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Advertisements of Percentage Discounts on the Internet and Disclosure of Insurance Surcharges and Security Fees

  Served June 5, 2002 Notice 

Microsoft Word File

Advertisements of Percentage Discounts on the Internet and Disclosure of Insurance Surcharges and Security Fees

The Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings has become aware of a number of advertising practices on Internet travel sites which may constitute unfair or deceptive trade practices in violation of 49 U.S.C. 41712 and related Department rules. The purpose of this notice is to clarify the applicability of section 41712 and our advertising rule, 14 CFR 399.84, to the use of banner ads announcing percentage-off discounts and sale fares. This notice also addresses the disclosure of insurance surcharges and security fees in print and Internet fare advertisements.

In a letter addressed to airlines and travel industry associations dated December 20, 1994, then-Secretary Pef a gave notice of the Department's position on a number of consumer issues, including those involving certain airfare advertising practices. The Secretary clarified that discount sales which offered a percentage off must indicate the benchmark fare to which the discount applied and that that benchmark fare must be an actual fare available for purchase at the time of the sale or just prior to the discount sale.

By:  Samuel Podberesky

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