The Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it has fined American Airlines $60,000 for violating advertising rules.
According to the government agency, the airline's customer service agents told customers that surcharges on their tickets were government taxes when they were actually fees added by the airline.
"We expect airlines to be truthful to their customers when they provide information about their fares," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement.
The investigation by the DOT found that on several occasions in 2012 and 2013, American telephone reservation agents mistakenly told customers that government taxes and carrier fees were all "taxes." The airline's website also claimed these were taxes and not airline fees or fuel surcharges charged by American.
The DOT said American has since corrected its website and provided more training to its reservations agents.
UPDATE: American issued this statement about the fine.
"While the total price for transportation was never incorrectly communicated, there were instances where some of the price components of the total price were inadvertently mischaracterized, inconsistent with AA policy and training. In this situation, both taxes and carrier-imposed fees were characterized simply as “taxes.”
"Our employees have received additional training to help ensure that price components are accurately and effectively communicated to our customers consistent with AA policy."