Customers who like purchasing cheap airplane tickets and cheap vacation packages are sometimes surprised to later learn that the actual cost of their tickets was higher than the prices they had seen when first agreeing to purchase the tickets.
In the past airlines could initially show base fares in their ads that did not include taxes and fees leading some travelers to misunderstand the final prices that would be charged.
New Department of Transportation rules go into effect on January 24th that require anyone quoting airfares, including online prices and print ads, display prices that reflect all taxes and fees that will be charged.
Baggage fees and other optional charges will not be displayed in advertised prices but will have to more clearly disclosed so that travelers can easily compare prices between airlines.
Additional customer protections being rolled out include:
· Price increases cannot take place after a ticket has been purchased.
· Passengers will be given a 24 hour period to hold or cancel a reservation without payment or penalty for reservations made a week or more in advance of the departure date.
· Once reservations are completed confirmations must disclose luggage fees.
· Airlines are required to provide customers with prompt notification of delays in excess of 30 minutes, cancellations, and diversions.
· The same luggage allowances and fees must be applied throughout a passenger’s trip.
· All optional fees must be available for customers to see via a prominent link on airlines’ homepages.
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By Steve Robinson