Consumer groups urge administration to complete airline passenger protection rules

The rules at issue would require airlines to disclose their fees for things like checking baggage and changing seat assignments at the time a passenger is pricing a plane ticket.

Airlines have argued that they are currently doing enough to make passengers aware of their fees, and they have contended that by charging them, they are providing an "a la carte" service that allows passengers to pay extra for amenities they are interested in.
The consumer advocates have argued that airlines should do more to make passengers aware of what they will have to pay extra for when they fly. The groups said in their letter on Thursday that they have been more than patient as the rules have worked their way through the regulatory process.

"Consumer organizations have worked carefully and steadfastly in good faith through the rulemaking system to redress this airfare price-comparison problem," the groups wrote. "Delay after delay is demoralizing and damages confidence in our government and its commitment to consumer protections."

The groups blamed the delay on the management and budget office, which they said has yet to complete its review of the proposed airline regulations.

"This final OMB delay needs to end," the groups wrote. "After five years of frustration, it’s time to release this long overdue rulemaking. The tens of millions of airline consumers that we represent deserve better from both the airlines and the regulatory bodies that are tasked with consumer protection rules and enforcement."

The letter was signed by the Consumer Travel Alliance, Consumer Federation of America, National Consumers League, Consumers Union, Business Travel Coalition,, Association for Airline Passenger Rights,, and U.S. PIRG.