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Published on : Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Four U.S. airlines, including American and Southwest, were fined tens of thousands of dollars each by the Department of Transportation for providing “inaccurate” information to passengers involuntarily bumped from oversold flights.
The fine has been levied by the Department of Transportation. American was fined $45,000. Alaska and Southwest each were fined $40,000 and United was fined $35,000.
DOT secretary Anthony Foxx said in a prepared statement that, they are committed to ensuring that air travelers know the rules and have accurate information about compensation.
Airlines regularly oversell flights to account for passengers who change their itineraries at the last minute or don’t show up for the flight. When a flight is oversold, airlines first ask for volunteers to take a later flight and if there aren’t enough, airlines will involuntarily bump some passengers.
In a statement, Southwest said it’s committed to following DOT rules and acknowledged that some of its signage and forms were outdated. However, the company said the outdated material did not prevent passengers from receiving the full compensation they were entitled to.
Southwest said that, they don’t believe the outdated notices that they provided had any impact on the actual amount of money any customer received for involuntary denied boarding compensation or a mishandled baggage incident, because their automated systems would have calculated the proper amount.