Air Travel News
Court rejects airlines’ challenge of new DOT consumer rules
If you’ve looked at airline fare advertising lately, you may have noticed that carriers no longer promote a base fare separately from the taxes and fees that may apply. That’s because a Transportation Department rule now forbids them from doing so – and a federal appeals court in Washington has ruled that DOT’s regulation is perfectly legal.
An airline legal challenge to the DOT advertising rule was rejected by the court, which said it falls within the agency’s power to regulate unfair and deceptive practices by airlines. The new rule still allows airline advertising to show what the taxes and fees are, but the total amount of the fare plus the add-ons must be displayed in the largest type.
The court also upheld new DOT regulations that guarantee consumers who buy tickets more than a week in advance can cancel a booking without penalty within 24 hours of the purchase; and that prohibit airlines from raising a ticket price or baggage fee after a ticket has been purchased.
Meanwhile, DOT said it would not extend an enforcement moratorium that expired last week for two other new rules. One of them orders airlines to show their baggage allowances and fees on e-ticket confirmations and in online receipts. The other says airlines must apply the same baggage rules to all segments of a multi-leg itinerary, both domestic and international, including those that involve a code-share or connection with another carrier.