Travelzoo was fined $50,000 by the federal government because the online travel agency didn’t disclose when flights that were booked via its website were outsourced to other airlines.
Travelzoo’s actions violate a Department of Transportation rule that requires online travel agencies to disclose to consumers when an airline agrees to operate a flight on behalf of another airline.
Although DOT didn’t disclose the airlines through which this flight outsourcing was likely to happen, a hypothetical example would be one in which you booked an American Airlines flight via Travelzoo and that flight was outsourced to Allegiant Air.
When you book a flight online, a travel agency must disclose which airlines could agree to operate that flight and the information must be displayed prominently on the Web page after you search for a flight.
A DOT investigation found that Travelzoo didn’t disclose flight-sharing arrangements properly in March 2012 but corrected its actions in May 2012.