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OST-2003-14194 - Consent Orders


 


Economic Enforcement Consent Orders

Order 03-1-7
OST-03-14194
Issued and Served January 3, 2003 Consent Order

Word Document

Economic Enforcement Consent Orders - 2003

Order 2003-1-7, the Department (1) approves the settlement and the provisions of this order as being in the public interest, (2) finds that North Vancouver Airlines, Ltd., violated 49 U.S.C. Section 41301 by commencing scheduled air service to and from the United States prior to obtaining permit authority from the Department, (3) finds that, by engaging in the conduct and violations described in paragraphs 2, North Vancouver Airlines, Ltd., engaged in an unfair and deceptive practice and unfair method of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. Section 41712, and; (4) North Vancouver Airlines, Ltd., and all other entities owned and controlled by, or under common ownership and control with North Vancouver Airlines, Ltd., and their successors and assignees, are ordered to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. Sections 41301 and 41712.

By: Samuel Podberesky


Economic Enforcement Consent Orders - 2003 / London Air Service Limited

Order 03-1-9
OST-03-14194
Issued and Served January 6, 2003 Consent Order

Word Document

Economic Enforcement Consent Orders - 2003

Order 2003-1-9, the Department (1) approves the settlement and the provisions of this order as being in the public interest (2) finds that London Air Service Limited, violated 49 U.S.C. Sections 41301 by commencing air service to and from the United States prior to obtaining appropriate authority from the Department (3) finds that London Air Services Limited, violated 49 U.S.C. Section 41301 and 41703 by holding out and performing air transportation for compensation or hire between points entirely within the United States (4) finds that, by engaging in the conduct and violations in paragraphs 2 and 3, London Air Services Limited, engaged in an unfair and deceptive practice and unfair method of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. Section 41712, and; (5) London Air Services Limited, and all other entities owned and controlled by, or under common ownership and control with London Air Services Limited, and their successors and assignees, are ordered to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. Sections 41301, 41703, and 41712.

By: Samuel Podberesky


A Better Airfare, LLC d/b/a Air4Less

Order 03-1-12
OST-03-14194
Issued and Served January 16, 2003 Consent Order

Word Document

Economic Enforcement Consent Orders

Order 2003-1-12, the Department (1) approves this settlement and the provisions of this order as being in the public interest; (2) finds that A Better Airfare, LLC d/b/a Air4Less and mydestinationsonline.com, has violated 14 CFR 399.84 by causing to be published airfare advertisements that failed to state the entire price to be price to be paid for the advertised air transportation; (3) finds that by engaging in the conduct described, and by not identifying the September 11th Security Fee by name as required by 49 CFR 1510.7, A Better Airfare, LLC d/b/a Air4Less and mydestinationsonline.com also engaged in unfair and deceptive practices and unfair methods of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. Section 41712; and, (4) A Better Airfare, LLC d/b/a Air4Less and mydestinationsonline.com, and all other entities owned and controlled by, or under common ownership and control with, A Better Airfare, LLC and their successors and assignees, are ordered to cease and desist from future violations of 14 CFR 399.84 and 49 U.S.C. Section 41712.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense, S.A. (VARIG)

Order 03-02-4
OST-03-14194
Issued and Served February 6, 2003 Consent Order Violations of 49 USC 41712 and 14 CFR Part 399

Without admitting any violations, VARIG states in mitigation that it did not intend to violate any of the Department’s regulations concerning fare advertising. Rather, VARIG asserts that, because it had not undertaken a significant advertising campaign in the United States in many years, and had last made a comprehensive review of its website when it set it up in 2000, it had grown less familiar with the full fare advertising rule and was less focused on recent Department case precedent. VARIG states that, for the joint campaign with the Rio Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and the various tour operators, it, along with other advertisers, relied on an experienced advertising agency that held itself out as a specialist in travel advertising.

VARIG consents to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41712 and 14 CFR 399.84 and to the assessment of $20,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties otherwise assessable. Of this total penalty amount, $10,000 shall be paid under the terms described below.

By:  Rosalind Knapp


Boston-Maine Airways Corp.

Order 03-02-13
OST-03-14194
Issued and Served February 14, 2003 Consent Order Violations of 49 USC 41712

Order 2003-2-13, the Department (1) approves this settlement and the provisions of the order as being in the public interest, (2) finds that by engaging in the conduct described, Boston-Maine Airways Corp. d/b/a Pan Am Clipper Connection engaged in an unfair and deceptive practice and an unfair method of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. Section 41712; and, (3) Boston-Maine Airways Corp. d/b/a Pan Am Clipper Connection is ordered to cease and desist from further similar violations of 49 U.S.C. Section 41712.  Until recently, all of the schedule listings in the Official Airline Guide (OAG) for Boston­Maine's operations were offered under the "PN" code of Pan American Airways Corp. Although Boston-Maine and Pan Am are affiliated air carriers, they are separate companies that do not have a code-share arrangement. While Boston-Maine was authorized by the Department to hold itself out under the trade name "Pan Am Clipper Connection," it was not authorized to hold itself out under the name "Pan Am" or to use Pan Am's "PN" code.  Furthermore, although Boston-Maine and Pan Am maintained separate websites, all reservations for both carrier's flights were made on the Pan Am website. Passengers using the Boston-Maine website to book a flight were automatically linked to the Pan Am website without any notice being given to the passenger that the booking was being made on the Pan Am website.

