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Southwest Airlines Slapped With A Heavy Fine For Violating Price Advertising Rule
By Bill Goldston

July 31, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Transportation fined Southwest Airlines $200,000 for violating the Department’s full fare advertising rules and ordered the carrier to cease and desist from further violations.

DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that Southwest advertised one-way, nonstop fares “for $100 or less” for travel on Feb. 14, 2013, but failed to include a reasonable number of seats available in a significant number of city-pair markets in the fare sale.

In addition, on Jan. 30, 2013, Southwest advertised $66 one way fares from Dallas Love Field to Branson, Mo., between March 1, 2013, and March 21, 2013.  However, there were no seats available at the sale fare on any day during the sale period.


“Consumers should be able to trust that the price they see advertised is the price they’ll pay for a seat,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.  “DOT will continue to take enforcement action against carriers and ticket agents when our price advertising rules are violated.”

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.

Southwest Airlines is the world's largest low cost carrier, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The airline was established in 1967 and adopted their current name in 1971. The airline has more than 46,000 employees as of August 2012 and operates more than 3,400 flights per day. Southwest carries the most domestic passengers of any U.S. airline. As of June 2013, Southwest Airlines has scheduled service to 85 destinations in 42 states and Puerto Rico.


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