Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an $80,000 fine against online airline-ticket agency TripAdvisor for violating DOT’s full-fare advertising regulations.
DOT found that TripAdvisor displayed a flight’s base fare price, which didn’t include fees and taxes, more prominently than the total fare on its website from March 2012 to June 2012.
TripAdvisor also didn’t comply with DOT’s code-sharing disclosure rules. Ticket agencies must include disclosures when airlines participate in a code-sharing agreement, which allows major airlines to use their designator code on a flight that’s operated by a regional airline on the major airline’s behalf. TripAdvisor failed to do so from March 2012 through June 2012.
This is the first full-fare advertising fine that DOT has issued since the fare-advertising regulations went into effect in January 2012. The regulations require that all fees and government taxes are included in a fare’s published price. The rule applies to airlines and ticket agencies.