US DOT Proposes to Require Airlines to Clearly Disclose Once-Hidden Fees with Initial Ticket Prices

US DOT Proposes to Require Airlines to Clearly Disclose Once-Hidden Fees with Initial Ticket Prices

By Yehudit Garmaise

Airlines will be banned from surprising air travelers with additional fees for basic services, such as sitting with one’s own children, checking or carrying on baggage, and changing and cancelling flights, if the US Department of Transportation (DOT) issues a new rule that it is proposing today.

If adopted, airlines and travel search websites will have to “clearly disclose any additional fees the first time airfares are displayed,” President Joe Biden will announce today at a meeting of the White House Competition Council.

“Airline passengers deserve to know the full, true cost of their flights before they buy tickets,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This new proposed rule will require airlines to be transparent with customers about the fees they charge, which will help travelers make informed decisions and save money.”

The DOT’s proposal seeks to provide customers the information they need to choose the best deals.

“Otherwise, surprise fees can add up quickly and overcome what may look at first to be cheap fares,” the DOT said in a press release that explained the agency’s response to President Biden’s efforts to lower prices for consumers, raise wages for workers, and promote innovation throughout the economy.

By signing an executive order that includes 72 initiatives to promote competition in the American economy, President Biden called more than 12 federal agencies “to use their powers to expose and limit fees to help save American families money,” the DOT said.   

While the DOT hopes to clarify for airline customers the true costs of their flights, Biden also hopes to ban other the hidden fees that plague consumers of other services as well, such as the extra fees tacked on by internet providers, banks, and credit card companies.

Photo by: Flickr 

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