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Allegiant Air to pay $100,000 for violating advertising and disability rules

Consumer Reports News: February 15, 2012 02:23 PM

The Department of Transportation today fined Allegiant Air $100,000 for violating rules for advertising full fares and rules protecting air travelers with disabilities.

Under the DOT’s new price advertising rules, which became effective last month, carriers and ticket agents must show the total price, including all government taxes and fees, in every advertised fare.

Allegiant violated the rules by posting offers for "free" flights to Las Vegas and Tampa Bay, Fla. on its homepage that did not indicate that taxes and fees would be extra. There was an asterisk after “Fly Free,” but no information on taxes and fees on the page where the asterisk appeared, and no hyperlink to a description of required taxes and fees. Instead, when consumers clicked on the link for the "free" flights offer, they were taken to a page where if they scrolled to the bottom they would find the taxes and fees. Allegiant also failed to include its own $15 fee for tickets bought anywhere except at one of its airport ticket offices.

In addition, the DOT said that Allegiant failed to record all of the disability complaints it received and failed to properly categorize and account for all the issues that were raised in the complaints. Plus Allegiant responded to complaints by telephone, and not in writing, as required by the DOT.

In our most recent ratings of domestic airlines, almost 15,000 readers told us about their experiences on 29,720 domestic round-trip flights. In that survey (Ratings available to subscribers) Southwest was tops and US Airways trailed. For more read Best & worst airlines.

Previously: Final provisions of airline passenger protections take effect

DOT Fines Allegiant Air for Violating DOT Airline Disability, Price Advertising Rules [DOT]

Maggie Shader

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