Biden administration seeks new rules on airline fee disclosures

Travelers at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., on Friday, July 2, 2022. As travel increases for the Fourth of July holiday, the shortage of staff is causing problems for some of the nation’s largest airlines.

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Joe Biden plans to announce new rules Monday that would require airlines and online travel agencies to disclose fees for seat selection, checked baggage and other add-ons along with fares, the latest effort by administration to strengthen passenger protections after a difficult summer travel season. .

Airlines charge travelers for a number of extra perks that used to come with the cost of a ticket, including a fee for advanced selection of many onboard seats, even those without extra legroom.

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

Carriers and online travel agencies have updated their websites in recent years to order basic economy tickets, the most restrictive but cheapest airline fares. Airline executives have said they want passengers to avoid these tickets in favor of more flexible standard economy tickets.

Airlines for America, which represents most major US airlines, did not immediately comment on the proposed changes.

The Biden administration’s proposal comes less than two months after the Transportation Department sought stricter standards for when airlines must reimburse travelers for delays.

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