Biden to announce new rules for airlines and travel sites to be more transparent about additional fees

US 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 additional fees customers could be charged, including for luggage. , flight changes or cancellations, a White House official told CNN.

Under the proposed rule, airlines and travel sites “would have to disclose in advance, the first time an airfare is displayed, any fees charged for sitting with your child, for changing or canceling your flight, and for checked baggage.” or by hand, according to a draft Department of Transportation news release shared with CNN.

In a meeting with top 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 highlight in his speech how companies across industries impose “hidden fees that don’t allow customers to see the full price of what they’re buying,” the White House official said.

“This will prevent airlines from hiding the real cost of your ticket, so when you shop around you find the real best deal, saving Americans money and spurring more price competition,” a White House official told CNN. “Those fees add up. In 2021, the major airlines earned nearly $700 million in cancellation and change fees alone.”

Passengers deserve to know the true cost of their flights before purchasing 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 fares they charge, which will help travelers make informed decisions and save money,” he said.

Airlines for America, a trade group representing major US airlines, told CNN in a statement: “A4A’s member passenger airlines, which are fierce competitors, already offer transparency to consumers from first search to landing. U.S. airlines are committed to providing the highest quality of service, including clarity around prices, fares and ticket terms.”

“A4A passenger carriers provide airfare breakdown details on their websites, providing clarity to consumers on the total cost of a one stop, return ticket.”

Tens of thousands of flight cancellations and delays this summer prompted Buttigieg to direct the Department of Transportation to post a new online dashboard to allow passengers to find comparative information on what each of the major US airlines offers passengers when delays or cancellations are caused by factors within the control of the airlines. 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 scheduled to be the third meeting of the White House Competition Council, which was formed last fall and is charged with promoting competition in the American economy and lowering costs for American families. The group consists of eight cabinet members and the heads of seven independent agencies.

Meeting participants are expected to include Buttigieg, Secretary Janet Yellen of the 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 President of the Council of Economic Advisers. Cecilia Rouse.

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