New rules in US “go further than any protections in history of US aviation”
A number of US airlines are protesting against new rules entering into force on August 23 that “have gone further than any such protections in the history of US commercial aviation,” according to one business travel analyst. The pro-consumer rules will force airlines to refund baggage fees if luggage is lost and pay more if they bump passengers off over-booked flights. Foreign and US carriers alike will be fined for keeping passengers on the tarmac for more than four hours. Some airlines, such as Spirit, Allegiant and Southwest, are especially angered by the prospect of having to advertise fares that include all government taxes and fees as well as ancillary charges.
The airline industry, which was able to delay the implementation of some of the rules, says that they could lead to higher ticket prices and more cancellations. A further requirement may force airlines to provide ancillary fee data to travel agents and online ticket distribution systems so consumers can compare airlines in greater detail.