May 21, 2024

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Airlines are trying to stop Biden from imposing the “junk fees” rule.

Several of the nation's largest airlines are challenging a new Biden administration rule that would force them to disclose certain fees as part of the initial cost of airline tickets. The government describes these fees, which are added to baggage and changes to reservations, as “unwanted surprise fees.”

In a petition filed Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the trade group Airlines for America and six airlines asked to overturn the surcharge rule because they say it is “arbitrary, capricious” and beyond the government’s authority. Transportation Department.

The group of airlines participating in the petition includes American, Delta, United, JetBlue, Alaska, and Hawaiian. American Airlines said in a statement Monday that implementing the rule would only confuse customers and complicate shopping for flights.

“The DOT’s additional rule is a poor solution in search of a problem,” the statement said.

The rule was finalized last month after an 18-month process and is scheduled to take effect July 1. He says It could save consumers more than $500 million annually. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, airlines have raised nearly $5.5 billion Baggage fees last year.

“We will vigorously defend our rule that protects people from unwanted hidden fees and ensures travelers can see the full price of a trip before purchasing a ticket,” the Department of Transportation said in a statement in response to the lawsuit. “Many air travelers will be disappointed to learn that the airline lobby is suing to stop these common-sense protections.”

Under the rule, airlines or travel booking sites will be required to show fees for checking a first or second bag, carrying a bag, changing a reservation, or canceling a reservation the first time the fare is offered. Many airlines have recently raised the price of checking a bag – and some fees vary by flight.

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Consumer attorney John Breault, vice president of public policy for National Consumers AssociationHe said he was disappointed but not surprised to see the lawsuit. He said the benefit of this rule for passengers is that it makes it easier for passengers to make a “comprehensive comparison” of trip costs.

“Now they will have to tell you a more honest cost up front,” he said.

When you are Announce Under the rule, the Biden administration said it would put an end to “discount and inducement tactics” that may lead consumers to believe they are getting a better deal than the final price after fees. Airlines have already made significant investments in their websites and apps to make it easier for passengers to book tickets tailored to their specific needs — with fees disclosed before a purchase is made, American Airlines said.

“Airlines go to great lengths to inform their customers about these fees,” its statement read. “In addition to the disclosures required by current DOT regulations, airlines engage in competitive advertising and emphasize surcharge discounts and benefits when they promote their loyalty programs.”

in comments Introduced as part of the new rulemaking process, American Airlines argued that carriers are incentivized to provide good service by their own success, not by government mandates. They said the rule “would impose chaotic and disruptive search protocols that cause delayed and unclear search results, which consumers do not want or need.”

The Biden administration's campaign against “junk fees” has extended beyond airlines to include credit card late fees, resort fees, cable company fees, and amenity fees for tickets to live events.

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