The frustration has to be mounting for the DOT, who made it clear last week that it wants airlines to start being more upfront about the true price of a flight. Bait-and-switch advertising, obviously, is exactly the opposite approach. One positive is that, unlike last week, when airlines threatened to charge an additional fee if lawmakers forced them to be upfront about their additional fees, Southwest kinda sorta admitted it was wrong, saying it was a mistake and blaming the mix up on a "flawed review of the ad copy."
The DOT has fined Southwest $200,000 as well as an additional $100,000 for a similar offense last year. The fine is a drop in the bucket for a large corporation, for sure, but at least the DOT is on top of its game and catching things like this. From the looks of the past few weeks, it's refreshing to see that the DOT has our backs as consumers.