ASTA has 'serious concerns' about DOT's proposed rule on airline fees

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The DOT has proposed a rule that requires sellers of airline tickets to clearly disclose extra fees upfront.
The DOT has proposed a rule that requires sellers of airline tickets to clearly disclose extra fees upfront. Photo Credit: Sippakorn/Shutterstock

While ASTA applauded the Department of Transportation's proposal to increase airline fee transparency, the Society has "serious concerns" about the burden fee disclosures will have on travel agencies.

The DOT has proposed a rule that requires sellers of airline tickets to clearly disclose extra fees upfront. Sellers include airlines, metasearch sites and third-party sellers.

ASTA executive vice president of advocacy Eben Peck said the proposed rule is "a step in the right direction" in that the Society believes consumers should have full transparency when purchasing an airline ticket and ancillary services, no matter the channel they use to purchase their ticket.

"That said, ASTA has serious concerns about the effect the requirement to disclose multiple fees in each and every 'offline' transaction (over the phone and face-to-face) -- even to repeat customers and frequent fliers -- will have on agency operations," Peck said. "In its last proposed rulemaking on this topic in 2017, it mandated these disclosures only upon the customer's request. It should do so again here."

Peck said ASTA will consult with members and file comments on the proposal, as it has actively been doing with a DOT proposal on airline refunds.

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