LAXintl
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DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:16 pm

Department of Transportation is out with a $250,000 consent decree violation agreement against British Airways Plc for violations of airfare advertising requirements.

The department noted that British Airways prominently advertised credit card, frequent flyer awards, and companion awards as being "free", while in reality BA charged consumers mandatory fees of as much as $600. In addition BA failed to provide the proper notice that such tickets would be subject to additional regulatory taxes and governmental fees.

Additionally the DOT has noted numerous airfare and air tour advertisements offered by BA that failed to state the full price to be paid by consumers along with failing to provide proper disclosure of applicable taxes and government fees.

Lastly, department noted BA violations that marketed one-way fares without prominently indicating requirement of round-trip purchase.


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Aesma
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RE: DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:06 pm

Isn't that fine far more than other airlines have gotten for the same kind of violations ? Not that it's that big anyway.
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toobz
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RE: DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:23 am

If i remember correct I think LAXintl explained once that amt of the fine is based on the number of occurrences or transactions that took place with the "misleading info". I'm sorry LAX if I am misquoting you :-/
 
ikramerica
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RE: DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:54 am

Adding fuel surcharges to "free" tickets should earn a larger fine. But DOT is fine with that deceptive practice as long as its advertised.
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qf002
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RE: DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:24 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 3):

And credit card fees. So many airlines make it ridiculously hard and complicated to pay in any other way, and the charges can end up adding 5-10% of the cost of the flight in some cases.
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:27 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 4):
credit card fees

Mercifully credit card fees are illegal in the USA. The only thing you can do is offer a discount for not using a credit card but Allegiant is the only airline to do this.

I agree that they are a complete rip off though, SQ charges $25 for using a credit card through their Australian website!
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LAXintl
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RE: DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:41 pm

Yes definitively one of the larger fines I've seen over the years for such pricing violations.

I think the fact that BA failed to provide proper price and tax info to consumers at so many different locations along with their relative large size caused the fine to be so big.
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Pe@rson
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RE: DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:44 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
Mercifully credit card fees are illegal in the USA.

Why don't they just call them 'administrative fees'?     
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babybus
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RE: DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:38 pm

It good to see a government department actually working to protect the consumer.

Sales mal-practice has to be stumped out. I got a shock the other day when booking on BA.com that they had such a heavy credit card fee. Totally unacceptable.

Consumer confidence has to be preserved.
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LAXintl
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RE: DOT Fines BA $250,000 - False Fare Advertising

Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:07 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
Mercifully credit card fees are illegal in the USA. The only thing you can do is offer a discount for not using a credit card but Allegiant is the only airline to do this.

Not much longer.

Under the July 2012 merchant credit card litigation settlement agreement reached by banks, merchants will be able to charge a “checkout fee” between 1.5 and 3.5% of the value of the transaction when using cards like Visa and MasterCard.

All that is holding this up is final approval from the Federal judge which is expected in early 2013.
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