WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Biden administration is rolling out a new rule that would require airlines to be upfront about all the fees that factor into the cost of your ticket.
“The bottom line here is that passengers shouldn’t be surprised by the true cost of a ticket,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said.
The proposed rule is meant to make it more clear at the outset how much you’re going to pay for baggage fees, cancellation fees or fees to choose a seat. Buttigieg said it would affect both airlines and third parties like Expedia or Google Flights.
“So you can really compare and so that you can save,” he said.
Capt. Dennis Tajer of the Allied Pilots Association, a union that represents about 15,000 workers, praised the pressure from the federal government.
“When’s there’s accountability … that’s when management reacts,” said Tajer said.
He said the industry brings in $5.2 billion in baggage fees alone each year but argued it has not done right by customers or workers since the start of the pandemic.
“There is a deficit of trust and respect in the airline business,” Tajer said. “Shame on management for creating a situation that needed outside intervention to perform to a level of decency.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched a website that shows which airlines provide food or hotel vouchers after cancellations or delays.
“Just the news that we were going to put that information out led a number of them to improve their customer service almost overnight,” Buttigieg aid.
He said he hopes the transparency rule has a similar effect.
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