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USA: DOT releases guidance for Internet flight-search tools

According to an article published in "Travel Pulse", the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a guidance document for travel agencies that operate Internet flight-search tools on how these agencies should disclose the carriers they do not market in their search results. In particular, DOT will consider it an unfair practice to simply report that “no flight exists that matches” the consumer’s criteria, when in reality the flight does exist, but the agency does not offer it. DOT has provided a 90-day window, starting Aug.

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USA: equal rights for same-sex spouses in visa applications

The U.S. State Department has announced that it will treat visa applications of same-sex spouses in the same way that it treats applications of heterosexual spouses, effective immediately. Under the new rules, any marriage that has been performed in a jurisdiction that recognizes it as legal, will be treated as valid under U.S. immigration laws, and every married couple will be treated the same.

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USA: DOT fines Delta for violating Denied Boarding Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) assessed a civil penalty against Delta Air Lines for violating federal rules protecting passengers who are denied boarding against their will, or “bumped,” on oversold flights.  DOT fined Delta USD 750,000 and ordered the airline to cease and desist from further violations.

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USA: DOT fines ticket agent for violating code-share disclosure rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined the ticket agent JTB USA, Inc., USD 60,000 for failing to adequately disclose to consumers when flights were being operated by a different airline than the one marketing their flight through a code-sharing agreement. DOT also ordered the company to cease and desist from further violations.

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USA: Cruise industry adopts passenger bill of rights

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world's largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA represents the interests of cruise lines, travel agents, port authorities and destinations, and various industry business partners before regulatory and legislative policy makers. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise holiday vacations with thousands of travel agency and travel agent members.

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California: Delta wins in mobile app case

In December 2012, the California Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Delta Airlines alleging that Delta violated California’s Online Privacy Protection Act by failing to post a privacy policy within its Fly Delta mobile app. On May 9, 2013 the California Superior Court dismissed the claim, holding that the state action is pre-empted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act, which prohibits states from applying regulations on airlines related to price, routes, or services.

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USA: Metropolitan Museum of Art sued over admissions fee policy

A class action has been filed against the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) alledging the MMA would deceive and defraud the public into paying a fee to enter the MMA, even though dmission was legally required to be free of charge most days of the week. A similar complaint had already been filed last November. ´The MMA states that it had never imposed an admissions fee, its admissions policy was agreed to by the City of New York and it was clearly posted and explained.

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USA: DOT fines Alitalia for deceptive practices

Following a complaint from two Alitalia passengers whose flights were canceled, the Department’s Aviation Enforcement Office investigated the carrier’s refusal to pay cash compensation to the passengers. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) now fined  Alitalia USD 125,000 for providing inaccurate information on its website regarding its policy on compensation to passengers on delayed and cancelled flights. 

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Boeing Dreamliners grounded by several aviation authorities around the world

As a result of an in-flight, Boeing 787 battery incident in Japan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners over safety concerns. Other regulators around the world have followed: