White House: new rule will show the "real cost" of plane tickets

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will announce a new initiative Monday that will eventually allow consumers to see a more comprehensive price on airline tickets, including baggage and change fees, before they buy, as the White House continues to look for ways to reduce costs to Americans. amid persistently high inflation.

The White House says the new Department of Transportation rule will prevent airlines from hiding the “true cost” of airline tickets, helping consumers save money up front and encouraging more competition among airlines to offer better deals. rates. The requirement will apply not only to airlines directly, but also to search sites like Kayak and Expedia.

Airlines earned nearly $700 million in cancellation and change fees last year, according to the White House. The announcement was first reported by CNN.

The president will make the announcement Monday afternoon at a meeting of the White House Competition Council, established last year as a way for his administration to find cost-saving measures for consumers. It will be the third time the group, chaired by National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, has met.

At the meeting, Biden plans to push other federal agencies to take similar cost-saving steps, particularly by increasing transparency about hidden fees that can inflate the real cost of goods and services.

One example is a Federal Communications Commission proposal that would require Internet service providers to better describe rates and charges on what the administration calls a “Broadband Nutrition Facts Label.” And the Agriculture Department will also announce new actions Monday aimed at fostering competition in several agricultural markets.

The administration has taken similar action when it comes to bank and credit card fees, which the White House says have saved consumers $3 billion annually compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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