Court rejects airlines bid to block consumer protections

Posted at 4:30 PM, Jul 24, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-24 16:30:03-04

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the government can issue regulations intended to protect consumers from certain airline industry practices.

Southwest and Spirit airlines had challenged the rules, but today the three-panel court ruled in favor of the Department of Transportation, reported the Associated Press.

Three regulations are covered in the ruling.

First, airlines must show customers a total ticket price–that includes taxes and fees in print and online ads.

Also, consumers can now cancel reservations within 24 hours of ticket purchase without penalty, if the tickets are made more than a week in advance of the planned trip.

Also, airlines are not allowed to increase the price of tickets or baggage fees after tickets have been bought.

An article released last night by CNN said that all of those extra fees charged to fly nowadays add up.

A new study looked at 50 airlines around the world, and found that they made billions of dollars in revenue from baggage fees and extra charges last year.

The report finds the airlines’ extra costs took in more than $22 billion dollars in 2011, which is 66 percent more than in 2009.

The study said airlines now make more money by selling a growing array of products and services.

The extra charges are known as ancillary fees. Airlines started adding the fees after the great recession.

United Continental, Delta, American and Qantas made the most money of the major airlines in fees.

Consultant firm IdeaWorksCompany and the travel technology firm Amadeus conducted the study.