The Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed new consumer protections for air travelers, building on previous passenger protection rules issued in December 2009 and April 2011, won qualified approval from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), who urged full transparency.
The DOT proposal would require airlines and ticket agents to disclose at all points of sale the fees for certain basic ancillary services associated with the air transportation consumers are buying or considering buying, GBTA noted.
It would also codify the DOT's definition of a “ticket agent” to ensure that companies that offer flight search tools and receive a form of compensation are adhering to the Department’s consumer protection requirements, said GBTA.
“GBTA will carefully review and comment in greater detail on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), however we maintain support for the free-market right of businesses to create and follow their own chosen business models, including charging ancillary fees. But travel buyers and their agents must be presented with an accurate view of the full cost of products. To that end, it is imperative that there is full transparency to buyers on fares and fees. This also applies to booking, ticketing, billing and fulfilling those services,” GBTA executive director and COO Michael W. McCormick said.