Both the Enforcement Office and Boston-Maine, in order to avoid litigation and without Boston-Maine's admitting or denying the alleged violations, agree to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41712 similar to those described above, and to the assessment of $40,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties. Of this penalty amount, $20,000 shall be paid according to the schedule set out in the ordering paragraphs infra; the remaining $20,000 shall be suspended for one year following the service date of this order.

By:  Rosalind Knapp


Louise Caplan vs. American Airlines, Inc.

Order 03-03-1
OST-03-14194
OST-00-7010
Issued and Served March 4, 2003 Consent Order and Order of Dismissal Alleged Unlawful Discrimination Against Qualified Individual with
Disabilities

In order to avoid litigation, and without admitting or denying the alleged violations, American has agreed to settle these matters with the Enforcement Office and enter into this consent order to cease and desist from future similar violations of Part 382 and the ACAA. By this order, the Department finds that American has, on numerous occasions, failed to provide adequate wheelchair assistance to passengers with disabilities in violation of the ACAA and 14 CFR 382.39. The Department also finds that in some instances the carrier has failed to comply with the dispositive response requirements of 14 CFR 382.65. This order, in addition, directs the carrier to cease and desist from similar violations in the future and assesses a civil penalty of $1.2 million in compromise of the penalties otherwise assessable under 49 U.S.C. § 46301. Of the $1.2 million assessed penalty, American must pay $25,000 within 30 days of the service date of this order; American must pay an additional $75,000 within 12 months of the initial payment of $25,000; $800,000 shall be credited to American for the work it has already done since this investigation began to increase its quality of service to disabled air travelers;3 and $300,000 shall be credited to American for the work it has already done and continues to do to improve wheelchair service at its hub in St. Louis, Missouri.

We have also determined, on review of the materials submitted in the captioned docket and on the basis of our action here, that further investigation of Ms. Caplan’s complaint is neither warranted nor in the public interest. Accordingly, we will dismiss the complaint under 14 CFR 302.406. Although it is our opinion that reasonable grounds exist to believe that American’s conduct with regard to Ms. Caplan may have violated certain requirements of Part 382 and the ACAA, we also believe that the public interest concerns inherent in resolving any such violations are adequately addressed by the settlement reached in this case.5 This settlement renders further investigation of Ms. Caplan’s complaint, through the institution of a formal proceeding, not to be in the public interest.

By:  Rosalind Knapp


Flight Alaska, Inc.

Order 03-03-17
OST-03-14194
Issued and Served March 25, 2003 Consent Order

Microsoft Word

Violations of 49 USC 41708 , 14 CFR Part 241, and Order 02-01-04

Beginning January 2002, and continuing through September 2002, Flight Alaska failed to file the required reports, or failed to file accurate reports. During this period, the Department's staff first attempted to contact Flight Alaska informally regarding the delinquencies, then sent the carrier written warnings. Specifically, the Department's Office of Airline Information (OAI) sent Flight Alaska a warning letter about its delinquent T-100 reports on June 3, 2002. After Flight Alaska's delinquency continued, the Department's Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office) sent Flight Alaska a warning letter regarding the same issue on September 3, 2002.

Flight Alaska, Inc., is assessed $20,000 in compromise of civil penalties that might otherwise be assessed for the violations found in ordering paragraphs 2 and 3 above. Of that penalty amount $2,500 shall become due and payable within 15 days of the service date of this order, $2,500 shall be due and payable on April 30, 2003, $2,500 shall be due and payable on July 31, 2003, and $2,500 shall be due and payable on October 31, 2003.

By:  Rosalind Knapp


US Airways, Inc.

Order 03-3-19
OST-03-14194
Issued and Served March 26, 2003 Consent Order

Microsoft Word

Economic Enforcement Consent Order

Order 2003-3-19, the Department (1) approves the settlement and the provisions of this order as being in the public interest, (2) finds that US Airways, Inc., on a number of occasions violated the requirements of 14 CFR 382.39 by failing to provide prompt and proper enplaning and deplaning assistance, primarily to passengers having mobility impairments, (3) finds that US Airways on a number occasions violated the dispositive response requirements of 14 CFR 382.65 in connection with the violations described in ordering paragraph 2, (4) finds that US Airways, Inc., in the instances described in ordering paragraphs 2 and 3 violated the Air Carrier Access Act, 49 U.S.C. Section 41705, (5) finds that, to the extent that the instances described in ordering paragraphs 2 and 3 occurred in foreign air transportation, US Airways, Inc. violated 49 U.S.C. Section 41301, (6) finds that, to the extent that the instances described in ordering paragraphs 2 and 3 occurred in interstate air transportation, US Airways, Inc. violated 49 U.S.C. Section 41702, (7) finds that the violations described in ordering paragraphs 2 and 3 involved unfair and deceptive practices and thereby violated 49 U.S.C. Section 41712; and, (8) Ordering US Airways, Inc. and its successors and assigns to cease and desist from further violations of 14 CFR Part 382 and 49 U.S.C. Sections 41310, 41702, 41705 and 41712 by engaging in the conduct described in ordering paragraphs 2 through 7.

