The Biden administration is seeking new airline tax disclosure rules

Travelers at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the Queens borough of New York, USA, on Friday 2 July 2022. As travel increases for the 4th of July holiday, staffing shortages are causing problems for some of the country’s largest airlines.

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Joe Biden plans to announce new rules on Monday that will require airlines and online travel agencies to disclose fees for seat selection, checked bags and other extras along with fares, the administration̵[ads1]7;s latest effort to bolster passenger protections after a rocky summer travel season.

Airlines charge travelers for a variety of extra benefits that used to come with the cost of a ticket, including an advanced selection fee for many seats on board, even those without extra legroom.

“Airline passengers deserve to know the full, true cost of their flights before they buy a ticket,” 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 would help travelers make informed decisions and save money.”

Airlines for America, which represents major US airlines, said airlines are already open about ticket fees.

“A4A member airlines — which are fierce competitors — already offer transparency to consumers from initial search to landing,” the group said in a statement. “US airlines are committed to providing the highest quality of service, which includes clarity regarding fares, fees and fare conditions.”

Airlines and online travel agencies have updated their websites in recent years to highlight the details of basic economy tickets, the airlines’ most restrictive but cheaper fares. Airline executives have said they want passengers to avoid those tickets in favor of more flexible standard economy fares.

The Biden administration’s proposal comes less than two months after the Transportation Department sought stricter standards for when airlines must reimburse travelers for delays.

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