Orbitz Fined $50K for Not Clearly Disclosing Baggage Fees

by Angela Nazworth | August 21, 2012 6:25 pm

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) slapped two travel companies with hefty fines Monday.

Online travel company Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW[1]) was fined $50,000 for failing to clearly and prominently inform consumers that they may have to pay baggage fees.

“Airline passengers should be able to determine the full cost of their trip, including baggage fees, quickly and easily,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “The Department adopted its rules on baggage fees to ensure that consumers have complete and accurate information about how much they will have to pay when they book a flight, and we will continue to take enforcement action when carriers and ticket agents fail to comply with our rules.”

The new rules were adopted in January, 2012. According to DOT, Orbitz clearly displayed baggage fees for only a short time after the rule went into effect.

DOT fined airline JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU[2]) $90,000 for violating federal rules by not informing passengers on an aircraft delayed at New York’s JFK Airport that they had an opportunity to leave the plane. Consequentially, the plane sat at the gate with the door open for quite some time. The incident occurred this past March.

“Airlines may not leave passengers stranded indefinitely aboard an aircraft, whether on the tarmac or at the gate, and passengers must be told if they are able to leave the plane,”  LaHood said in a separate release.  “At DOT, we are committed to protecting consumers when they travel by air, and will continue to take enforcement action when our rules are violated.”

Endnotes:
  1. OWW: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=OWW
  2. JBLU: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=JBLU

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