New airline pricing regulations make prices seem higher

Three cheers for US Transportation Secretary, Illinois’ own Ray LaHood. Thanks to his truth in pricing rules, the price airlines advertise for their flights is much closer to the price you’ll actually pay to fly.

The new rules, which went into effect last week, require carriers to include the cost of all mandatory fees and taxes in the advertised price of an airfare. Gone are the days when you found a great fare, then discovered the taxes would add more than a few bucks to that price, not to mention baggage fees and other “hidden” airfare costs.

“Airline passengers have rights, and they should be able to expect fair and reasonable treatment when booking a trip and when they fly,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a press release. “The new passenger protections taking effect this week are a continuation of our effort to help air travelers receive the respect they deserve.”

Spirit Airlines, which claims to be a low-cost carrier, was so upset that it announced it would begin adding a $2 “Department of Transportation Unintended Consequences Fee.” As a consumer, I vote with LaHood: Spirit needs to more upfront about its fees, like the $5 to have an agent print a boarding pass and the fee I paid to carry on a bag-twice, once for each leg of my flight. It was the first and last time I flew Spirit.

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