Feds to Airlines: Stop Hiding Ticket Fees, Taxes
Carriers must advertise full price starting next month
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2011 9:39 AM CST
A Southwest passenger jet prepares to land at Midway Airport on April 5 in Chicago.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Airlines will soon be forced to advertise the full price of tickets—including government taxes and fees—instead of a stripped-down price with an asterisk. The rule scheduled to go into effect in late January is designed to keep prospective fliers from getting a nasty surprise several steps into the buying process when mandatory taxes and fees raise the fares up to 20%, reports CNN. Baggage fees won't be included in the new rule.

A displeased group of airlines including Southwest and Spirit is challenging the Department of Transportation's policy in federal court. Consumers elsewhere see taxes added on last, and airlines should be able to do the same, says a Southwest spokeswoman. The new rule is one of several air traveler protections being implemented in January, including a 24-hour window for passengers to cancel reservations without penalty if the ticket was purchased a week before take-off.