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Airlines must now advertise total price including taxes, fees

January 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Airlines advertising low ticket prices with hidden taxes and fees won't be able to lure in the unsuspecting customer anymore, thanks to new regulations enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Airlines now have to advertise the full ticket price including all mandatory taxes and fees.

The new rules also allow passengers a 24-hour grace period to either hold or cancel a reservation without penalty, as long as the reservation is made at least one week before departure.

Baggage fees must also be disclosed during the booking process. Plus, airlines must provide prompt notification of delays longer than 30 minutes as well as flight diversions and cancellations.

The idea is what you see is what you pay, but a big question is whether higher advertised prices will keep passengers from booking flights in the short term?

Some passengers say they'll have to readjust, but in the end transparency makes for a more trusting and happy traveler.

"It makes it much more easier because it takes much less time to compare prices," said traveler Kent Andersson.

Airlines fought the full-fare advertising rules, arguing that other businesses such as hotels, car rental companies and cruise lines don't have to display the full price. They also argued the full-fare price may be confusing to customers because taxes vary from airport to airport.

Despite the arguments, the Department of Transportation voted in favor of passenger protection rules.