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Airlines sue Biden Administration over new fee disclosure rule

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Several major U.S. airlines, including Delta, American, United, Hawaiian, JetBlue and Alaska, filed a lawsuit against the Transportation Department. The group filed the lawsuit in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, May 10.

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In April, the Biden administration unveiled new rules that apply to checked bag fees. These rules require airlines and ticket agents to be more upfront about fees for seat selection, baggage and changing flight reservations.

According to Reuters, the lawsuit claims that the new rule is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise contrary to law.”

Airlines for America, a trade organization that represents several major U.S. airlines, released a statement asserting that airlines already disclose all fees and that the new rules will confuse customers and complicate the buying process.

A study conducted by travel experts at IdeaWorks found that the top 20 airlines in the world collected nearly $118 billion in extra fees in 2023. That number included $33 billion in bag fees.

As of now, the Transportation Department has not responded to the lawsuit. Southwest Airlines did not join the suit.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

SEVERAL MAJOR U-S AIRLINES ARE SUING THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION OVER A NEW RULE – REQUIRING UPFRONT DISCLOSURE OF FEES.

 AIRLINES FOR AMERICA, DELTA, AMERICAN, UNITED, HAWAIIAN, JETBLUE, AND ALASKA FIELD A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT – IN THE FIFTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS LATE FRIDAY.

LAST MONTH – THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION UNVEILED NEW RULES – WHICH  APPLY TO CHECKED BAG FEES AND REQUIRES AIRLINES AND TICKET AGENTS TO BE MORE UPFRONT ABOUT FEES FOR SEAT SELECTION, BAGGAGE, AND CHANGING A FLIGHT RESERVATION.

THE LAWSUIT CLAIMS THE NEW RULE IS “ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS, AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND OTHERWISE CONTRARY TO LAW,” ACCORDING TO REUTERS.

AIRLINES FOR AMERICA RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING AIRLINES ALREADY DISCLOSE ALL FEES AND THAT THE NEW RULES WILL CONFUSE CUSTOMERS AND COMPLICATE THE BUYING PROCESS.

ACCORDING TO A STUDY – CONDUCTED BY TRAVEL EXPERTS AT IDEA WORKS — THE TOP 20 AIRLINES IN THE WORLD COLLECTED AN OVERALL NEARLY $118 BILLION IN EXTRA FEES IN 2023 – INCLUDING $33 BILLION IN BAG FEES.

THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT HAS NOT YET RESPONDED TO THE LAWSUIT.

AND SOUTHWEST AIRLINES DID NOT JOIN IN.

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