TripAdvisor Smacked With $80K Fine For Violating Fare Advertising Rule

TripAdvisor has fallen afoul of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s rule about fare advertising, resulting in a fine of $80,000. The rule went into effect in January, and stated that ticket agents and airlines must display fares as the total of what a consumer will pay, taxes and fees included.

The L.A. Times says TripAdvisor’s website airfares didn’t include taxes and fees, with violations ranging from March to June. The DOT also found that TripAdvisor didn’t tell customers that tickets sold through a major carrier were actually on flights operated by a regional carrier through a “code-sharing” agreement.

TripAdvisor issued a statement saying:

“We were surprised by the Department of Transportation’s ruling that suggested consumers might feel confused or deceived in these matters. However, naturally we have made the Department of Transportation’s requested changes to be compliant with the regulations, including reducing the display of the base fare by two font sizes against the total fare in one placement in our search results.”

Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines have also been fined for misleading consumers since the rule became official in January.

TripAdvisor fined for violating airfare advertising rule [L.A. Times]