8 OCTOBER 2012
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The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined British Airways US$250,000 for what it calls “deceptive and unacceptable” passenger treatment. The issue is over advertising and the way that mishandled baggage is dealt with.
“Consumers deserve fair treatment from airlines when it comes to price advertising and being reimbursed for lost, damaged or stolen baggage. To surprise consumers at the last minute of the purchase process with additional unadvertised costs is deceptive and unacceptable”, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “At DOT we will continue to make sure airlines treat their customers with the respect they deserve”.
DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that British Airways violated a number of the Department’s original price advertising requirements that were in place prior to the strengthened full-fare advertising rule that took effect in January 2012. The carrier promoted award travel in emails and on websites without providing disclosure of taxes and government fees through a hyperlink or other appropriate method. It also failed to include carrier-imposed charges, such as fuel surcharges, in the prices.
British Airways also violated the Montreal Convention aviation rules, by its stated policy not to pay compensation for loss, damage or theft from checked baggage of certain fragile or valuable items. www.dot.gov/briefing-room
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