Qantas Fined $100,000 For Breaking Fee Disclosure Rules
Qantas has been fined $100,000 by the US Department of Transportation for inadequately disclosing checked baggage fees on its website.
Interestingly, while the DOT has been handing out fines left and right for the strict fee disclosure rules that took effect this year, this violation actually occurred during the more lenient days of 2011. But a rule is a rule, and Qantas admits they broke it.
According to the DOT complaint:
“For a period of time in the Fall of 2011, Qantas displayed on numerous websites fare advertisements that omitted taxes and fees but did not, as required for such ads, link to a web page that provided an immediate visible display of those taxes and fees. Rather, after clicking on the advertised fare, the consumer was taken to a landing page where the consumer had to scroll to the bottom of the page to view the nature and amounts of the additional taxes and fees.”
For its part, Qantas told the DOT the problem was fixed as soon as they became aware of it, and thinks that very few customers would have been confused by it.
As is often the case in these situations, the DOT reached a $40,000 compromise Qantas, of which Qantas only has to pay half as long as they keep their nose clean for a year.