US airlines are no longer required to disclose hidden baggage fees as soon as people start the ticket-buying process, the Department of Transportation announced this week. The news coincides with Delta Air Lines’ announcement that it’s going to start charging basic economy passengers baggage fees for flights after December 6th.
The DOT, in following with the Trump administration’s general disdain for Obama-era policies, is withdrawing the rule that requires airlines to disclose fees, saying that they have “limited public benefit,” as first reported by The Hill. The Obama administration proposed the rule would provide greater transparency for airline consumers. The move drew harsh criticism from Democratic members of Congress, some of whom called it a “reckless reversal” using Trump’s stance on government regulation as a guise to gift corporations more leeway to abuse consumers.
Unbelievable. Pulling the plug on rules that would ensure airlines are open and honest about bag fees and other charges is about as anti-consumer as it gets. https://t.co/EXa4yhONQS— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 8, 2017
The proposed rule would have forced all air carriers and ticket agents to show customers all baggage fees at every point during a purchase, including fees for checked bags and carry-ons. Delta previously allowed the first checked bag on flights to Europe for free, but that will no longer apply for those who ride basic economy.