US Airways, Inc., is assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $550,000 in compromise of civil penalties that might otherwise be assessed for the violations found in ordering paragraphs 2 through 7 of this order, of which: a. $100,000 shall be credited to US Airways for expenditures above normal levels that it has made to improve its quality of service to disabled air travelers since the initiation of the investigation giving rise to the order, which the Enforcement Office has already reviewed; b. $300,000 shall be credited in accordance with ordering paragraphs 10, 11, and 12 of this order4; and c. $150,000 shall be allowed as a non-priority, pre-petition general unsecured claim to be administered pursuant to the First Amended Plan of Reorganization of US Airways Group, Inc., and its affiliated debtors and debtors-in-possession filed on January 17, 2003, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Icelandair, Inc.

Order 03-04-9
OST-03-14194
Issued and Served April 10, 2003 Consent Order

Microsoft Word

Economic Enforcement Consent Order

This consent order concerns advertisements on Icelandair’s web site and e-mail advertisements disseminated by the carrier that failed to comply with the Department’s rule on full fare advertising, 14 CFR 399.84.  In a number of advertisements appearing on the Icelandair site in late 2002, the carrier stated prices for tours that did not include certain taxes and fees and failed to list such additional taxes and fees or to provide a direct link to a page that would indicate the amounts of those charges.  Comparable omissions occurred in advertisements which the carrier distributed by e-mail.  Moreover, certain advertisements and e-mail messages improperly stated insurance surcharges separately from the base fares.  These displays and e-mail solicitations were, as a result, in violation of 14 CFR 399.84 and enforcement case precedent, and constituted an unfair and deceptive trade practice and an unfair method of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712. 

We consider any advertisement which does not comply with the full fare disclosure requirements to be in violation of both section 41712 and section 399.84, and, while we acknowledge that Icelandair has been fully cooperative in our investigation, we believe that enforcement action is warranted in this instance.  Icelandair, for its part, in order to avoid litigation and without admitting or denying the alleged violations, agrees to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41712 and 14 CFR 399.84 in e-mail advertisements and on its Internet site and to an assessment of $15,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties of which one half will be payable according to the payments schedule described below.  This compromise assessment is appropriate in view of the nature and extent of the violations in question and serves the public interest.  This settlement, moreover, represents a deterrent to future noncompliance with the Department's advertising regulations and section 41712 by Icelandair, as well as by other sellers of air transportation.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Bellair, Inc.

Order 03-04-15
OST-03-14194
Issued and Served April 18, 2003 Consent Order

Microsoft Word

Economic Enforcement Consent Order

Order 2003-4-15, the Department approves the settlement and the provisions of this order as being in the public interest, finds that Bellair, Inc. has violated Order 2002-1-4 and 14 CFR Part 241 by failing to file required reports in a timely manner, finds that by engaging in the conduct and violations, Bellair, Inc. has also violated 49 U.S.C. Section 41709; and, Bellair, Inc., and all other entities owned or controlled by or under common ownership with Bellair, Inc., and their successors and assignees, are ordered to cease and desist from violations of 49 U.S.C. Section 41708, 14 CFR Part 241, and Order 2002-1-4.

The Department is collecting data from certificated bush carriers transporting mail within Alaska in connection with a potential rate adjustment to mail rates for intra-Alaska and mainline mail service. In this regard, under Order 2002-1-4, Bellair is required to submit monthly T-100 reports as specified in 14 CFR Part 241.  Bellair consents to the issuance of an order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41708, Part 241 of the Department’s regulations, and Order 2002-1-4, and to the assessment of $20,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties, half of which will be forgiven if the carrier complies with this order and its reporting obligations over the next year.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Flight-Ops International, Inc. d/b/a SkyXpress Airline

Issued and Served June 17, 2003

Order 03-6-24
OST-03-14194 - Economic Enforcement Consent Order

Consent Order

Since November 2002, Flight-Ops, a Canadian charter air taxi operator registered pursuant to 14 CFR Part 294 of the Department's regulations, has specialized in air service between Kalispell, Montana, and Calgary, Alberta. Foreign carriers operating under Part 294 are limited to charter operations. In May 2003, Flight-Ops filed an application with the Department to conduct scheduled service to and from the United States. However, prior to the final disposition of its application for scheduled authority, Flight-Ops held out via its Internet website and operated a number of flights pursuant to a published schedule between Kalispell and Calgary in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41301, which requires that foreign air carriers obtain permit authority from the Department prior to commencing scheduled service to the United States. Moreover, Flight-Ops held out and operated such service under an unregistered business name, SkyXpress Airline, in contravention of the requirements of 14 CFR 294.31. Any violation of 14 CFR 294.31 or 49 U.S.C. § 41301 also constitutes an unfair and deceptive practice and unfair method of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712.

