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Southwest Airlines Fined $200,000 for False Advertising About Fares

The U.S. Department of Transportation fined Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV ) $200,000 by on Tuesday for advertising low airfares on flights that in one case the airline didn't make enough low-fare seats available, and in other cases didn't make any cheap seats available at all. The DOT found the airline had advertised one-way nonstop fares "for $100 or less" for travel this past Feb.14 but hadn't made a reasonable number of those seats available. ( More...

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honza nl 22
does this mean politicians are now also banned from advertising ? after all, they also promise things they never deliver....
sparkie624 7
They should be banned from advertising... We would probably get a lot better quality people in office. Now days, the media elects politicians.
btweston 1
So... We should have no idea who we're voting for? What?
sparkie624 4
No... That is not correct. We should still have debates and politicians traveling to different areas, but all the Paid Advertising in the Media needs to go... They are being slanted and out of proportion. What a politician says they should be held to legally and morally.
JetMech24 1
As if we do now?
Ric Wernicke 1
The Courts have recognized a difference between commercial and political speech. Commercial speech, where a product or service is held out for sale, is well regulated and must be truthful. Exception is made for parody or hyperbole. An example was the promotion Pepsi ran allowing redemption of Pepsi points for merchandise. They showed a Harrier Jump Jet for seven million Pepsi points. When presented with the requisite points, Pepsi used parody as a defense for non-fulfillment.,_Inc.

Political speech has a long history of not being truthful. Everyone over the age of five knows a politician is lying if their lips are moving. Political advertising is expected Lie.
Chris Donawho 9
I've never gotten the "advertised" fare on any airline.... ever.
josh homer 2
I've always gotten the advertised fare in my AA super saver emails. Not once with Southwest. Southwest is usually the most expensive, even with free bags. This is out of DFW though so I'm sure that's a factor.
AccessAir 12
Well, I am quite sure that there are other airlines that do the very same thing with their adverts.
MichaelEberle 6
The way I see it, all marketing has some form of deception involved. On the other hand, passengers knew what the price would be before they booked it. If they didn't like the fare then they should not have booked it. You should always read the 'fine print' and look for strings attached.
Chris Benson 5
I actually took the time to write Southwest a nasty email because I get emails from them about three times a week saying they had one way fares for $49 for destinations under 300 miles and I could not locate a single flight to Las Vegas from either Reno or Sacramento under $275.
jet4ang 2
Both those flights are actually over 300 miles. I live in Reno and can get round trippers for $120 if I book two weeks+ in advance.
Chris Benson 1
I think I'm misrembering the ads - it must have been 400 because both Vegas and LA should have been within the range. I checked the flight distances before I even bothered looking.
JetMech24 1
LOL! That's not every flight less than 300 miles, they are specific destinations that usually not very many people fly to. You will, more than likely, never see a discount for flights into or out of Vegas, as well as other very popular destinations on any airline.
Chris Benson 2
Yeah, afraid you're right. It's just that my brother lives in Kingman, AZ 100 miles from LV and I wanted to go to the Amazing Randy's Amazing Meeting of the Skeptics Society folks, Penn Jillette's Rock n. Roll Bacon and Donut party at his house in the Las Vegas desert, snd I would have gone (and my friend would have gone with me) if we could have flown under $800 apiece.

It's been a long time, like 13 years ago, but I still remember going to LA, flying into Ontario or even John Wayne when it was Orange County and it was so cheap that if you had a good reason to go, the flying wasn't even a second thought.

Likewise Vegas out of Reno, it was like the $19/nite loss-leader rooms for the gamblers.
Ric Wernicke 4
When using Kayak I often get a banner ad from Virgin. Lowest fares to (what ever city was searched) just $169. I click, and the lowest fare is over $ 400.

I also see a lot of fares that do not include taxes. Fly to Mexico and the tax is hundreds of dollars.
George Rafael 3
From a consumer perspective, the government is complicit in misleading the public in the total cost of a flight. Once all the transport tax, security fees, local tax, airport improvement fees and tax on the tax have been added on, we in Canada often pay an additional $300 - $350 on top of the base quoted fare. Of course I am not adding luggage fee and seat reservation fee. It's sort of like buying a car one wheel at a time.
mfbutzin 2
I have gotten the lowest fare as advertised online from the old Continental Airlines and it was absolutely the last seat on the aircraft, against the rear bulkhead.
michael pierce 2
That is because all that taught in our universities any more to our marketing students is the art of falsehoods and deception/bait and switch. Follow any political campaign. Or watch any TV news show. Honesty and integrity have gone out the window. It's open season on whatever you can get away with. Sad state of affairs. End justifies the mean.
I get emails practically everyday from "" I have yet had a reason to utilize them though.
CaptainFreedom 1
Do bags still fly free?
Ric Wernicke 4
Only if they are related to you, like your mother-in-law.

The first two suitcases fly free on Southwest, something you need to consider when comparing to AA, Delta, or United.
josh homer 1
Just had gall stone removed Tuesday night. Laughed way too hard. Thanks for the pain.
ken young 1
Dale Minter 1
Sorta like car dealer ads -- false
They get what they deserve. Only a few years back, they were the best game in town. Now you stand in those stupid lines for the same price as any other airline. Oh, and no more directs to anywhere worth going to.
I live in the Detroilet area and the idiots that voted for that crooked mayor a second time (now in Federal prison) leaves me wondering if they make full head condoms for them to use on their daily cranial rectal inversion.
Kudos to AA which dropped a certain agency in order to provide both assurance in customer satisfaction as well as preserving company profits!
I wished they were and those stupid robo calls just before an election are especially annoying. The problem these days now is most Politicians think that the general public (their constituents) at large are stupid and will fall for everything they say. I think they are right sometimes.
sparkie624 1
LOL... Busted again.
Chris Donawho 4
$200k won't put much of dent in their quarterly statement.
But the dents from airplane damage will!!!
sparkie624 1
LOL, that Nose gear repair in LGA is going to be more than that just in lost revenue... Not to mention the repair cost.
ken young 1
That aircraft is well insured.
sparkie624 1
I think that they are self insured. Most airlines are self insured
PhotoFinish 1
Most would buy reinsurance, for the rare case the cost may be overwhelming, like a hull loss of a new plane, with lots of liability claims.

Not sure if the cost of the nose repair would qualify.
sparkie624 1
It will be an insurance coverage.. They are required to put so much into their insurance plan and not touch it for just this kind of occassion... This one with the sheet metal and structural damage will probably qualify, If they use it, it will be up to them.


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