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Airlines support bill to advertise fares, fees and taxes separately

March 16, 2014|By Hugo Martin
  • A travel website from 2004 showed how fares were advertised before the U.S. Department of Transportation required airlines to disclose full fares. A new bill would undo the DOT rule.
A travel website from 2004 showed how fares were advertised before the U.S.… ( )

Legislation that would let airlines advertise fares without adding in fees and taxes has the support of — you guessed it — the nation’s airline industry.

The bill introduced March 6 by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) would negate a rule adopted in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Transportation that requires airlines to advertise the full cost of tickets, including fees and taxes.

The Department of Transportation has already fined the nation’s airlines thousand of dollars over the last three years for violating the so-called full-fare advertising rule.

Under the new bill, dubbed the “Transparent Airfare Act,” airlines can advertise the base fare, with the extra fees and taxes listed separately on the same print ad or with a link or pop-up window on websites.

Airlines for America, a trade group representing the nation’s airlines, said last week that the current DOT rule was unfair because it masks how much government fees raise airfares.

“It’s a misnomer to characterize the current law as a consumer protection rule when it really protects the government, not airline passengers,” said Nicholas E. Calio, president and chief executive of the group.


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