trip requirement was in small type and beneath an 
illustration. This violated the Department’s enforcement policy stating that 
notices of round-trip purchase requirements for each-way fares must be clear 
and conspicuous and be placed next to the advertised fare the first time it is 
shown. 
British Airways also violated the Montreal Convention, an international 
agreement setting rules for international air travel, by its stated policy not 
to pay compensation for loss, damage or theft from checked baggage of certain 
fragile or valuable items such as money, jewelry, electronic devices or 
silverware. The Convention allows carriers to limit their liability for lost 
baggage or items in baggage to just over $1,700 per person in U.S. dollars, an 
amount that fluctuates based on currency conversion rates, but also states that 
carriers are liable for loss or theft of all types of checked baggage. Today’s 
penalty follows a notice issued by the Enforcement Office on March 26, 2009, 
reminding carriers of the requirements of the Montreal Convention. 
The consent orders are available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov [ 
http://www.regulations.gov/ ], docket DOT-OST-2012-0002. 
(bjh) NY
 
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.