The Enforcement Office has carefully considered all of the information provided by FlightOps, but continues to believe that enforcement action is warranted. In this connection and in order to avoid litigation, the Enforcement Office and Flight-Ops have reached a settlement of this matter. Without admitting or denying the violations described above, Flight-Ups consents to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 14 CFR 294.31 and 49 U.S.C. § 41301 and 41712 and to the assessment of $8,000 (USD) in compromise of potential civil penalties otherwise assessable. Of this total penalty amount, $4,000 shall be paid under the terms described below. The remaining $4,000 shall be suspended for one year following the issuance of this consent order, and then forgiven, unless, during this time period, Flight-Ups violates this order's cease and desist or payment provisions, in which case the entire unpaid portion of this civil penalty shall become due and payable immediately and Flight-Ops may be subject to further and more stringent enforcement action.

By: Rosalind Knapp


British Airways, PLC

Issued and Served June 20, 2003

Order 03-6-29
OST-03-14194 - Economic Enforcement Consent Order

Consent Order | Word

The Department (1) approves the settlement and the provisions of this order as being in the public interest; (2) finds that British Airways, PLC, violated 14 CFR 399.84 by causing to be published on its Internet website air fares in which the carrier's own security and insurance fees were stated separately from the advertised base fares and thus failed to state the entire price to be paid for such transportation; (3) finds that engaging in the conduct and violations, and by not identifying in its Internet advertisements the September 11th Security Fee by name, as required by 49 CFR 1510.7, British Airways, PLC, also engaged in unfair and deceptive practices and unfair methods of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. Section 41712; and, (4) British Airways, PLC, and all other entities owned and controlled by, or under common ownership and control of British Airways, PLC, and their successors and assignees, are ordered to cease and desist from future violations of 14 CFR 399.84 and 49 U.S.C. Section 414712.

Investigation by the Department of the British Airways Internet website in December 2002 found that the carrier, through the website's booking engine, was separating a carrier-imposed surcharge from the advertised base fares-in this case, British Airways had instituted a four dollar fee on flights to and from the United States billed as a "security and insurance surcharge." Moreover, the website failed to identify properly the September 11th Security Fee, despite the fact that it was not included in the advertised base fares. British Airways, PLC, is assessed a civil penalty of $40,000 in compromise of the civil penalties that might otherwise be assessed for the violations found in paragraphs 2 and 3 above.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Trans World Airlines, Inc.

Issued and Served July 11, 2003

Order 03-7-12
OST-03-14194 - Economic Enforcement Consent Order

Consent Order

Many of the complaints involved incidents occurring after April 5, 2000, the effective date of the increase in civil penalties for ACAA violations enacted by AIR 21. A number of complaints, furthermore, appear to reflect a serious dereliction on the part of the carrier in meeting the requirements of section 382.39, such as the carrier failing to provide requested wheelchair service entirely, or providing a wheelchair only after a long time delay resulting in the passenger missing a flight. Additionally, in several of the complaint files examined, the carrier did not provide a written response to the complainant that complied with the requirements of section 382.65, which prescribes that the carrier must give a "dispositive response" to each complaint postmarked within 45 days of the complained of incident. An appropriate response must specifically discuss the complaint at issue, state the carrier's view of whether a violation occurred, and state that the complainant may refer the matter to the Department's consumer office.

In order to avoid litigation, Trans World has agreed to a settlement of this matter with the Enforcement Office. Trans World consents to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. 41705 and Part 382, and to the assessment of $200,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Liberty Travel

Issued and Served July 14, 2003

Order 03-7-19
OST-03-14194 - Economic Enforcement Consent Order

Consent Order | Word

Liberty has advertised airfares on its Internet website, www.Liberty.com, during 2003 that failed to include all taxes and fees in the quoted fare or to properly contain a prominent reference to taxes and fees that may properly be excluded from the fare, along with a link to a page with their amounts. Specifically, on Liberty’s website, there is a list of “Hot Deals” on its homepage. These Hot Deals include a number of travel packages to different destinations that include roundtrip airfare. There is no mention on the home page of whether taxes and fees are included in the advertised fare. If a Hot Deals destination is selected, the website immediately goes to an information page for that particular deal. This page includes a pricing guide that lists approximately eleven departure cities with individualized fare quotes. These fares do not indicate whether they include taxes and fees and a consumer would not know that certain taxes and fees are not included unless he or she by chance scrolled down past the fares being advertised to the small print paragraph at the bottom of the page entitled “Terms And Conditions.” No asterisk or link exists near the advertised fare to lead the consumer to the tax and fee disclosure. By failing to state the full price that a consumer must pay, Liberty violated 14 CFR 399.84 and engaged in an unfair and deceptive practice in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712.

Liberty Travel, Inc., is assessed $30,000 in compromise of the potential civil penalties that might otherwise be assessed for the violations described in ordering paragraphs 2 and 3 of this order, of which $15,000 shall be paid in two equal installments of $7,500 each.

By: Rosalind Knapp


America West Airlines, Inc.

