Delta Fined $100,000 for Deceptive Luggage Practices

The government plans to slap Delta Air Lines with a $100,000 fine for misleading passengers into thinking the company's lost luggage responsibilities were much less than what is actually required by law.

Last October, an advisory noticed was sent out by the Department of Transportation's Enforcement Office warning air carriers to correct unlawful reimbursement policies within 90 days. Airlines have a maximum of $3,300 liability per person for lost, damaged or delayed baggage -- but Delta continued to distribute pamphlets stating the airline would not authorize reimbursement if the baggage was expected to reach the traveler within 24 hours. The pamphlets also maintained the airline's liability was limited to $25 per day.

"The Enforcement Office believes that passengers who read the pamphlet may have been dissuaded from seeking reimbursement to which they were entitled. Moreover, in a number of instances in which passengers whose bags were delayed sought reimbursement, Delta applied the exclusions and limitations set forth in the pamphlet," reads a statement from the DOT.

According to a report by WSB News, Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant told the Atlanta Journal Constitution "some airport collateral that had old information on it" was distributed even though it was supposed to be destroyed. Durrant insisted the brochures are now gone and the airline has contacted somewhere around 35 customers to correct the mistake and give them proper compensation.

Delta has 30 days to pay half of the fine. The airline will only need to pay the rest of the penalty if the rules are broken again in the next year.

Photo by randomduck on flickr.

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