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U.S. DOT NPRM Media Center

BTC welcomes the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) publishing of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on May 21, 2014 regarding new airline consumer protections, including against "drip pricing." Consumers would benefit from greater price transparency because of the DOT's proposal to require airlines to provide real-time pricing of core ancillary services (e.g., for checked bags) wherever they sell their tickets. However, DOT must require that ancillary fee information is disseminated to travel agents in an efficient manner that is truly usable by agents and, as such, we urge the agency to ensure that consumers can efficiently see, compare and buy these services in the same transaction as the airline ticket purchase.


The Drip Pricing Problem

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Australian Competition and Consumer Commission commissioner Dr Jill Walker told the travel publication MICE BTN: “‘Drip pricing’ is an enforcement priority. ‘Drip pricing involves sequentially revealing components of the total price and not revealing the full price until the end of the reservation process. “The final price paid may be substantially higher than the ‘headline price’, but after investing time and effort in the booking process, consumers are less likely to shop around.’”


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