Issued and Served July 31, 2003

Order 03-7-39
OST-03-14194 - Economic Enforcement Consent Order

Consent Order | Word

Order 2003-7-39, the Department approves this settlement and the provisions of this order as being in the public interest; finds that America West Airlines, Inc. violated 14 CFR 399.84 by causing to be published an advertisement that failed to state the entire price to be paid by the customer to the air carrier, or agent, for certain air transportation; finds that by engaging in the conduct and violation, America West, Inc., also violated 49 U.S.C. Section 41712; and, orders America West Airlines, Inc., and all other entities owned or controlled by or under common ownership with America West Airlines, Inc., and their successors and assignees, to cease and desist from violations of 49 U.S.C. Section 41712 and 14 CFR 399.84. America West consents to the issuance of an order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41712 and 14 CFR 399.84 and to the assessment of $20,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties. Of that penalty amount, $10,000 shall be due within 15 days of the issuance of this order.

In mitigation, America West states that its policy is to comply with all Department rules, including Section 399.84, and it has a procedure for reviewing all advertising to ensure compliance. The carrier states that it ran an Internet special to introduce new Pittsburgh service, to correspond with a print ad. Both ads, as noted above, stated "fares as low as $123 each way for travel to/from Pittsburgh." Although the print ad included the required 'roundtrip' language, in this isolated instance, the carrier recounts that the Internet advertisement accidentally appeared without being reviewed in accordance with the carriers procedures.

By: Rosalind Knapp


OneTravel.com

Issued and Served August 5, 2003

Order 03-8-7
OST-03-14194 - Economic Enforcement Consent Orders

Consent Order | Word

This consent order concerns website advertisements by OneTravel.com ("OneTravel"), an Internet travel vendor, that violated 49 U.S.C. § 41712, which prohibits unfair and deceptive practices, and the advertising requirements specified in Part 399 of the Department's regulations (14 CFR Part 399). This order directs OneTravel to cease and desist from future violations and to pay compromise civil penalties.

OneTravel, as a ticket agent, is subject to the advertising requirements of Part 399 of the Department's rules. Under section 399.84, any advertisement that states a price for air transportation is considered to be an unfair or deceptive practice in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712 unless the price stated is the entire price to be paid by the consumer to the air carrier or agent for such air transportation, tour or tour component. However, pursuant to its enforcement case precedent, the Department has permitted air carriers and agents to state separately from the advertised price taxes and fees, imposed or approved by the government on a per-passenger basis, so long as their amounts appear or are stated in the advertisement. (See, e.g., Order 97-11-14). Taxes and fees imposed on an ad valorem basis, however, must be included in the advertised fare.

By: Rosalind Knapp


JetBlue Airways

Order 03-8-28
OST-03-14194
- Economic Enforcement Consent Orders - 2003

Issued and Served August 28, 2003

Consent Order

This order concerns violations of 14 CFR Part 382 by JetBlue Airways. Part 382 implements the Air Carrier Access Act, 49 U.S.C. § 41705, and violations of that part also violate the ACAA. ACAA and Part 382 violations also constitute unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712. Finally, to the extent that the apparent ACAA and Part 382 violations occurred in interstate air transportation, the incidents are also violations of 49 U.SC. § 41702, which requires that air carriers provide safe and adequate interstate air transportation. This order directs JetBlue to cease and desist from future violations of the ACAA and Part 382 and assesses a compromise civil penalty of $100,000 for such violations.

By: Rosalind Knapp


America West Airlines, Inc.

Order 03-8-29
OST-03-14194 - Violations of 14 CFR Part 382 and 49 USC 41702 , 41705 and 41712

Issued and Served August 28, 2003

Consent Order

With respect to the accessibility requirement under section 382.21 (a)(2), the evidence showed that prior to this investigation 58 of America West's aircraft did not have the required space for the stowage of one passenger's standard-size folding wheelchair. After notification of this omission by the Enforcement Office, America West implemented an FAA-approved stowage method by which it will stow one passenger's folded wheelchair on the floor space between the last two rows of seats in all of its aircraft, including aircraft not covered by section 382.21(a)(2). In its Boeing 757 aircraft, America West will stow a passenger's folded wheelchair in the first class closet if seats ABC of the last row are unavailable.

With respect to the service requirement under section 382.41(e)(2), the evidence showed that America West was communicating and implementing a policy that did not allow a passenger to stow his or her wheelchair in the passenger cabin in its aircraft with closets. The evidence further indicates that prior to this investigation carry-on luggage had priority over the stowage of a wheelchair in on-board closets.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Southwest Airlines, Inc.

Order 03-8-30
OST-03-14194 - Violations of 14 CFR Part 382 and 49 USC 41702 , 41705 and 41712

Issued and Served August 28, 2003 (Not Available August 28th)

Consent Order

This order covers the issue of the stowage of one passenger's standard-size folding wheelchair inside the cabin of Southwest's Boeing 737s. With regard to wheelchair stowage, Southwest denies that prior to this investigation its aircraft did not contain enough space for the stowage of one passenger's standard-size folding wheelchair. However, after notification by the Enforcement Office of its concerns, Southwest has agreed to retrofit the left aft windscreen of its entire fleet of Boeing 737s to permit stowage of a folding wheelchair that otherwise would not fit in an overhead bin. Southwest believes that this process will take 14 months to complete. Although the Enforcement Office appreciates Southwest's willingness to create a space to stow a passenger's standard-size folding wheelchair, the office views the carrier's failure initially to provide the proper accommodation under 14 CFR § 382.21(a)(2) seriously. After careful consideration of all the facts surrounding this matter, including the explanation and arguments set forth by Southwest, the Enforcement Office continues to believe that enforcement action is warranted. In order to avoid litigation on this matter, Southwest has agreed to settle these matters, without admitting to a violation of the Air Carrier Access Act, and enter into this consent order directing it to cease and desist from future similar violations and to the assessment of a civil penalty.

