The Department of Transportation fined Southwest Airlines $200,000 on Tuesday for violating full-fare advertising rules.
The government agency said the Dallas-based carrier advertised one-way, nonstop fares for $100 or less on Valentine's Day this year but did not include a reasonable number of seats on the routes marketed in the fare sale.
"Consumers should be able to trust that the price they see advertised is the price they’ll pay for a seat,"U.S. said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Southwest also advertised $66 fares between Dallas Love FIeld and Branson, Mo. on January 30 but there were no seats available during the sale period of March 1 to March 21, the DOT said.
Airline spokesman Brad Hawkins said the fare sale problems were unintentional.
"These were temporary and unintentional circumstances that were aggravated by a technical glitch in our inventory and sales systems," Hawkins said. "We’ve worked with the DOT to address their concerns and have corrected the issues internally to prevent this from happening again."