WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will announce a new initiative on Monday that will eventually allow consumers to see a more comprehensive price on airline tickets — including baggage and change fees — before they buy, as the White House continues to look for ways to cut costs for Americans amid persistently high inflation.
The White House says the new DOT rule will prevent airlines from hiding the ‘true cost’ of airfare, which would help consumers save money and encourage greater competition among airlines to offer better rates. The requirement will apply not only to airlines directly, but also to search sites such as Kayak and Expedia.
Airlines earned nearly $700 million in cancellation and change fees last year, according to the White House. The announcement was first reported by CNN.
The president will make the announcement on Monday afternoon at a meeting of the White House Competition Council, created last year to allow his administration to find cost-cutting measures for consumers. This will be the third time the group, chaired by National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, has met.
At the meeting, Biden plans to push other federal agencies to take similar steps to cut costs, including increasing transparency about hidden fees that can inflate the true cost of goods and services.
One example is a Federal Communications Commission proposal that would require Internet service providers to better define fees and charges on what the administration calls a “broadband nutrition label.” And the Ministry of Agriculture will also announce new actions on Monday to encourage competition in various agricultural markets.
The administration has taken similar action on bank and credit card fees, which the White House says saved consumers $3 billion a year compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.