Acting on a request by American Airlines, the Transportation Department has quietly postponed, by two days, the Jan. 24 effective date of its new price-advertising rule. The new date is Jan. 26.

The DOT decision was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 30 after American asked that the effective date be moved because Jan. 24 falls on a Tuesday.

American said Tuesday is the busiest day of the week for AA.com, and it preferred to make the change on a different day of the week. No other airline objected.

The new price-advertising rule, which is still under review at the U.S. Court of Appeals, will require that all advertisements and published listings for airline fares, or for travel packages that include air, list the total price with all taxes and mandatory fees included.

The rule reverses long-standing DOT policy that permits certain taxes to be stated separately.

Still slated to take effect on Jan. 24 are other new regulations that will:

• require airlines to allow travelers to hold a reservation for 24 hours without payment, or to grant cash refunds for cancellations made within 24 hours of payment;


• prohibit post-purchase increases in airfares or in any component of an air-inclusive package;


• prohibit airlines and travel sellers from passing on any price increase between the time of the deposit and the due date for final payment unless passengers provided written consent at the time of booking to accept such increases;


• require airlines to publish information about known delays, cancellations or changes in the status of a flight within 30 minutes of becoming aware, by making the information available at the boarding gate, on the Web, and (upon request) via call centers.

Jan. 24 is also the effective date for two other rules that will require airlines to print specific information regarding baggage allowances and fees on e-ticket confirmations, and requiring airlines on multi-carrier itineraries to, from or within the U.S. to uniformly apply the the baggage policies of the originating carrier on the entire itinerary.

As reported, airlines are seeking a delay of up to a year for these two provisions on the grounds that compliance is impossible because the technology to implement the rules on a global basis is still in development.

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