The U.S. Department of Transportation has extended to Jan. 23, 2023, the period for comments on its proposed rule on enhancing the transparency of airline ancillary service fees. The previous deadline had been Dec. 19.
The agency initially announced the proposed rule in September and filed it in the Federal Register in October.
DOT noted that it had received requests for an extension from Airlines for America, the International Air Transport Association, the Travel Technology Association, the American Society of Travel Advisors, the Global Business Travel Association, the National Air Carrier Association and Sabre Corporation. A4A and IATA also asked for clarification on various issues in the proposal, according to DOT.
Under the proposal, U.S. carriers, foreign carriers and ticket agents would be required to clearly disclose passenger-specific or itinerary-specific baggage fees, change fees, cancellation fees and family seating fees to consumers whenever fare and schedule information is provided to consumers for flights to, within and from the United States.
The proposal picks up where previous ones failed to gain traction. DOT in 2014 issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding ancillary fees. It then issued a supplemental notice in January 2017 on fee transparency but withdrew it in December 2017. President Joe Biden on July 9, 2021, issued an executive order "Promoting Competition in the American Economy" which noted that the Secretary of Transportation would "not later than 90 days after the date of this order, consider initiating a rulemaking to ensure that consumers have ancillary fee information, including 'baggage fees,' 'change fees' and 'cancellation fees,' at the time of ticket purchase."