Is a sale a sale when only a few people can actually take advantage of the deal, or if no one at all can get a piece of the advertised deal action? Nope, said the Department of Transportation, which has fined Southwest Airlines $200,000 for touting a sale that didn’t provide enough actual seats — or in one case, any at all — at the bargain price it advertised. [More]
Delta isn’t great about letting passengers volunteer to be bumped off an oversold flight instead of just bumping them by force. The company just doesn’t have enough CEOs to go around and offer seats to people who need to get home. Don’t take our word for it: the U.S. Department of Transportation gave them a public reprimand and ordered the airline to pay a penalty of $750,000. [More]
Up until the very end of 2012, it looked like the Dept. of Transportation was only going to tie the record it set in 2011 for the number of fines handed out to airlines. But a pair of Dec. 31 violations pushed 2012 into a spot on top of the charts all on its own. [More]
In the last year or so, the U.S. Dept of Transportation has instituted a number of new rules — like requiring airlines to include all known taxes and fees in its advertised prices — aimed at adding more transparency to airfares. Some carriers, especially discount airlines that love to advertise a bottom-dollar price with oodles of fine print hiding the fact that it’s not such a good price, have challenged these changes. But today, a U.S. appeals court sided with federal regulators (and common sense).
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.
When you take your seat on that bus to visit grandma in Atlantic City, you’re putting your life in the hands of a driver you don’t know and a bus company whose safety record you may not be familiar with. But a new app from the Dept. of Transportation aims to put some of that info in the palm of your hand… if you own an iPhone, that is.
Back in February, a new regulation kicked in that allows fliers to change their flights without penalty within the first 24 hours after booking. The folks at Spirit Airlines responded by tacking on a $2 “Dept. of Transportation Unintended Consequences Fee,” which they said was to cover the added costs resulting from the new rule. But a woman in Illinois says it’s just plain fraud.
Fresh off fighting laws that require truth in advertising, Spirit Airlines, which hilariously dubbed itself the “most consumer-friendly airline,” is now taking a stand against another government regulation — one that requires airlines to allow passengers to change flights within 24 hours of booking without paying a penalty — by adding two dollars to everyone’s ticket.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Department of Transportation’s campaign against distracted driving is becoming animated. Literally.
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.
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.
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.
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.