USA

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USA: DOT collected USD 3.6 M in fines for air passenger rule violations in 2012

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) said it levied USD 3.6 million in penalties for 2012 violations of the department’s consumer-protection rules for air passengers. The total is up from USD 3.3 million in 2011. During 2012, the Department issued 49 consent orders for consumer rule violations, the most recent two against Copa Airlines and Virgin America for not strictly adhering to the DOT’s rules for lengthy tarmac delays.

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USA: airlines to challenge DOT advertising rule before U. S. Supreme Court

Three airlines have challenged the Transportation Department’s new price-advertising rule nefore the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming that the DOT is violating the First Amendment by prohibiting airlines from advertising base prices net of taxes and fees. The airlines also claim that the DOT has been violating the Airline Deregulation Act by imposing unique requirements such as “the size of typeface and the length of mandatory refunds — in an industry that Congress expressly chose to deregulate.”

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California: Attorney General files Law Suit against Delta Airlines over mobile app

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has filed a complaint against Delta, alleging that Delta has failed to conspicuously post a privacy policy on its mobile application, in violation of California’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”).

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USA: Federal Trade Commission requires hotels to disclose all mandatory surcharges

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned 22 hotel operators that their online reservation sites may violate the law by providing a deceptively low estimate of what consumers can expect to pay for their hotel rooms. According to the FTC letters, one common complaint consumers raised involved mandatory fees hotels charge for amenities such as newspapers, use of onsite exercise or pool facilities, or internet access, sometimes referred to as ‘resort fees'.

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USA: DOT fines Travelzoo for violation of Code-Share Disclosure Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has assessed a USD 50,000 penalty against the online ticket agent Travelzoo for failing to properly disclose to consumers when flights were being operated under a code-sharing arrangement, and ordered the company to cease and desist from future violations.

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U.S.-DOT: new rules for charter operators

The Transportation Department has issued a guidance letter to tour operators and others in the public charter industry, imposing new requirements in the wake of the March collapse of Direct Air. According to the DOT, the company:

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Travel Agent Arbiter in US Digitizes all substantive decisions

The US Travel Agent Arbiter has completed his project to Digitize all substantive decisions with key words such as “reasonable care” or “fiduciary duties”.  They are available from the TAAP Hqs  at 9401 Battle St, Manassas, Va USA   20110  or by phone  703-530-9002.

Reported to IFTTA by Al Anolik

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Florida: Costa Concordia lawsuit dismissed

A lawsuit against Carnival Corp. stemming from the Costa Concordia accident was dismissed Sept. 28 in Florida. The judge stated it should be refiled in Italy. About 1,000 businesses on the island of Giglio, where the Costa ship capsized, moved to sue Carnival in Miami, where it is headquartered, instead of Italy, where Costa is based.

Source: Travel Pulse; find article here>>.

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USA: cruise ship forum-selection clause upheld

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of an action brought by the estate of a passenger against the operator of a cruise ship on which the passenger died after contracting a bacterial infection. The dismissal was made on the basis of the forum-selection clause in the passage contract, which provided that all personal injury claims were to be litigated in the courts of England and Wales and be governed by English law.

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California: new law allows travel agents to sell travel insurance

The new law (AB 2354), which takes effect Jan. 1, 2013, permits travel agents to offer and disseminate travel insurance under the license of the “limited lines” insurance producer they work with, as long as certain consumer protections are followed. Before the law takes effect, the insurance commissioner will establish new procedures for insurance providers to follow.

Source: Travel Pulse; find article here>>.

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