That deal no longer looks so good. And those nasty bag fees are nowhere to be found until you arrive at the airport.
Well, help arrives today in the form of new Department of Transportation regulations requiring airlines and ticket agents to include all mandatory taxes and fees in published airfares and that they disclose baggage fees to consumers buying tickets.
“Airline passengers have rights, and they should be able to expect fair and reasonable treatment when booking a trip and when they fly,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “The new passenger protections taking effect this week are a continuation of our effort to help air travelers receive the respect they deserve.”
That means all advertised pricing must be fully accurate that day, whether it appears on TV, in a newspaper or magazine or an email.
Passengers can now hold a reservation without payment, or cancel a booking without penalty, for 24 hours after the reservation is made, if they make the reservation one week or more prior to a flight’s departure date.
In addition, airlines will be required to promptly notify passengers of flight delays of over 30 minutes, as well as flight cancellations and diversions, and they will be prohibited from increasing the price of passengers’ ticket after it is bought.
Those extra layers of consumer protection will mean a few extra steps for travel agents, but what’s good for consumers is eventually good for business as well.