DOT Cautions Airlines on Fare Ads

WASHINGTON -- The Transportation Department put U.S. airlines on notice that its rules for fare advertisements apply to press releases as well as ads.

The policy came after the DOT detected a Delta Air Lines press release that appeared on the carrier's Web site earlier this year, promoting a "Companions Fly Free" fare without mentioning a fuel surcharge.

In a related move, the DOT imposed a $12,000 fine on Delta for ads that promoted Washington-Orlando fares without identifying a $3 passenger facility charge. Full payment is due immediately.

In other DOT news:

* The Transportation Department approved plans by Northwest Airlines to launch three weekly flights between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Hong Kong starting Oct. 1. At the same time, the DOT withdrew the designation of Detroit as a gateway for Hong Kong services. Northwest had held dormant rights out of Detroit.

* The DOT cleared Air Aruba and Surinam Airways to share codes in the Miami-Aruba-Paramaribo market. Air Aruba will carry Surinam's code on the Miami-Aruba segment, and Surinam will carry Air Aruba's code on its Aruba-Paramaribo flights.

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