CEI Comments in DOT-OST-2014-0056

Transparency of Airline Ancillary Fees and Other Consumer Protection Issues

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The Department of Transportation is using consumer complaints over baggage and other fees as a pretext to expand its unfair and deceptive practices authority, the latest example in a series of recent regulatory actions to expand this authority beyond what Congress intended under the Airline Deregulation Act.

Complaints over ancillary fees reflect a status quo bias. Given the consumer benefits of unbundling and lack of evidence that current fee disclosure requirements are insufficiently protecting consumers, proposals to increase restrictions on airfare and fee advertising should be rejected.