The US Department of Transportation is currently evaluating a series of requests from airlines sent in December that would hide fees from consumers, as reported by Bloomberg. Airlines are asking the DOT to repeal rules that mandate “full-fare advertising,” and they’d also like to hide on-time flight and cancellation info while customers are buying tickets.
Third-party booking apps like Google, Kayak, and Hipmunk rely on the data that airlines are forced to show to provide price-comparison tools for travelers. If the DOT were to approve airlines’ requests, it could become harder to price comparison shop for flight deals.
Airlines 4 America, a group that represents many airlines such as JetBlue, United, and American Airlines, explained to Bloomberg that the current rules “add clutter and complexity to the booking screen” and are inconvenient.
Back in December, the DOT announced that airlines would no longer need to disclose hidden baggage fees as soon as people started the ticket-buying process. It could be that airlines have discerned that this administration’s DOT may be more in favor of withdrawing old Obama-era policies. It was the Obama administration’s rule that required airlines to disclose fees in order to provide greater transparency for consumers.