Biden to announce new rules to make airlines and travel sites more transparent about extra fees



CNN

President Joe Biden is expected to announce a proposed new rule on Monday that would require airlines and travel sites to be more transparent about any additional fees customers may be charged, including for baggage, flight changes or cancellations. , a White House official told CNN.

Under the proposed rule, airlines and travel sites “should disclose in advance – the first time an airfare is displayed – any fees charged to sit with your child, to change or cancel your flight , and for checked or carry-on baggage,” according to a draft Department of Transportation press release shared with CNN.

In a meeting with senior Cabinet and administration officials on Monday, Biden is expected to call on other agencies to take similar steps to increase transparency and limit additional fees for American consumers.

The president will point out in his speech how companies in all industries charge “hidden fees that don’t let customers see the full price of what they’re buying,” the White House official said.

“This will prevent airlines from hiding the true cost of your ticket so that when you search you find the best deal, saving Americans money and further driving competition on prices,” a White House official told CNN. “These costs add up. In 2021, top airlines earned nearly $700 million on cancellation and change fees alone.

Passengers deserve to know the true cost of their flights before buying a ticket, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement on Sunday.

“This proposed new rule would require airlines to be transparent with customers about the fees they charge, which will help travelers make informed decisions and save money,” he said.

Airlines for America, a trade group that represents major US carriers, told CNN in a statement: “A4A’s member passenger airlines – which are fierce competitors – already provide transparency to consumers, from first landing search. US airlines are committed to providing the highest quality of service, which includes clarity on ticket prices, fees and conditions.

“A4A passenger carriers provide airfare breakdown details on their websites, providing consumers with clear information on the total cost of a ticket. This includes transparency regarding taxes and government fees on airline tickets. flights, which account for more than 20% of many domestic one-stop return tickets.

Tens of thousands of flight cancellations and delays this summer prompted Buttigieg to order the Department of Transportation to release a new online dashboard to allow passengers to find comparative information on what each of the major U.S. airlines provides passengers when delays or cancellations are caused by factors within the airlines control. Several major US carriers have updated their policies in response to DOT calls for more transparency. Airlines have struggled with staff shortages and summer weather.

Monday’s meeting is expected to be the third meeting of the White House Competition Council, which was formed last fall and is charged with promoting competition in the US economy and lowering costs for American families. The group consists of eight Cabinet members and the chairs of seven independent agencies.

Meeting attendees are expected to include Buttigieg, Secretaries Janet Yellen of Treasury, Lloyd Austin of Defense, Tom Vilsack of Agriculture, Xavier Becerra of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young and the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Cecilia Rouse.