United, Delta, American among airlines suing Biden admin over fee disclosure rule

A coalition of major airlines is suing the Biden administration over its new rule that requires airline companies to disclose extra fees on purchases.

Trade group Airlines for America filed the lawsuit Friday alongside Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways Corp., Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines. 

Airlines for America said in a statement that the new rule “will greatly confuse consumers who will be inundated with information that will only serve to complicate the buying process.” The group also noted that airline customers are already aware of the extra fees.

“Airlines go to great lengths to make their customers knowledgeable about these fees. In addition to the disclosures required by existing DOT (Department of Transportation) regulations, airlines engage in competitive advertising and emphasize ancillary fee discounts and benefits when they promote their loyalty programs,” the group wrote.

The group added that the rule “is a bad solution in search of a problem.”

The lawsuit was filed in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals against the Department of Transportation, which finalized the fee disclosure rule last month in the Biden administration’s latest crackdown on so-called junk fees.

The department’s new rule requires airlines to disclose extra fees before customers make their final purchase. These extra fees can include fees for checked bags, carry-on bags, and changing or canceling reservations.

The Transportation Department doubled down on its crackdown of junk fees in a statement to The Hill.

“We will vigorously defend our rule protecting people from hidden junk fees and ensuring travelers can see the full price of a flight before they purchase a ticket. Many air travelers will be disappointed to learn that the airline lobby is suing to stop these common-sense protections,” according to the statement.

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