Airline ads must now show real ticket cost
WASHINGTON – Airlines can no longer understate the cost of an airline ticket by leaving taxes and government fees out of their advertised rates, under new rules that won US court approval yesterday. The rules are designed to make travel advertising more transparent by telling customers the total cost of a ticket, including mandatory taxes and fees.
A US appeals court turned aside a challenge to the rules brought by Allegiant Travel, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines, and supported by the industry’s trade association. The rules, which the US transportation department finalised in 2011, say that any price shown in an advertisement must be “the entire price to be paid by the customer”.
Kate Hanni, director of flyers’ rights for FlyersRights.org, said the disclosures should have been mandatory all along. “It’s just completely deceptive not to tell people what the full cost of their ticket is,” she said.
The court upheld two other rule changes: a requirement customers be able to cancel tickets without penalty within 24 hours of purchase and a prohibition against raising costs tickets have been bought. – (Reuters)