In the context of this overall settlement, the Enforcement Office accepts the fact that it will take Southwest 14 months from the service date of this order to come into full compliance with the wheelchair stowage requirements. The cost associated with these modifications is estimated by Southwest to be over $2,850,000

By: Rosalind Knapp


Ryan International Airlines, Inc.

Order 03-9-4
OST-03-14194 - Violations of 14 CRF Part 382 and 49 USC 41702, 41705 and 41712

Issued and Served September 8, 2003

Consent Order | Word

The investigation by the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings into Ryan's compliance with Part 382 began with three informal complaints filed with the Enforcement Office by three individuals, all of whom have mobility-related disabilities. In the first and second complaint, two individuals provided information that appeared to indicate numerous violations of the ACAA and Part 382 during a November 13, 2000, flight on Ryan from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Chicopee, Massachusetts. According to their complaints, Ryan improperly required the removal of the gel, non-spillable batteries from each complainant's wheelchair. These two individuals also stated that Ryan did not have the proper deplaning equipment and, as a result, they were strapped to a wooden office chair with clothing belts and carried off the plane. Lastly, according to these complainants, it took over two hours to reassemble their electric wheelchairs, which were damaged upon reassembly.

Ryan International Airlines, Inc., is assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $400,000 in compromise of civil penalties that might otherwise be assessed for the violations found in ordering paragraphs 2 through 10 of this order, of which: a.$45,000 shall be due and payable within 30 days after the service date of this order; b.$355,000 shall be paid 26 months after the service date of this order except to the extent offset by amounts credited to Ryan International Airlines, Inc., by the Aviation Enforcement Office for expenditures that will be made in the 24 months after the service date of this order in accordance with ordering paragraphs 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Disclosure of Additional Fees, charges and Restrictions on Air Fares in Advertisements, Including "Free" Airfares

September 4, 2003

Notice | Word

This notice is intended to give further guidance to air carriers and other sellers of air transportation on how those additional taxes, fees, and restrictions that are permitted to be listed separately from a fare quotation may be disclosed in advertisements. This guidance will be used by the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings in its compliance and enforcement activities associated with 14 CFR 399.84, the Department’s full fare advertising rule, and 49 U.S.C. 41712, which prohibits unfair and deceptive practices.

By: Samuel Podbersky


Air Jamaica Ltd.

Order 03-9-5
OST-03-14194 - Economic Enforcement Orders

Issued and Served September 10, 2003

Consent Order | Word

Beginning in April 2003, Air Jamaica, through its Air Jamaica Vacations division and in conjunction with the Jamaica Tourist Board, embarked on an advertising campaign publicizing promotional fares on flights between the United States and the Caribbean. The campaign involved placing print advertisements in several major newspapers, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, as well as airing a substantial number of radio and television advertisements in numerous markets in the United States. In these advertisements, the carrier broke out a number of additional taxes and fees that it disclosed in the form of a range, rather than as a specific amount. While this method of disclosure is fully acceptable when the fees broken out of the base fare are permissible, the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office) found subsequently that Air Jamaica, in advertising its promotional fares, was separating its own carrier-imposed security and insurance surcharge from the advertised base fares, thus contravening 14 CFR 399.84. Moreover, the Enforcement Office found that the carrier was not properly identifying the September 11th Security Fee, which was included in the range of taxes and fees that were broken out from the advertised base fares.

Air Jamaica, Ltd., is assessed a civil penalty of $50,000 in compromise of the civil penalties that might otherwise be assessed for the violations found in paragraphs 2 and 3, above. Of the assessed penalty, $25,000 shall be due and payable within 30 days of the issuance of this order.

By: Rosalind Knapp


US Airways, Inc.

Order 03-9-26
OST-03-14194 - Violations of 49 USC 41712 and 14 CFR 257.5(d) and 399.84

Issued and Served September 30, 2003

Consent Order | Word

This consent order concerns newspaper and Internet advertisements published by US Airways that failed to comply with the Department’s advertising rules. In the print advertisements in question, US Airways offered service to Ireland from a number of U.S. cities, but failed to note, as required by 14 CFR 257.5(d), that a portion of the service would be provided by a code-share partner. There was, in addition, at least one instance in which the carrier failed to note prominently the existence of a round-trip purchase requirement in a print advertisement. In the Internet advertisements appearing on its site and in pop-up advertisements on external websites, US Airways offered promotional fares without indicating that the quoted fares were exclusive of fees and taxes. These displays were, as a result, in violation of the full-fare advertising mandate of 14 CFR 399.84. The conduct and violations associated with the print advertisements and Internet displays, furthermore, constituted unfair and deceptive trade practices and unfair methods of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712.

