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NEWPORT NEWS (AP) -- A fledgling low-fare airline has run into trouble from federal regulators after it sold memberships to its traveler club before obtaining federal permission to do business.

Newport News-based People Express officials say the company plans to pay the $10,000 fine assessed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The agency issued the fine this week and directed the airline to stop selling 'Club Travelati' memberships.

People Express ran afoul of regulations by advertising the club and selling memberships before the transportation department issued it a certificate of public convenience and necessity -- the authorization to operate as an airline.

The Daily Press reports that the startup also is seeking Federal Aviation Administration certification, which determines whether the company can safely fly.

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