PhotoThe Italian air carrier Alitalia is in hot water with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

The agency has it the airline with a $125,000 fine for providing inaccurate information on its website regarding its policy on compensation to passengers on delayed and canceled flights.

Inconsistent statements

While Alitalia’s website displayed a copy of the carrier’s General Conditions of Carriage (GCC) as required by DOT rules, and specifically adopted rules required by the European Union (EU) regarding compensation for delayed and canceled flights, the carrier claimed a right to refuse such compensation, citing provisions in its tariff that exempted travel from the U.S. from the terms of the GCC.

The consent order finds that the inconsistent statements of policy contained in the tariff and the GCC were an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of U.S. law. It directs the carrier to revise its tariff and GCC to reflect the carrier’s actual policy regarding compensation in cases of delayed or canceled flights to or from the United States and orders the carrier to cease and desist from further violations of the law prohibiting airlines from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices.

The Aviation Enforcement Office investigated after two Alitalia passengers whose flights were canceled complained about the carrier’s refusal to pay cash compensation.

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