Consumer groups led by the Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) and the Business Travel Colition (BTC) have urged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to complete their work on the delayed Department of Transportation (DOT) Enhancing Consumer Protections III rulemaking.
The groups note that the rulemaking was initiated on April 4, 2011, and now more than 880 days later, has still not been published by DOT for comments.
"In 2008, major airlines introduced the first checked-baggage fees one after the other. Since then, airlines have added fees for everything from seat reservations to early boarding and telephone reservations to flight cancellations. These fees and a complex matrix of associated exemptions and exceptions under current rules make it virtually impossible for consumers to compare all-in prices across airlines," the groups said in a letter to the OMB.
"Consumer organizations have worked carefully and steadfastly in good faith through the rulemaking system to redress this airfare price-comparison problem. Delay after delay is demoralizing and damages confidence in our government and its commitment to consumer protections," the groups said.
"This final OMB delay needs to end. After five years of frustration, it's time to release this long overdue rulemaking. The tens of millions of airline consumers that we represent deserve better from both the airlines and the regulatory bodies that are tasked with consumer protection rules and enforcement," the groups said.
Groups represented include: Consumer Travel Alliance, Consumer Federation of America, National Consumers League, Consumers Union. Business Travel Coalition, AirlinePassengers.org, Association for Airline Passenger Rights, FlyersRights.org and U.S. PIRG.