US Might Let Airlines Leave out Taxes Fees When They Promote Prices in Their Ads

For nearly 22 years, the federal Department of Transportation has held that airlines advertising fares must list the total cost of the ticket.


On its website, Ryanair advertises flights "from 38 cents" to an airport near Stockholm from London. In smaller print, Ryanair says its prices are exclusive of taxes, fees, and charges that would not exceed $26.

Ace suit dismissed

An antiscalping lawsuit against ticket reseller Ace Ticket Worldwide was dismissed last week in bizarre fashion.

Just before a judge was scheduled to hear arguments, the parties agreed to dismiss the case. Douglas Brooks, the lawyer who was suing Ace, said he decided to drop the litigation after concluding the ticket reseller was correct in asserting that the state's antiscalping law doesn't cover events in Boston.

Brooks also said his plaintiff, David Kurzman of Sharon, wanted off the case because he had received threatening telephone calls. Brooks said he had another plaintiff lined up but ultimately decided the case wasn't worth pursuing.

"We concluded, at least for Boston events, that the case lacked merit," Brooks said. "The statutes are sort of a mess."

Kurzman sued Ace in November for charging him $375 for a Red Sox ticket with a face value of $40. The state's antiscalping law limits any markup on the resale of tickets to $2, plus certain service charges.

Ace subsequently argued that the antiscalping statute applies only to events licensed under a specific section of the state law. Ace said all events held in Boston, including Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics games, are licensed by the city under a separate statute, and therefore exempt from the antiscalping law.

Brooks declined to comment on the nature of the threatening phone calls and Kurzman could not be reached for comment. No affidavit was filed with the court about the threatening phone calls. Officials at Ace said they had no knowledge of any threats.

"I'm thrilled with this victory," said Ace's Jim Holzman. "Ace Ticket continues to provide outstanding service to our customers."

Bruce Mohl can be reached at mohl@globe.com.



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