ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
79°
Partly Cloudy
H 79° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    79°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 79° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    64°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 79° L 63°
  • clear-day
    79°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Sunny. H 82° L 62°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Business
DOT drops proposal to force airlines to disclose bag fees
Close

DOT drops proposal to force airlines to disclose bag fees

DOT drops proposal to force airlines to disclose bag fees
Photo Credit: AP Photo/David Goldman, File
FILE- In this Jan. 30, 2017, file photo, luggage sits on a baggage claim carousel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. The Transportation Department is dropping an Obama administration proposal that would have required airlines to disclose checked and carry-on bag fees at the start of a ticket purchase rather than later. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

DOT drops proposal to force airlines to disclose bag fees

An Obama administration proposal that would have required airlines disclose checked and carry-on bag fees at the start of a ticket purchase rather than later is being dropped by the Department of Transportation.

The department said in a notice posted online Thursday that it is withdrawing the proposed rule, along with a second, early-stage rulemaking to force airlines to disclose more information about their revenue from fees charged for extra services, because the rules would have been "of limited public benefit." It also said airlines would incur "significant costs" if required to report their revenue from fees for services like early boarding or extra legroom.

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

Airlines are already required to disclose bag fees, but critics say the information is often hidden until after consumers have taken several steps toward purchasing a ticket and isn't always clear. Travel agents and websites that sell tickets also complain that airlines sometimes withhold information on fees, preventing third-party sellers from providing consumers with the full cost of the airfare.

Airlines for America, an airline industry trade association, praised the administration and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for "recognizing that airlines, like all other businesses, need the freedom to determine which third-parties they do business with and how best to market, display and sell their products."

Congressional Democrats and consumer groups decried the withdrawals, saying they would have protected airline passengers by providing greater transparency of airfares and fees.

Since 2008, when airlines began introducing new and higher "ancillary" fees for services such as checking baggage and making changes to reservations, the true cost of flying has become more opaque, the Consumers Union said in a statement. Shoppers are being denied the basic ability to compare costs as they are shopping, as some airlines withhold critical pricing on fares and fees, both from their own websites and from third-party ticket sellers such as online travel agency sites, the group said.

"The administration is turning its back on airline passengers just before families are about to head home for the holidays," said Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the senior Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees the airline industry.

Charles Leocha, chairman of Travelers United, said passengers have no one to protect them from unfair airline practices except the Transportation Department, since no other federal or state agency regulates air carriers.

"It is a dereliction of duty for the DOT to stop its review of unfair and deceptive pricing of ancillary fees, which make it impossible for consumers to comparison shop for the best costs of airfare," he said.

Besides scuttling the fee transparency proposals, the Transportation Department has also failed to issue regulations mandated by Congress last year to require airlines to refund fees charged for checked bags that are delayed and to ensure families with young children can sit together on planes, Nelson said.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Power is out at Hartsfield-Jackson international Airport and all flights are being held, officials said Sunday  >> Read more trending news The airport is currently holding all inbound flights until at least 4 p.m. and departure delays are averaging nearly an hour and a half, according to  FlightAware. The outage was first reported about 1:15 p.m. Flyers should check the official FAA website for air traffic control updates. As of 3 p.m., traffic destined to Atlanta was being delayed at its departure point.  Rick Crotts, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor aboard a flight that had arrived at the airport around the time of the power failure, is among passengers still waiting aboard their flights to reach a gate. Crotts' flight has been waiting for more than an hour, when crews brought a ladder and started getting people off the plane about 3:40 p.m., he said. Earlier, the Delta Air Lines pilot told passengers a construction crew cut a power line, causing the outage, but an airport spokesman, Andy Gobeil, said officials weren’t sure. “We have not determined what caused it,” Gobeil said. Atlanta fire officials and others are “trying to determine how long it will take to get everything up and running.”  Georgia Power officials confirmed they are aware of the problem, but didn’t have additional information. Inside the airport at Concourse D, Olivia Dorfman told The AJC she was about to board a flight home to Indiana when the power went out.  “Maybe 10 minutes later a buzzer went off in the background — that has been going on for over an hour and every so often bright lights flash in the ceiling,” Dorfman said. Near the D9A gate, she said smoke filled the area and at different times airport workers tried to herd passengers toward the smoky area and away from it. “This has been very bizarre,” she said. “No one seems to know what they’re doing.” After at least one other woman said she wouldn’t stand in the area that smelled of acrid smoke like from an electrical fire because she suffers from asthma. She and others then walked back toward the gate, Dorfman said.  “A man is just yelling, ‘Go this way,’” Dorfman said.  She said the stores aren’t able to sell water or items because of the power outage. “It’s unbelievable; this is the busiest airport,” Dorfman said. John Reetz, a passenger on Flight DL 5297, said his is one of about 30 planes parked on the tarmac, waiting for power to be restored. “Can’t extend jetways from terminal so planes are parking on tarmac,” Reetz said in an email. The pilot told passengers about 2:30 p.m. that nobody had issued any estimate on when the power would be restored, Reetz said.  “All we can do is listen and wait to hear something,' the pilot told passengers.  At the time, passengers were in a generally good mood, but at least one joked that he didn’t have to use the restroom until he saw a line.  That was only after 45 minutes, Reetz said.  About 3:10 p.m., an officer onboard that flight told passengers, '’This looks like it's going to be a longer process now instead of a shorter one,’” Reetz said. “We're going to be here for a while unfortunately.'  No flights are off-loading passengers or crew except perhaps cargo planes that have separate terminal areas, Reetz said, noting that more planes landed and there were 40 planes parked on south side of airport. 'No idea how many more on the north side,' the officer aboard the flight told Reetz. 
  • A man is in the hospital after being shot in the head near the Central Florida fairgrounds Saturday afternoon.   The shooting happened at the vehicle repair shop at 617 Delhi Street around 1:20pm.    First responders say they transported a man in his 30s to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.    Deputies have said the man's injuries are life threatening and are working to piece together what led to the shooting.
  • An armed man is still at large after robbing and shooting at a Maitland gas station employee.   The incident occurred just before 11 a.m. at the Shell gas station at 500 South Orlando Avenue. The employee was counting money in the back and the man came in and pointed a gun at the clerk.    The worker ran from the store, and the robber fired a shot, but missed the worker, shattering the glass front door.    The suspect was able to get some money and fled the scene with two others, heading north on US 17-92 in a red Nissan Altima, which has a South Carolina license plate.    Police are reviewing surveillance video to gather more information about the incident and the people involved.    Anyone with information is asked to call Maitland police at 407-539-6262 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS(8477)
  • On 11/20/2017 around 9 a.m., the victim, a tourist from Scotland, was walking towards his hotel at 7600 International Drive, when a black male suspect tried to take his bag. The suspect was able to get some money and fled on foot.   The victim stated that the suspect was on the same Lynx bus with him and observed the suspect was with a heavier set black female while on the bus.    The male suspect is believe to be between the ages of 18 to 25, is average built with a short afro, about 6 feet tall with facial hair, and was wearing a black hooded jacket and carrying a red book bag.    The female companion is between the ages of 25 to 30, is heavy set, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and was wearing a gray sweatshirt that reads 'Florida Orlando'.    There is a reward up to a thousand dollars to anyone with any information leading to the identification of the suspect.    If you have any information, you are urged to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS(8477).
  • Orange County deputies are investigating the circumstances of a shooting that left three people injured Saturday evening.   It happened shortly after 5pm along the 12700 block of East Colonial drive. A woman was transported to the hospital after she was shot, and is expected to survive.    Deputies said the other adult and the child were also injured, but were not taken to the hospital.