Spirit Airlines Says Posting Full Airfares Is Government's Way Of Hiding Taxes

Spirit Airlines Says Posting Full Airfares Is Government's Way Of Hiding Taxes

In recent years, the Dept. of Transportation has been cracking down on airlines, especially discount carriers, for advertising airfares that don’t actually represent what consumers will end up paying. With the latest round of rule changes having just kicked in, low-budget airline Spirit is fighting back, telling its customers that this is all about the government trying to hide higher taxes in airfares. [More]

Spirit Airlines Fined $50K For Misleading Tweets

Spirit Airlines Fined $50K For Misleading Tweets

The Dept. of Transportation rules about airfare transparency don’t just apply to carriers’ websites and ads, but also to their Twitter feed. Just ask Spirit Airlines, which was slapped with a $50,000 fine for Tweets touting its $9 airfares. [More]

White House Wants Your Car To Get 54.5 MPG By 2025

White House Wants Your Car To Get 54.5 MPG By 2025

Earlier today, the White House — along with the EPA and DOT — formally announced their proposal to improve fuel economy over the next decade and a half, with the goal of achieving fuel efficiencies equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. [More]

Orbitz Hit With $60K Fine For Failing To Disclose Taxes & Fees On Airfares

Orbitz Hit With $60K Fine For Failing To Disclose Taxes & Fees On Airfares

Orbitz has been slapped with a $60,000 fine by the Dept. of Transportation because the travel site violated federal laws that require clear disclosure of taxes and fees associated with airfares. [More]

Latest Round Of Pro-Consumer Airline Regulations To Start This Week

Latest Round Of Pro-Consumer Airline Regulations To Start This Week

The Department of Transportation’s newest airline regulations — aiming to cut down even more on tarmac delays, curb passenger-bumping and make ticket fees more transparent — will kick in for air travelers tomorrow. [More]

DOT & Disney Team Up To Fight Distracted Driving, Promote New Movie

DOT & Disney Team Up To Fight Distracted Driving, Promote New Movie

The Department of Transportation’s campaign against distracted driving is becoming animated. Literally. [More]

Airlines Now Actually Have To Return Bag Fees If They Lose Your Bag

Airlines Now Actually Have To Return Bag Fees If They Lose Your Bag

It’s sort of sad that the Department of Transportation actually had to force airlines to refund bag fees if they lose your baggage — but whatever, let’s not dwell. [More]

Transportation Secretary LaHood Answers Reader Questions

Transportation Secretary LaHood Answers Reader Questions

Later today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will be answering questions at the Consumers Union offices, where he’ll also be speaking on the topic of “Distracted Driving Shatters Lives: Helping Parents and Educators Reach Teens.” You can watch that event live on the Consumer Reports Facebook page (click the “Live” tab) at 11:00 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, Secretary LaHood accepted Consumerist’s request to answer a few reader-submitted questions. [More]

Tarmac Regulations May Be Extended To Cover International Flights

Tarmac Regulations May Be Extended To Cover International Flights

Less than a year after the Dept. of Transportation introduced controversial regulations limiting the amount of time planes making domestic flights can sit on airport tarmacs, the agency is planning to expand those rules to cover overseas carriers that use American airports. [More]

DOT: No Evidence Of Electronics Error In Toyota Acceleration Cases

DOT: No Evidence Of Electronics Error In Toyota Acceleration Cases

The Dept. of Transportation has completed its investigation into the causes of sudden unintended acceleration in some Toyota vehicles and found no evidence that an electronic glitch could be responsible. [More]

Despite Busy Thanksgiving Holiday, Flights Departed On Time In November

Despite Busy Thanksgiving Holiday, Flights Departed On Time In November

The Dept. of Transportation released its Air Travel Consumer Report for November 2010 yesterday, and for the first time since 2008, U.S. airports went two months in a row without a single plane being delayed on the tarmac for more than three hours. [More]

Delta Fined $100,000 For Lying To Passengers About Lost Luggage Liability

Delta Fined $100,000 For Lying To Passengers About Lost Luggage Liability

According to federal regulations, airlines “shall not limit its liability for provable direct or consequential damages” to less than $3,300 per passenger. Someone should have told that to Delta, which was recently slapped with a $100,000 fine by the Dept. of Transportation for distributing pamphlets telling customers something very different. [More]

DOT Updates 'Fly Rights' Airline Consumer Guide

DOT Updates 'Fly Rights' Airline Consumer Guide

The Department of Transportation has updated its consumer guide to air travel, which provides a quick summary of what to look for when buying a ticket, and what protections you have during travel. It’s also a good starting point when you have an airline-related problem and need more information before deciding what to do next. [More]

Continental Refuses To Believe Woman's Service Dog Is Real

Continental Refuses To Believe Woman's Service Dog Is Real

Continental sure has a lot of skeptical employees when it comes to customers with disabilities. Jessica tried to buy a ticket yesterday and was told no, because the ticket agent didn’t believe that Jessica’s self-trained service dog was legit. [More]

Should Seat Belts Be Required On The Bus?

Should Seat Belts Be Required On The Bus?

Riding the bus is a relatively safe way to get from point A to B, but a new proposal under consideration by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would seek to make it even safer by requiring new motorcoaches — as opposed to municipal or school buses — to provide seat belts for all passengers on board. [More]

Tarmac Delays Down Drastically From Last Year, Cancellations Unchanged

Tarmac Delays Down Drastically From Last Year, Cancellations Unchanged

In the second month of the recently enacted laws limiting the amount of time a plane can sit on the tarmac without taking off, the Dept. of Transportation says only three flights went over the 3-hour limit; that’s down from 268 flights for the same month in 2009. Meanwhile, the rate of canceled flights remained exactly the same as last year. [More]

Flight Cancellations Hold Steady Despite New Tarmac Delay Limit

Flight Cancellations Hold Steady Despite New Tarmac Delay Limit

Remember how airlines threatened to cancel a mess of flights if the Department of Transportation imposed fines for holding planes on the tarmac for more than three hours? Well, the DOT imposed the rule and it looks like airlines are coping just fine. The Wall Street Journal examined recently released data and found that the most probable explanation for the slight jump in cancellations is a combination of weather and shoddy maintenance. [More]

DOT Calls BS On "Misleading And Premature" Tarmac Delay Study

DOT Calls BS On "Misleading And Premature" Tarmac Delay Study

Remember that study from yesterday that said there had been a significant increase in the number of flight cancellations since the DOT enacted new rules limiting the number of hours a plane can sit on the tarmac? Well, it’s not sitting with the folks behind the rule, who say it’s a bunch of hogwash. [More]