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Buttigieg ‘speechless’ as airlines sue over new fee rules 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg harshly criticized recent lawsuits filed by major airlines over new rules that require airlines to disclose surcharges at the time of purchase.

“We just issued a rule that will require airlines to notify you of the fees they charge before you buy a ticket,” Buttigieg said Tuesday. Post on social platform X. “Now the airline lobby is suing us, saying it will ‘confuse’ you if you have a right to know that information. For once, I was speechless.”

The lawsuit was filed last Friday by the industry group Airlines for America, as well as Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Airlines for America said in a statement that the rule “will greatly confuse consumers by overwhelming them with information that only complicates the purchasing process.”

“Airlines go to great lengths to make sure their customers know about these fees. In addition to the disclosures required by existing DOT (Department of Transportation) regulations, airlines promote their loyalty programs. “We use competitive advertising to highlight discounts and benefits on ancillary charges,” the group wrote.

In a statement to The Hill, the Department of Transportation said it will “vigorously defend rules that protect people from hidden junk fees and ensure that travelers can see the full price of their flight ticket before purchasing it.” “I will.”

“Many air travelers will be disappointed to learn that airline lobbies are suing to end these common-sense protections,” the statement continues.

The Biden administration finalized the rule late last month, and Buttigieg said in a statement at the time that “airlines should compete with each other to secure passenger business, and they should be able to determine which companies can charge the most surprise fees.” It’s not for deciding.”

He added, “DOT’s new rules will save passengers more than $500 million annually in unnecessary or unexpected fees by holding airlines accountable for being transparent with their customers.” Stated.

The Hill has reached out to Airlines for America for comment.

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