By Keith Laing - 02/10/16 12:47 PM EST
A Republican lawmaker is pushing to nullify the regulations that require airlines to include taxes and fees in the price quotes for flight tickets.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) has filed an amendment to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding measure that would eliminate the rules for airfare quotes, which are predominantly given online.
"We believe airline customers deserve to know how much of the advertised ticket price is actually going to federal taxes, while still knowing the full price of air travel before they purchase a ticket," the group that lobbies for most major carriers, Airlines for America, said in a statement that was provided to The Hill on Wednesday.
"Rep. Curbelo’s amendment will make airfare more transparent for consumers, while also holding the Washington accountable for taxes it imposes on everyone who flies," the airline group continued.
The advertising rules were enacted by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2012 as part of the administration's push to implement protections for airline customers. Those rules have been dubbed by some observers as the "Passenger Bill of Rights."
The regulations included a ban on holding passengers on airport tarmacs for longer than three hours and a requirement that airlines refund baggage fees when they lose luggage.
Passenger advocacy groups on Wednesday said the amendment to overturn the 2012 advertising rules for flight tickets is "a gift to airlines."
"The amendment would effectively reverse [the 2012] DOT rule and undermine a critically important consumer protection that was adopted as a cure to airline bait-and-switch advertising," the Business Travel Coalition said in a statement.
The group said the focus of aviation policy "has historically been a bipartisan endeavor in Washington for the benefit of consumers and the good of the country."
"In recent years, as represented by the Orwellian-named Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, which this amendment seeks to revive at the behest of airlines, sadly the policy objective has shifted from the good of the country to the demands of special interests with deep pockets and armies of lobbyists," the coalition said.
Lawmakers in the House are holding an initial hearing on the proposed FAA funding measure on Wednesday. The agency's funding is currently set to expire on March 31.
The FAA bill is one of the few must-pass pieces of legislation left on the congressional agenda this year. As such, it also represents an opportunity for lawmakers looking for a vehicle on which to attach pet issues.
Most of the debate about the aviation funding bill thus far has been focused on a controversial plan from House Republicans to separate air traffic control from the FAA.
The amendment to undo the ticket advertising regulations can be read here.
Updated at 2:14 p.m.