The ruling shows the liberties the DOT takes in defining a “ticket agent” and makes all companies involved in flight bookings responsible for the proper display of operator details.
Code-sharing arrangements allow airlines to sell tickets on flights that are operated by another airline. Advertisements or the first screen following a flight search must include the name of the transport carrier and any other names of operators that could operate the flight.
Travelzoo did not consider its website Fly.com a ticket agent prior to the DOT ruling as it does not actually sell tickets, but runs advertisements from airlines and offers where final purchases are processed. Fly.com is dependent on data partners for all flights information, but has assured the DOT it will continue to work with partners to properly display all code-share information.
The final fine is $25,000 with an agreement that includes an additional $25,000 if the regulation is violated again in the next 12 months.