Monday, January 23, 2012

New airline fare advertising rules go into effect Thursday

Starting Thursday, new U.S. Department of Transportation rules will require airlines to include the cost of all mandatory fees and taxes in the advertised price of an airfare. Prior to Thursday, airlines were allowed to disclose taxes, baggage fees and other charges separately from the fare they advertise to consumers.

"Airline passengers have rights, and they should be able to expect fair and reasonable treatment when booking a trip and when they fly," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement released Monday. "The new passenger protections taking effect this week are a continuation of our effort to help air travelers receive the respect they deserve."

The new rules mean that prices will initially seem higher to fare shoppers, but will actually better reflect the complete cost of an airplane ticket. Other regulations will also be going into effect that require airlines to disclose potential baggage fees more clearly on the first screen displaying a price quotation for a specific itinerary. Consumers will also have the ability to hold a reservation without payment for 24 hours or cancel a reservation without penalty within 24 hours as long as reservations are made one week or more before the flight date.

The advertising provisions take effect on Thursday while all other new regulations go into effect on Tues., Jan. 24.

Regulations enacted last year limiting the amount of time airlines can hold passengers on the tarmac have already resulted in the DOT fining American Eagle for a May 29 incident in which planes full of passengers were stranded on the O'Hare tarmac over the three-hour limit. Rules were also enacted requiring airlines to refund baggage fees if bags are lost in transit and to better compensate passengers who are bumped due to overselling.

For information about the new rules, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment