US carriers would be required to disclose any ancillary fees, such as charges for checked baggage or for receiving a seat assignment, according to a change in US federal transportation regulations proposed today.
The move would require ticket agents, online travel agencies (OTAs) and metasearch sites, and travel management companies (TMCs) to provide more information via their computer systems when tickets are purchased to comply as well, says the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
The DOT says that the technological transition to properly presenting ancillary fees shouldn't be onerous for OTAs such as Expedia, Google, and TMCs, such as American Express and Carlson Wagonlit.
Its reasoning is that about half of ticket purchases in the US are mediated by TMCs and OTAs, and both groups use global distribution systems (GDSs) to book tickets. So a change at the GDS level would ripple through the system.
Luggage fees and reservation change fees together represented 3% of airline operating revenue in the last three months of 2013, says the DOT.
You can read the details of the proposed rule-making here:
Image via Shutterstock