News Digest DOT 111-15
DOT Issues Order Against American Airlines for Violating 24-Hour Rule. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a cease and desist order against American Airlines for violating the Department’s regulation that requires airlines to hold a reservation at the quoted fare for 24 hours without payment or allow a reservation to be cancelled within 24 hours without penalty. In response to numerous consumer complaints about cancelled airfare for travel to China, the Department’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Aviation Enforcement Office) investigated the cancellation of hundreds of reservations by American Airlines for purchases made during a 5-hour period in March 2015, related to a mistaken fare sale situation. The investigation determined that American Airlines improperly cancelled reservations that were subject to the 24-hour guaranteed hold rule. The Aviation Enforcement Office required American Airlines to provide alternate transportation options to the passengers whose reservations were cancelled by offering them either a zero dollar economy class ticket (plus applicable taxes and fees), or a reduced price business class ticket, for air transportation to China between the same city pairs as the cancelled tickets. Affected passengers have one year to complete the travel. The consent order is available at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2015-0002. Contact: Caitlin Harvey: (202) 366-4570.