July 21, 2024

Biden Admin To Crack Down On Airline Fees, Top Economist Announces

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) will issue new rules regulating airline fees on luggage and in-flight WiFi, White House advisor Brian Deese confirmed.

Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, told reporters at a Friday press conference that airlines will be required to refund luggage and WiFi fees if luggage is lost or WiFi is unavailable on the flight. The luggage plan was first reported on by the Associated Press.

Describing the move as an action to “increase competition and lower prices,” Deese told reporters that the rule would “protect passengers.”

“The president is intending to direct the Department of Transportation to engage in a series of rule-makings to protect airline passengers, and to promote fair competition in the airline industry,” Deese said. “For any of you who have flown or are intending to fly now that it is more available, these rule-makings will specifically ensure that if a passenger pays to check a bag, they should get that fee back if the bag does not arrive on time. Also, if the passenger pays for a service like WiFi, and it does not actually work, then you will get that fee back.”

He went on to say that the president will direct DOT to ensure airlines are clear and upfront in disclosing fees.

“This direction will be part of a broader effort that the president will release shortly around driving, greater competition in the economy and service of lower prices for families and higher wages for American workers,” Deese concluded.

Deese did not tell reporters how often passengers are not able to recover fees associated with luggage when it is lost, and he did not indicate when they would go into place. The rules will be implemented in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.

These will be the latest in a series of regulations impacting airlines. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently implemented a new rule requiring airlines to provide information on the weight of passengers. The agency claims that such information will help flight safety. (RELATED: Airline Passengers Are About 5% Fatter Now, And It Could Mess With Your Travel Plans)

Inflation-adjusted flying costs dropped nearly 50% between 1979 and 2011, according to The Atlantic. Economists cite a bipartisan support for airline deregulation in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the cause of the drop.

This post originally appeared on and written by:
Michael Ginsberg
The Daily Caller 2021-07-02 18:31:00

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