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U.S. President Joe Biden proposed a new rule focusing on creating more transparency in the air travel industry during a White House Competition Council meeting.
The new rule would require airlines and travel websites to be more transparent regarding potential extra baggage costs, as well as flight changes, cancellations and seat selections which may impact families traveling with children, according to a Sept. 26 Forbes story.
“Airline passengers deserve to know the full, true cost of their flights before they buy a ticket,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, according to Forbes. “This new proposed rule would require airlines to be transparent with customers about the fees they charge, which will help travelers make informed decisions and save money.”
According to Forbes, the initiative is a part of President Biden's competition agenda listed in an executive order signed in July 2021.
"The heart of American capitalism is a simple idea: open and fair competition,” Biden said, as reported by Forbes. “Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism; it’s exploitation.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, airlines made nearly $700 million from cancellation and change fees, and in 2021, they made more than $5.2 billion in baggage fees, Forbes reported.
The Biden administration noted that, while the additional transparency will allow consumers to make more informed decisions before purchasing an airplane ticket, airlines won't be blocked from charging additional fees, according to Forbes.
“Because seat availability and fees can fluctuate frequently, the Department is also proposing to require carriers and ticket agents to enable consumers traveling with a young child to purchase the seats with the fare at all points of sale," the proposed new rule says, according to Forbes.