US Airways, Inc., is assessed $30,000 in a compromise of civil penalties that might otherwise be assessed for the violations described in ordering paragraphs 2 and 3 above, of which $15,000 shall be due and payable within 21 days after the service date of this order.

By: Rosalind Knapp


AirTran Airways

Order 03-10-11
OST-03-14194 - 2003 Consent Orders

Issued and Served October 8, 2003

Consent Order

This order concerns alleged violations of 14 CFR Part 382 by AirTran Airways. Part 382 implements the Air Carrier Access Act, 49 U.S.C. § 41705, and violations of that part would also violate the ACAA. ACAA and Part 382 violations would also constitute unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712. Finally, to the extent that the alleged ACAA and Part 382 violations occurred in interstate air transportation, the incidents would also violate 49 U.S.C. § 41702, which requires that air carriers provide safe and adequate interstate air transportation. This order directs AirTran to cease and desist from future violations of the ACAA and Part 382 and assesses a compromise civil penalty for such violations.

This order addresses the stowage of a passenger's folding wheelchair inside the cabin of AirTran's B-717 aircraft. It is the Enforcement Office's position that section 382.21(a)(2) requires that new aircraft with at least 100 seats have a priority space for the stowage of at least one standard-size folding wheelchair for use by a requesting passenger with a disability. Further, it is the Enforcement Office's position that a standard-size wheelchair is approximately 36 inches in height, 13 inches in width when folded, and 42 to 50 inches in length.9 Prior to its recent adoption of a seat stowage method for folding wheelchairs, the evidence shows that the existing stowage space within AirTran's B-717 aircraft was not of sufficient size to stow a standard-size folding wheelchair like the one used by the Enforcement Office in its test.

This order directs AirTran to cease and desist from similar violations in the future and assesses a civil penalty of $125,000.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Frontier Airlines, Inc.

Order 03-11-5
OST-03-14194 - 2003 Consent Orders

Issued and Served November 13, 2003

Consent Order | Word

While conducting a Part 382 compliance review in October 2002, the Department of Transportation's Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings discovered several statements on Frontier's website and in its contract of carriage that appeared to depart from 14 CFR Part 382. The statements at issue addressed Frontier's: (1) stowage of one passenger's folding wheelchair on its aircraft, 14 CFR § 382.21(a)(2); (2) carriage and stowage of wheelchair batteries, 14 CFR § 382.41(g); (3) liability for loss, damage or destruction of wheelchairs and other assistive devices, 14 CFR § 382.43(b); and (4) carriage of assistive devices, 14 CFR § 382.41(d).

This order directs Frontier to cease and desist from similar violations in the future and assesses a civil penalty of $100,000 in compromise of the penalties otherwise assessable under 49 U.S.C. § 46301. Frontier will be credited $90,000 for its past and future work to improve air service to passengers with disabilities above and beyond the requirements of Part 382.

By: Rosalind Knapp


United Air Lines, Inc.

Order 03-11-13
OST-03-14194 - Compliance with 49 USC 40127, 41310, 41702 and 41712

Issued and Served November 19, 2003

Consent Order | Word

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings began to receive complaints against United (and other carriers) from individuals removed from flights or denied boarding on flights allegedly because those persons were, or were perceived to be, of Arab, Middle Eastern or Southeast Asian descent and/or Muslim. Because of concerns about these complaints, the Enforcement Office requested information from United regarding incidents occurring between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2001, involving the removal or denied boarding of a passenger for safety/security reasons.

By: Rosalind Knapp


United Air Lines, Inc.

Order 03-12-6
OST-03-14194 - Consent Orders

Issued and Served December 5, 2003

Consent Order

The Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings investigated United's compliance with the relevant provisions of Part 382 by requesting that the carrier provide copies of all complaints it received from passengers directly since April 5, 2000, which alleged a failure to provide adequate wheelchair assistance. The Enforcement Office reviewed other similar complaints against United sent directly to the Department. The records indicated a significant number of apparent violations of section 382.39 during the pertinent time period (April 5, 2000, through September 2002). Virtually all of the complaints involved incidents occurring after April 5, 2000, the effective date of the increase in civil penalties for ACAA violations enacted by AIR 21.

The order, in addition, directs the carrier to cease and desist from similar violations in the future and assesses a civil penalty of $1.1 million in compromise of the penalties otherwise assessable under 49 U.S.C. § 46301, subject to credit offsets of up to $1 million and to the payment schedule set forth below.

By: Rosalind Knapp


Ryan International Airlines, Inc.

Order 03-12-15 - Violations of 49 USC 41712 and 14 CFR Part 212
OST-03-14194

Issued and Served December 15, 2003

Consent Order

Ascend, the owner of 13 Boeing 727-200 aircraft, has no economic authority itself to hold out or to provide, directly or indirectly, air transportation using these or any other aircraft. Ascend, in turn, has separately contracted directly with professional sports teams and other entities that are the ultimate customers seeking air service, promising to provide them air transportation. As a result, there is no pnvity of contract between the sports teams or other entities and Ryan. Accordingly, Ryan has allowed Ascend to be the principal in the transaction to which the ultimate customers look for performance of their contracts for air transportation. Thus, Ryan, which was or should have been aware of Ascend's conduct and the fact that it is not a certificated air carrier, facilitated Ascend's engaging in significant indirect air carrier service without any economic authority from the Department. Ryan's conduct constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice and an unfair method of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712.

