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DOT fines US Airways for advertising practices

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has assessed a $40,000 civil penalty against US Airways for violating rules that require airline price advertisements to disclose the full price consumers must pay for air transportation.

“When consumers shop for air travel, they have a right to know how much they will have to pay,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will continue to ensure that airlines comply with our price advertising rules.”

The Department’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that when consumers searched the carrier’s web site for one-way flights sorted by schedule, US Airways provided a set of fares that did not include additional applicable taxes and fees, or any notice on that page that these additional charges would be required. Under DOT’s requirements for Internet advertising displays, the full fare must either be listed on the first screen that provides fare quotes, or the existence of additional government-imposed per-passenger charges must be prominently disclosed along with a hyperlink that takes consumers to a page that describes the additional charges.

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