DOT Fines Continental For Not Disclosing Fuel Surcharge On Website

Fuel surcharges can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of a flight, a fact that travelers trying to buy tickets on Continental’s website weren’t finding out until after they had selected their itinerary. That’s why the Depart of Transportation has slapped the airline with a $120,000 fine.

The DOT says that airfares featured on did not include fuel surcharges as part of the ticket price, but instead lumped the surcharge in with other taxes and fees listed at checkout.

The Detroit News cites the example of a $298 flight from San Jose to San Salvador that was suddenly $538 at checkout.

A rep for United/Continental says it was just a computer glitch and “we immediately responded to the Department of Transportation’s concerns and addressed the issue.”

We checked for ourselves and Continental appears to have fixed the problem. Fuel surcharges are still itemized as part of taxes and fees at checkout, but they are now included in the initial listed airfares.

U.S. slaps airlines with fines for omitting charges in ads [Detroit News]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.