Ask Andy: New air fare rules - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: New air fare rules

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The airlines, in general, can't seem to muster a decent record in customer service.

So the federal government decided to mandate it.

According to Consumer Reports and the U.S. Department of Transportation, federal regulators will enforce new rules starting Jan. 26. The rules will regulate how airlines share fare, fee and tax information with their travelers.

CR said according to the rules, the airlines must:

* DISCLOSE ALL FEES AND TAXES IN THEIR ADVERTISING. They will have to line-item each and every fee associated with the price of a ticket so travelers will know the total cost of the ticket at the start of their transactions.

* ALERT PASSENGERS WHEN FLIGHTS ARE EITHER CANCELED OR DELAYED MORE THAN 30 MINUTES. According to Consumer Reports, the alerts can be by cell phone, by website update or by announcement at the ticket desk.

* ALLOW TRAVELERS TO CANCEL RESERVATIONS WITHOUT PENALTY ONE WEEK BEFORE THEIR SCHEDULED FLIGHTS.

* DISCLOSE BAGGAGE FEES AT BOOKING. That means an agent can't drop the fee bomb on you as you're lugging your bags to the check-in counter.

* ONLY RAISE FARES AFTER PURCHASE IF THE TAXES ON THOSE FARES ARE RAISED.

Several airlines have filed suit in federal court to stop or delay the rules. They allege the rules violate their free speech rights. 

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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