On Thursday, the Department of Transportation withdrew a proposal to force airlines to disclose baggage fees at the beginning of the ticket-purchasing process. Although airlines have to provide baggage fees before a final purchase, the proposal aimed to save travelers from going through a multistep process in order to compare flight prices.
The DOT is also withdrawing a rule that would require airlines to disclose how much revenue is generated from fees for add-on services, including checked and carry-on baggage costs.
Global Business Travel Association Vice President of Government Relations, Andrew Meehan, told MeetingsNet, “I am disappointed by the decision. Transparency at point of sale is just good business. These types of disclosures give business travelers important tools to manage their travel and expenses. A lack of disclosure adds an element of uncertainty to the process.”
Charles Leocha, president of Travelers United, called the move “a dereliction of duty for the DOT to stop its review of unfair and deceptive pricing of ancillary fees, which make it impossible for consumers to comparison shop for the best costs of airfare.”
According to the Fare Compare website, for regulation-sized checked bags can range from free to $65; oversize checked bags can cost up to $200; and on some airlines, including Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit, carry-on bags can cost between $15 and $65.
Connecticut Senator Blumenthal tweeted that the withdrawal of the proposals constitute “a slap in the face for travelers who deserve clarity when buying a ticket.”