Administration Announces New Consumer Protections From Exorbitant Airline Fees

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FILE - A passenger flying Southwest Airlines wheels his bags to a drop-off kiosk at Midway International Airport on March 30, 2020, in Chicago. Several congressional Democrats are reviving legislation to regulate fees that airlines charge for things such as checking a bag, changing a flight or picking a seat. The legislation would require that fees be “reasonable and proportional” to the airline's cost of providing the service. It will also require airlines to let children under 14 sit with family members at no extra charge. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
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Today at a meeting of the White House Competition Council, President Biden announced the release of a new proposed rule that would strengthen protections for customers by ensuring they have access to certain fee information before they purchase their airline tickets.

Under this new rule, airline and travel search websites will have to disclose upfront, the first time an airfare is displayed, any fees charged to sit with your child, change or cancel flights, and for checked or carry-on baggage.

This proposal seeks to provide customers the information they need to choose the best deal so that surprise fees don’t add up quickly and overcome what may look like a cheap fair.

FILE- In this Nov. 21, 2018, file photo a traveler walks with a suitcase through the terminal at Washington Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va. The average fare for airline travel within the United States has hit the lowest level since the government started keeping track in 1995, after adjusting for inflation, the The Bureau of Transportation Statistics said Thursday. However, that doesn’t count fees that airlines add for things like checking a bag, getting a better seat, or moving up in the boarding line. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

This is a part of the president’s historic executive order on promoting competition in the American economy, which is a whole of government approach to help lower prices for consumers, raise wages for workers, and promote innovation throughout the economy by promoting competition.

When it comes to the airline industry, the top airlines raked in nearly $700 million on cancellation and change fees alone. The administration says this is because of little competition in the industry, which allows industries to have a large amount of control over prices.


Click ▶️ to listen to the report from AURN White House Correspondent Ebony McMorris:

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