The Transportation Department announced the new initiative in a press release, as part of the president’s White House Competition Council meeting.
New Rule Would Require Airlines and Travel Agencies to Disclose All Fee Information Upfront
Under the new proposal, anyone who sells air travel – including U.S. and foreign carriers, online travel agencies, and “metasearch” sites which provide multiple air travel options – would be required to disclose all fees associated with a given airline ticket. The fees required for disclosure include:
- Passenger- and itinerary-specific baggage fees
- Change or cancellation fees
- Family seating fees to keep children with their parents
The disclosures would apply to all tickets departing from, arriving to, and within the United States. In addition, the new rule would require airlines to allow flyers traveling with a child to purchase seats at all points of sale, to ensure that families can be seated together during their trip.
“Airline passengers deserve to know the full, true cost of their flights before they buy a ticket,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release. “This new proposed rule would require airlines to be transparent with customers about the fees they charge, which will help travelers make informed decisions and save money.”
Although the document is available for review and comment, the airlines have not yet submitted their feedback on the notice of proposed rulemaking. In the past, the carriers defended airfare de-bundling – or the practice of separating airfare from advance seat selection and baggage fees – as a consumer-friendly option, claiming it gives flyers the freedom to select the options they want based on their budget.
New Proposed Rule Follows DOT Moves to Improve Flyer Experience
The new rule follows the DOT’s latest move to make flying easier for travelers during what could be a very stressful holiday season. Ahead of the Labor Day holiday, the agency published a “cheat sheet” allowing flyers to understand what their carriers will or will not provide in the event of irregular operations.
Source: frugal travel guy