The Department of Transportation (DOT) has again postponed its Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections III rule making from August 10 to November 30, 2012, after this year's elections.
The rulemaking addresses a host of complex issues that have divided industry opinion, including if the DOT should require travel agents to adopt minimum customer service standards, require ticket agents to disclose the carriers whose tickets they sell or do not sell and information regarding any incentive payments they receive.
Also at issue is if the Department should require agents to disclose any preferential display of individual fares or carriers in the ticket agent’s internet displays or if the DOT should require additional or special disclosures regarding certain substantial fees, e.g., oversize or overweight baggage fees.
Other tough issues include if the DOT should prohibit post-purchase price increase for all services and products not purchased with the ticket or whether it is sufficient to prohibit post-purchase prices increases for baggage charges that traditionally have been included in the ticket price.
A key high-visibility issue is if the DOT should require that ancillary fees be displayed through all sales channels. The Rulemaking Project was initiated in April 2011. The DOT said it is looking for more data before issuing its final rules.