(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by The U.S. Department of Transportation and received via
e-mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)
November 1, 2012
DOT Fines Air France for Violating Price Advertising Rule
WASHINGTON -The U.S. Department of Transportation today fined
Air France $85,000 for violating the department’s full-fare
advertising rules and ordered the carrier to cease and desist
from further violations.
“Consumers deserve fair treatment from airlines when it comes to
price advertising, including up-front disclosure of taxes and
fees they must pay in order to fly,” U.S. Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood said. “We want to make sure airlines treat
their customers with the respect they deserve.”
DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that Air France violated
the Department’s price advertising rule that requires carriers
to inform consumers of the total price, including all taxes and
fees. Although Air France promised to redeem loyalty program
miles for tickets, it initially hid from frequent fliers the
monetary amount that they were still required to pay which
covered not only government taxes, but also substantial fees Air
France chose to label as “fuel surcharges” that were included
under a heading described as “taxes.” Those fees could amount to
more than half the price of certain purchased coach tickets.
This was unfair and misleading to consumers.
Today’s penalty follows a notice issued by the Enforcement
Office on February 21, 2012, reminding carriers that if they
choose to provide a description of taxes and carrier-imposed
fees, that description must be accurate and must distinguish
between taxes and government-imposed fees on the one hand and
carrier-imposed fees on the other.
The consent order is available on the Internet at
www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2012-0002.
Contact: Bill Mosley
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