In its arrangement with Ascend, Ryan engaged in unauthorized charter operations in violation of 14 CFR 212.4, which specifies the charter types air carriers are authorized to conduct. Because no privity of contract exists between Ryan and the ultimate customer, Ryan is not engaged in single entity charters with respect to the operations in question and no other authorized charter type is remotely similar to the contractual arrangement between Ryan and Ascend. Therefore, Ryan engaged in a non‑authorized charter type, in violation of 14 CFR 212.4. In addition, even assuming that Ryan and Ascend had maintained a proper "charter to charterer" relationship, Ryan was not properly escrowing the monies received from Ascend, in violation of 14 CFR 212.8. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 46301, violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41712 and 14 CFR 212.4 and 212.8 subject Ryan to the assessment of civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation and $2,500 for each day such violation continues.

Ryan, in order to avoid litigation and without admitting the alleged violations, agrees to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41712 and 14 CFR 212.4 and 212.8 and to an assessment of $60,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties.

By: Rosalind Knapp


National Leisure Group, Inc.

Order 03-12-18
OST-03-14194 - Violations of 49 USC 41712 and 14 CFR 399.84

Issued and Served December 18, 2003

Consent Order | Word

NLG failed to properly disclose the full fare, including its service fee, where applicable, for air tour packages advertised on its website and on third party websites. NLG advertised via a search feature that displayed air tour package prices, but failed to include in the prices an additional service fee that was added to all packages, or to comply with the conditions set forth in Order 2001-12-7. NLG customers were not informed until several steps into the booking process that a service fee would be added to the total air tour package price. As published on the Internet, NLG's advertisements violated section 399.84 of the Department's regulations and 49 U.S.C. § 41712.

NLG, in order to avoid litigation and without admitting or denying the alleged violations, consents to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41712 and of 14 CFR 399.84, and to the assessment of $30,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties, of which one‑half will be paid according to the payment provisions described below.

By: Rosalind Knapp


SportsJet, L.L.C.

Order 03-12-23
OST-03-14194 - Violations of 49 U.S.C. §§ 41101 and 41712

Issued and Served December 29, 2003

Consent Order | Word

It is the Enforcement Office's position that, even assuming that the carrier did not actively solicit business, its objective conduct involved the provision of air transportation to a significant number of diverse entities and, by doing so, it engaged in a course of conduct evincing a willingness to serve members of the general public indiscriminately. 10 In effect, SportsJet gained a reputation for a willingness to provide transportation by air to at least a class or segment of the public while operating without an effective certificate issued under 49 U.S.C. § 41101." In fact, so well‑established was SportsJet's reputation that the carrier was frequently approached by air charter brokers who specialize in arranging air transportation services for members of the public. The Enforcement Office, therefore, believes that SportsJet has engaged in common carriage without appropriate economic authority. Holding out air transportation without requisite authority is also an unfair and deceptive practice and unfair method of competition prohibited by 49 U.S.C.

In 1999, SportsJet began service with a Boeing 737‑400, primarily to provide carriage to certain professional athletic teams also owned by the ultimate owners of SportsJet. Over time, however, the carrier began providing air transportation to various entities unrelated to it or its ultimate owners, including a significant number of collegiate and professional sports teams, public figures, and non‑sports related businesses. In a number of these instances, SportsJet's service, which ranged from single flights to operations over an entire professional sports season, was performed pursuant to contracts with air charter brokers, who were holding out air transportation services to the public.8 In 2001, as its business expanded, SportsJet added a Boeing 757‑200 to its fleet.

SportsJet, in order to avoid litigation and without admitting or denying the alleged violations, agrees to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41101 and 41712 by engaging in common carriage directly or indirectly, and to the assessment of $250,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties. Of this total penalty amount, $125,000 shall be paid under the terms described below.


Spirit Airlines, Inc.

Order 03-12-26
OST-03-14194 - Violations of 49 USC 41712 and 14 CFR 399.84

Issued and Served December 30, 2003

Consent Order | Word

Spirit failed to properly disclose the full fare, including taxes and fees, where applicable, for airfares advertised on its website.  Spirit maintained a search feature that failed to include all taxes and fees in the airfares displayed to consumers or to clearly indicate the existence and amount of the taxes and fees that may properly be separately stated (such as segment fees, Passenger Facility Charges, the September 11th Security Fee and, for international destinations, additional government-imposed taxes and fees).  There was no asterisk or other distinguishing symbol next to the fares directing the consumer’s attention to the terms and conditions section or highlighting the existence of additional fees.  Consumers were not adequately informed of the existence of additional fees and therefore could not calculate the full price of the advertised airfares unless, after progressing through two steps of the booking process, the consumer clicked on the hyperlinked statement entitled “I agree to the terms.”

Spirit, in order to avoid litigation and without admitting or denying the alleged violations, consents to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41712 and of 14 CFR 399.84, and to the assessment of $20,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties, of which one-half will be paid according to the payment provisions described below.

By: Rosalind Knapp


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