Royal Air Maroc and a couple of other airlines were fined by the US Department of Transportation on Wednesday for violating the department’s expanded airline passenger protection rules. Royal Air Maroc was cited for violation of the rule on baggage fee disclosure. Egypt Air was found to have breached a rule requiring the inclusion of assurances in its customer service plan allowing consumers to cancel a reservation without penalty for 24 hours after they book a flight.
Royal Jordanian Airlines violated the rules on full-fare advertising and disclosure of fees for baggage and was assessed a penalty of $70,000, the DOT said.
The new rules took effect in January this year.
Royal Air MAroc was assessed a civil penalty of $60,000 each, the DOT said and was also ordered to cease and desist from further violations.
The DOT discovered the violations during its ongoing review of carrier websites to ensure compliance with its consumer protection rules.
“Airline passengers deserve to be treated fairly when they fly, and that means knowing the full price of their trip, including charges for checking baggage, as well as being given the opportunity to cancel a reservation without penalty for 24 hours after booking,” said US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The DOT requires all ads that include airfares to state the entire price to be paid by the consumer. Prior to a provision of the rule that took effect Jan. 26, advertised fares were not required to include certain government-imposed taxes as long as these additional charges were clearly disclosed in the ad.
Under the new rule, all government taxes and fees must be incorporated in the fare. The rule applies to both US and foreign airlines as well as ticket agents.