How the Department of Transportation Regulates Twitter..

.. or at least airline tweets.

Via Frequently Flying, the DOT’s enforcement unit is monitoring airline twitter activity for regulatory compliance.

Sounds to me like an excuse for DOT staffers to spend all day at their desks on Twitter, but here’s what they’re after:

if an airfare is mentioned and if any taxes and fees are not included, there must be a hyperlink “adjacent to the stated fare” that “takes the viewer directly to a place on a separate screen where the nature and amount of taxes and fees are prominently and immediately displayed. Likewise, if a roundtrip purchase condition applies to an advertised each-way fare, this must also be disclosed in the tweet.”

However, HTML layout on this separate disclosure link matters —

links taking the user to “a page or a place on a screen that requires scrolling or further clicking on links to be able to view the explanation of taxes and fees do not comply.”

This new guidance is only in effect until January 24, when.. it will be superceded by new regulations.

Fortunately @garyleff is not yet subject to DOT rules. I promise, however, not to dupe my twitter followers (“consumers”) by trying to make you think that airfares are cheaper than they are, even though it’s the government in the first place that’s making them more expensive.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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