Southwest fined $200,000 by DOT for advertising violations

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The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Southwest Airlines $200,000 for violating advertising rules.

The Dallas-based carrier had advertised one-way non-stop fares for "$100 or less" for travel on 14 February 2013 but "failed to include a reasonable number of seats available" in a significant number of city pairs in the sale, says the DOT.

Separately, the airline advertised $66 one-way fares from Dallas Love Field to Branson, Missouri between 1 March and 21 March 2013. The DOT's aviation enforcement office found, however, that there were no seats available on any day during the sale period.

"By advertising fares for which a reasonable number of seats were not available and advertising fares that were not available at all, Southwest violated the full fare advertising rule and engaged in prohibited unfair and deceptive practices," says the DOT.