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AirTran Airways fined for deceptive ads

Jan. 4, 2012 at 6:00 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Transportation Department said Wednesday it fined AirTran Airways $60,000 for deceptive advertising of a fare posted on the Internet.

The law requires airlines to include all carrier-imposed surcharges when advertising prices.

Federal surcharges can be listed separately, but the advertisement must either have the federal charges clearly displayed or include a prominent link next to the fare that takes a consumer directly to an explanation of additional, government-imposed costs.

The DOT said in the fall of 2011 AirTran displayed an advertisement for a $59 fare on a number of Web sites alongside a note that said other taxes, fees and exclusions would apply. But there was no information on the type of tax or fee, and clicking on the ad directed consumers to a Web site where the fees were described at the "bottom of the page ... in fine print," the DOT said.

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