As Californians Prepare To Travel This Holiday Season, Attorney General Becerra Calls For Airline Fee Transparency

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a coalition of 17 attorneys general asking the Trump Administration to not withdraw a proposed rule requiring airlines and third-party booking companies to disclose baggage fees and other charges up front. The Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees Rule proposed in January 2017 would have made it easier for consumers to understand the full cost of their plane travel. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced earlier this month that it would no longer be moving forward with the rule. U.S. airlines are expected to earn $57 billion from baggage and other service fees this year – $7 billion from baggage fees alone.

“As Californians travel this holiday season, they expect to know up front what their flight will really cost,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Instead, the Trump Administration is enabling airlines to nickel and dime consumers after their flights are already purchased. We urge the Administration to enact this rule and provide the American people with this much-needed transparency.”

Airlines are increasingly charging additional fees for carry-on baggage, checked baggage, seat selection, and even to provide assistance to children traveling by themselves. When a customer books a ticket, the baseline ticket price is typically all that is shown, and fees are not disclosed until booking is nearly complete or even after tickets have been purchased. Transparency in airline pricing allows consumers to make informed choices when booking their travel.

Joining California are the Attorneys General of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai'i, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation condemning the decision can be found at oag.ca.gov/news.

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