American Airlines fined for misleading fliers on fares
6:35 PM, Dec 11, 2013
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) —American Airlines was fined by the Department of Transportation on Wednesday after its agents allegedly told customers that some of the airline's fees were government-imposed taxes.
The DOT said it found that American agents had offered customers inaccurate information "on a number of occasions" in 2012 and 2013. Pop-up windows on the airline's website also labeled fees, such as fuel surcharges, as taxes, the department said.
DOT spokesman Bill Mosley said regulators saw the issue as "mostly a matter of not training their agents as well as they could, not a deliberate attempt to deceive passengers." American agreed to pay a $60,000 fine and provide additional training to staff members.
"We expect airlines to be truthful to their customers when they provide information about their fares," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "We will continue to take enforcement action when airlines fail to disclose their fares fully and accurately."
American did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The company recently merged with US Airways to create the world's largest airline, resolving an antitrust lawsuit from the Department of Justice.