US Department Of Transportation (DOT) To Require Airlines Better Disclose Optional Fees

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U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing a rule that would require airlines to disclose up front first and second bag fees, carry on fees and fees for selecting seats etc.

DOT Airline Fees United States

The airlines have tried to obscure the price of air transportation by removing checked bag allowance etc. and selling all those ala carte at the time of booking.

You can read more about this proposed change on USA Today’s website here.

The airlines are currently fighting DOT and trying to legislate that they wouldn’t be required to display all inclusive pricing, but could display flight prices without any taxes or fees (read more about this here).

Here are some tidbits from the USA Today piece:

“Knowledge is power, and our latest proposal helps ensure consumers have clear and accurate information when choosing among air-transportation options,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

“I think that it’s good for consumers,” said Charlie Leocha, head of the Consumer Travel Alliance and a member of a department panel called the Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protections. “Finally the DOT is going to require airlines to tell consumers how much the full price of travel is.”

Airlines fought the earlier rules and are pushing legislation in Congress to overturn the full-fare advertising rule. The airline lobbying group Airlines for America said the market is working, and the rule isn’t needed.

“We believe this proposal overreaches and limits how free markets work and will have negative consequences,” the group said in a statement. “The government does not prescriptively tell other industries (hotels, computer makers, rental car companies) how they should sell their products, and we believe consumers are best served when the companies they do business with are able to tailor products and services to their customers.”

Conclusion

It is very difficult to compare the pricing between different airlines if you would like to check in a bag or select your seat. You normally have to find these from each airlines website making comprehensive price comparison borderline impossible.

It would be great if sites such as Expedia and Orbitz could show up all inclusive prices for different airlines if you would like to check in a bag and select your seat up front.

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