Orbitz fined $60,000 over display of airfares

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Transportation Department fined online travel agent Orbitz Worldwide $60,000 for breaking rules about how airfares are displayed to customers.

The Transportation Department said that earlier this year, Orbitz carried ads for fares that did not include taxes and fees. Customers saw the taxes and fees if they clicked on the ad and read the fine print at the bottom of the next page, the government said.

Federal officials also said Orbitz showed cheap fares found by other Orbitz users that no longer were available by the time Orbitz customers clicked through to view them. Orbitz was to update the fares every 24 hours but did not, the government said.

DOT rules govern how airfares are displayed, including when it’s acceptable to leave out taxes and fees and when they must be included.

A consent order filed by the government on Monday said Orbitz did not admit or deny the allegations but consented to the fine. The order and fine don’t require court approval.

Shares of Orbitz Worldwide Inc. dropped 11 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $1.94 in afternoon trading.