DOT fines Air Canada and United

Washington DC
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The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Air Canada and United Airlines for deceptive price advertising and providing inaccurate information to customers respectively.

Air Canada was fined $50,000 for advertisements in early 2011 that did not display the amount of taxes and fees payable by passengers in addition to advertised fares.

Consumers who clicked on the advertisements were directed to a page where detailed taxes and fees were found only at the bottom of the page in fine print, said the DOT.

Separately, United was fined $20,000 for failing to notify passengers about an increased liability on airlines for damages caused by lost, damaged or delayed baggage.

The liability, as set out in the Montreal Convention, was raised with effect from 30 December 2009 to 1,131 special drawing rights per passenger, which is equivalent to about $1,800.

Despite a notification from the DOT to airlines to revise their notices to reflect the change, United issued a number of ticket wallets to passengers that did not list the revised limit. The carrier, however, did not use the old limit when handling baggage-related claims after the new limit came into effect.