An Obama authority proposal that would have required airlines disclose check up oned and carry-on bag fees at the start of a ticket purchase rather than later is being discarded by the Department of Transportation.
The department said in a notice posted online Thursday that it is going the proposed rule, along with a second, early-stage rulemaking to import airlines to disclose more information about their revenue from costs charged for extra services, because the rules would have been “of narrow public benefit.” It also said airlines would incur “momentous costs” if required to report their revenue from fees for services be partial to early boarding or extra legroom.
Work on the proposals was frozen right after President Donald Trump took office.
Airlines are already press for to disclose bag fees, but critics say the information is often hidden until after consumers keep taken several steps toward purchasing a ticket and isn’t always elucidate. Travel agents and websites that sell tickets also bemoan that airlines sometimes withhold information on fees, preventing third-party sellers from providing consumers with the complete cost of the airfare.
Airlines for America, an airline industry trade consortium, praised the administration and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for “recognizing that airlines, take to all other businesses, need the freedom to determine which third-parties they do enterprise with and how best to market, display and sell their products.”
Congressional Democrats and consumer groupings decried the withdrawals, saying they would have protected airline fares by providing greater transparency of airfares and fees.
Since 2008, when airlines began introducing new and luxurious “ancillary” fees for services such as checking baggage and making shifts to reservations, the true cost of flying has become more opaque, the Consumers Bloc said in a statement. Shoppers are being denied the basic ability to the same class with costs as they are shopping, as some airlines withhold critical payment on fares and fees, both from their own websites and from third-party ticket sellers such as online take agency sites, the group said.
“The administration is turning its back on airline fares just before families are about to head home for the holidays,” divulged Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the senior Democrat on the Senate committee that administers the airline industry.
Charles Leocha, chairman of Travelers United, asseverated passengers have no one to protect them from unfair airline technics except the Transportation Department, since no other federal or state operation regulates air carriers.
“It is a dereliction of duty for the DOT to stop its review of unfair and dishonest pricing of ancillary fees, which make it impossible for consumers to commensurability shop for the best costs of airfare,” he said.
Besides scuttling the fee transparency drafts, the Transportation Department has also failed to issue regulations mandated by Congress last year to lack airlines to refund fees charged for checked bags that are delayed and to insure families with young children can sit together on planes, Nelson alleged.