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U.S. Department of Transportation
Carriers argue new rule could confuse consumers with excess information

U.S. airlines are suing to block the Biden administration from requiring greater transparency over fees that the carriers charge their passengers, saying that a new rule would confuse consumers by giving them too much information during the ticket-buying process.

The U.S. Transportation Department said Monday it will vigorously defend the rule against what it called “hidden junk fees.”

American, Delta, United and three other carriers, along with their industry trade group, sued the Transportation Department in a federal appeals court on Friday, asking the court to overturn the rule.

The trade group, Airlines for America, said the Transportation Department is going beyond its authority by attempting “to regulate private business operations in a thriving marketplace.” The airlines said the administration hasn’t shown that consumers can’t get information about fees already.

The Transportation Department announced the new rule on April 24. It would require airlines and travel agents to disclose upfront any charges for baggage and canceling or changing a reservation. Airlines must show the fees on the first website page where they quote a price for a flight.

The agency estimated that the rule will save consumers more than $500 million a year.

Among the nation’s six biggest airlines, only Southwest did not join the legal challenge, which was filed in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Southwest said the rule will have little to no effect on it because the Dallas-based carrier lets passengers check two bags for free and has never charged extra fees for changing or canceling reservations.

 

Source: Travelweek

May 14, 2024

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