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Biden administration seeks recent rules on airline fee disclosures

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President Joe Biden on Monday announced recent rules that might require airlines and online travel agencies to reveal fees for seat selection, checked baggage and other add-ons together with fares, the administration’s latest effort to bolster passenger protections after a rocky summer travel season.

Airlines charge travelers for a lot of additional perks, which used to come back with the price of a ticket, including a fee for advanced selection for a lot of seats on board, even those without extra legroom.

The president outlined the Transportation Department’s recent proposed rules during a speech at a gathering on the White House Competition Council on Monday.

“It’s best to know the total cost of your ticket, right if you’re comparison shopping,” Biden said.

Travelers at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) within the Queens borough of Recent York, US, on Friday, July 2, 2022. As travel is ramping up for the July 4th holiday, staffing shortages are causing problems for a few of the nations largest airlines.

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a news release earlier on Monday that the proposed rule “would require airlines to be transparent with customers concerning the fees they charge, which can help travelers make informed decisions and get monetary savings.”

Airlines for America, which represents major U.S. carriers, said airlines are already transparent about ticket fees.

“A4A member passenger airlines – that are fierce competitors— already offer transparency to consumers from first search to touchdown,” the group said in a press release. “U.S. airlines are committed to providing the very best quality of service, which incorporates clarity regarding prices, fees and ticket terms.”

Carriers and online travel agencies have updated their web sites in recent times to focus on the small print of basic economy tickets, airlines’ most restrictive but cheaper fares. Airline executives have said they need passengers to eschew those tickets in favor of more flexible standard economy fares.

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

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