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U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes Disclosure of Customer-Specific Airline Baggage Fee Information Along with the Airfare

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing to require airlines and ticket agents to disclose to consumers the fees for a first checked bag, a second checked bag, and a carry-on bag when providing airfare information.  Those services had historically been included in the airfare but many airlines now charge a separate fee for transporting bags.

“Consumers should be able to pick the most affordable options based on their needs.  Displaying the fees for transporting carry on and checked bags alongside the fare will make the cost of travel more transparent,” said Secretary Foxx.

Under the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) issued today, the baggage fees that are disclosed by airlines and ticket agents must include discounts the consumer would be entitled to if a consumer provides relevant information such as frequent flyer status.  The SNPRM also proposes to require airlines to provide baggage fee information to all ticket agents that receive and distribute the airline’s fare and schedule information so that ticket agents are able to provide customer-specific fee quotes to passengers.   

In addition to proposing disclosure of bag fees along with the airfare, the Department’s proposal requests comment on whether fees such as change and cancellation fees or other optional service fees should also be disclosed by airlines and ticket agents when providing airfare information. 

Members of the public can comment on the SNPRM at www.regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2017-0007.  Comments must be received within 60 days of the date the notice is published in the Federal Register.  The Department’s final action will be based on comments and supporting evidence from the public filed in this docket, and on its own analysis and regulatory evaluation.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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