Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Airfare Advertising Rules and You: Fees Become More Transparent

(image credit: Brian Cohen)
New passenger protection rules began taking effect on January 26, 2012 starting with a law requiring airlines to include mandatory government taxes and fees in advertised fares. Here's what you should know about these new Department of Transportation rules.
  • Travel booking sites and online travel agencies, in addition to airlines, must also include mandatory flight taxes and fees when advertising fares.
  • There's nothing new for fare aggregator websites such as Kayak which were already displaying fares with the full taxes and fees.
  • The rules also require vacation packages to show such fees and taxes if it includes airfare.
  • Passengers will have a choice to cancel or change a reservation within 24 hours of initial booking as long as the ticket was purchased at least a week before departure.
  • Airlines cannot increase the price of a ticket after it is sold.
  • Airlines must inform passengers if a flight will be more than 30 minutes late.
  • Costs for baggage fees must be displayed on the "first screen containing a fare quotation for a specific itinerary."
  • Baggage fees must also be displayed on electronic ticket confirmations.


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