DOT: Department of Transportation
It was the year of 2012 when U.S. Department of Transportation which is also famously known as DOT came up with the wonderful and exceptionally well crafter idea which could somewhat be very beneficial in upgrading the air traveling experience for the customers "Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections II" consumer rule which, somewhat, drastically changed the manner in which air carriers, air travel agencies and tour operators can and should advertise and sell air transportation to the consumers or customers for the good. Under the DOT rules and principals, it is required that the companies or the vendors which are advertising, and selling air travel must and ought to comply and synchronize themselves in a very ethically honest manner with the consumer rule which, in a way has become mandatory or otherwise, face complete cease orders and punishing fines depending upon the severity of the particular situation which can even go in millions, which is a very strong and significant factor and keeps the defaulter in check.
DOT can be called the federal agency which is directly and strictly responsible for protecting the air traveling public and keeping the country's transportation system safe, secure and free from any kind or type of corruption which could harm, in any way, the lives of people who are using the air travel system putting their trust into it. In a way, we can say or argue that the DOT is on its mission which is to ensure that transportation employees in safety-sensitive positions -- such as the people who are operators of planes, trains and buses -- are not using any kind of offensive intake materials such as drugs or alcohol during their job and putting the lives of the people traveling and using these travel networking systems endangering their lives as well as their own.
Employees such as Airline pilots, cruise captains, truck drivers, bus drivers, train conductors and subway operators are all responsible for the safety of large number of people inside their respective vehicles and in the surrounding areas and hence are termed and are known as safety-sensitive employees which held true for their respective jobs.
"Advertisement" can be explained as it applies, according to the rule summary paragraphs that follow to encompass any form of solicitation for air travel, which is irrespective of the medium of communication intended to reach a mass audience or a single individual person. The mentioned explanation is applicable for all means of communications, whether they be written, visual or phonetic in their respective nature such as prints, radio and television, but also to travel brochures, press releases, website banner ads, Google ads and social media in general terms.
All the airfares which are advertised and which are mentioned must state the entire price to be paid by consumers in an honest manner which includes all kinds of applicable taxes, all the fees and charges and other mandatory charges applicable and which are collected by sellers of air transportation and are strictly prohibited to do otherwise and operate behind schemes of, any kind of hidden charges or fees applicable.
The DOT rule on code-share is applicable when one air travel company is listed as the primary airline accordingly on a schedule or itinerary but another airline is actually operating the particular flight. As per the code-share rule, airlines and travel agencies must inform the consumers, through any communication with the public which can be oral, written or electronic which includes graphical and visual, of the code-share service before booking the said transportation.
Travel agents are strictly prohibited from using the term “one-way” when advertising for airfares if round trip travel is required from the consumers end. Furthermore, the agents can only use the term, “each-way” – when round trip travel is required.
DOT, which acts as the currently responsible and viable authority for providing absolutely corruption free and safe air travel, and for the same it vigorously investigates and time being punishes the offenders according to the rules applicable in a very strict manner by charging huge monetary fines.
What gives us the proof of the seriousness of the working style of this federal unit or system is that fines as much as one million dollars or more have been incurred towards the offenders, while small travel agencies or tour operator violators have usually been required to pay fines which has gone into five figures in numbers, which also is not a small thing. What is interesting is that to enforce the consumer rule, DOT investigators, at times, posing as undercover consumers, buying tickets for air transportation and then noticing and observing and monitoring the communications for possible violations of full fare advertising or any kind of corruption, baggage fee disclosure, code share and other requirements which makes it a very safe authority and we can say that it the whole transportation is in safe hands, all because of DOT.