Bill would void rule on full-fare ads
Legislation that would let airlines advertise airfares without adding in fees and taxes has the support of — you guessed it — the nation’s airline industry.
The bill introduced March 6 by Reps. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., would negate a rule adopted in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Transportation that now requires airlines to advertise the full cost of tickets, including fees and taxes.
The Transportation Department has fined U.S. airlines thousands of dollars over the past three years for violating the full-fare advertising rule.
Under the new bill, dubbed the Transparent Airfares Act, airlines can advertise the base fare, with extra fees and taxes listed separately on the same print ad or with a link or pop-up window on websites.
Airlines for America, the trade group for U.S. airlines, said last week that the current federal rule is unfair because it masks how much government fees raise airfares.
"It’s a misnomer to characterize the current law as a consumer protection rule when it really protects the government, not airline passengers," said Nicholas E. Calio, president and chief executive of the group.
FLIGHTS FROM LAX TO SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi Arabian Airlines is scheduled to begin service from Los Angeles to Saudi Arabia this month, a type of development that in the past was celebrated with an elaborate ceremony on the tarmac and in the terminal.
For example, when Emirates Airline debuted daily service between LAX and Dubai in December, the airline taxied the A380 plane to the gate under a shower from the airport fire department’s water cannons.
But with California entering the worst drought in modern times, LAX officials told Saudi Arabian Airlines that they are calling off the water cannons for the celebration of the new route. Instead, LAX firefighters and their rigs will line up on the tarmac, with the firefighters saluting as the debut flight rolls past.
Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times