At least two travel agencies may have preferred to keep the U.S. government closed. Back in business after its October hiatus due to the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Frosch International Travel for violating its rules on disclosure of code-share flights.
The DOT issued a $125,000 fine against Carlson Wagonlit and a $65,000 fine against Frosch for failing to inform passengers about code-share arrangements on certain flights. Both companies were ordered to cease and desist from further violations. The DOT said the amount of the fines was based on the specific circumstances of the individual cases. It’s all part of the DOT’s ongoing effort to ensure that ticketing agents comply with the code-share disclosure rules.
In both the Carlson Wagonlit and Frosch cases, the DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office made telephone calls to a number of agents during January and February 2013 and inquired about booking certain flights. During these calls, the reservations agents for both companies failed to disclose that the flights were being operated under code-share arrangements with other carriers.
The agents identified only the name of the airline marketing the flight and not the name of airline operating the flight. This violated DOT rules requiring airlines and ticket agents to inform consumers if a flight is operated under a code-share arrangement, as well as disclose the corporate name of the transporting airline and any other name under which the flight is offered to the public. The DOT said it has now issued six fines totaling $430,000 for code-sharing violations this year.