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White House Announces Proposed Rule for Airfare Transparency

The Biden administration wants flyers to know the full price of their ticket when they book – including fees to guarantee a seat with an accompanying minor, carry-on luggage and changing or canceling a flight.
Following up on a long set of promises, the Biden administration is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to introduce a new proposed rule to provide transparency in airfare pricing.


The Transportation Department announced the new initiative in a press release, as part of the president’s White House Competition Council meeting.


New Rule Would Require Airlines and Travel Agencies to Disclose All Fee Information Upfront

Under the new proposal, anyone who sells air travel – including U.S. and foreign carriers, online travel agencies, and “metasearch” sites which provide multiple air travel options – would be required to disclose all fees associated with a given airline ticket. The fees required for disclosure include:


  • Passenger- and itinerary-specific baggage fees
  • Change or cancellation fees
  • Family seating fees to keep children with their parents


The disclosures would apply to all tickets departing from, arriving to, and within the United States. In addition, the new rule would require airlines to allow flyers traveling with a child to purchase seats at all points of sale, to ensure that families can be seated together during their trip.


“Airline passengers deserve to know the full, true cost of their flights before they buy a ticket,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release. “This new proposed rule would require airlines to be transparent with customers about the fees they charge, which will help travelers make informed decisions and save money.”


Although the document is available for review and comment, the airlines have not yet submitted their feedback on the notice of proposed rulemaking. In the past, the carriers defended airfare de-bundling – or the practice of separating airfare from advance seat selection and baggage fees – as a consumer-friendly option, claiming it gives flyers the freedom to select the options they want based on their budget.


New Proposed Rule Follows DOT Moves to Improve Flyer Experience

The new rule follows the DOT’s latest move to make flying easier for travelers during what could be a very stressful holiday season. Ahead of the Labor Day holiday, the agency published a “cheat sheet” allowing flyers to understand what their carriers will or will not provide in the event of irregular operations.

AADFW October 14, 2022

This is good policy. And yes, hotels should be made to do the same with their pricing. After that, they need to implement a mandatory minimum seat pitch of 36 inches in economy across all carriers - both domestic and any foreign carrier that wishes to fly in and out of the U.S. 

ctm78 October 4, 2022

100 percent agree on hotel resort fees.  I can book an airline ticket, and I'm not REQUIRED to pay any of their additional fees (luggage, preferred seating, priority boarding, etc.).   But I have to pay the stupid resort fee regardless (and even if I use none of the resort ammenities).  

OnePatriot77 October 4, 2022

I like this.
This may be the first positive thing that I actually like out of the Biden administration.

I would like to see something similar for hotels with expensive parking and hidden resort fees.

mahzor October 2, 2022

being forced to show you the true price of a service is unamerican and communisitic 

BMGRAHAM September 29, 2022

Also I would be very opposed to this if it meant that, once again, US airlines would show fares without taxes or one-way fares when booking a round trip, which is what used to happen.  I also - I think the fares are transparent when you know what you are doing.