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DOT rules out proposal to force airlines to reveal baggage fees

The Department of Transportation dismissed a proposal by the Obama administration that would require airlines to reveal checked and hand baggage rates at the beginning of the purchase of a ticket instead of later.

The department said in a notice posted Thursday that it is withdrawing the proposed rule, along with a second regulation at an early stage to force airlines to disclose more information about their revenues from fees charged for additional services, because rules would have been "of limited public benefit". He also said that airlines would incur "significant costs" if they were required to report their income for fees for services such as early boarding or extra legroom.

Work on the proposals froze shortly after President Donald Trump took office.

Critics say that information is often hidden until after consumers have taken several steps to buy a ticket and it is not always clear.

Democrats and consumer groups condemned the withdrawals, saying they would have protected the airline passengers, providing greater transparency of airfares and fares.

Since 2008, when airlines began to introduce new and higher "auxiliary" rates for services such as baggage check-in and make changes to reservations, the true cost of flying has become more opaque, Consumers Union said in a statement. Buyers are denied the basic ability to compare costs while shopping, as some airlines retain critical rates and fares, both from their own websites and from third-party ticket sellers, such as online travel agency sites, said the group. 19659002] "The administration is turning its back on airline passengers just before families are about to return home for the holidays," said Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, the senior Democrat on the Senate committee who oversees the airline industry.

Charles Leocha, president of Travelers United, said that passengers have no one to protect them from unfair business practices, except the Department of Transportation, since no other federal or state agency regulates airlines.

"It is negligent of duty for DOT to stop its review of the unfair and deceptive prices of accessory fees, which make it impossible for consumers to compare the best airfare prices," he said.

In addition to ruining the trans fare Last year, the Department of Transportation also did not issue mandatory regulations by Congress to require airlines to reimburse the fees charged for delayed checked bags and to ensure that families with small children they can sit together on planes, Nelson said.

for America, a trade association for the airline industry, did not immediately respond to a request for comments.

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