US DOT Fines Sprint Airways for Deceptive Advertising

California business dispute lawyers are familiar with airlines advertising ridiculously low fees that conceal taxes and additional tariffs which consumers are not aware of. Sprint Airways is not likely to advertise its $9 fares anytime soon. The airline has been fined $50,000 by the US Department of Transportation for misleading price advertising.

According to the US Department of Transportation, the airline used false advertising practices to advertise its deceptively low prices on billboards, posters and on Twitter. When the airline began advertising its new Los Angeles flight in June 2011, it sent out Twitter messages, announcing that each- way fares cost just $9. The additional tariffs and taxes that were to be added to the fare were not made known to the user until he was two clicks into the company’s website. That is in violation of current rules against deceptive advertising.

The Department Of Transportation also noted that in all the posters and billboards that Sprint Airways used to advertise those low fares, the company had a small asterisk next to the fare, pointing consumers to the fine print. While the fine print did make clear that additional tariffs and taxes were applied to the fare, it did not make clear exactly how much the amount would be.

That is again in violation of DOT rules. Under Department Of Transportation rules, any taxes and tariffs that are to be added to the fare must be made clear to the consumer in advertising. In fact, beginning January 24, 2012, airlines are required to include all government – imposed taxes and tariffs in airline fees.

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