Airline Advertising and Reservation Rule Changes
Starting this week, there are going to be a few changes in the advertising and reservation rules that airlines are required to follow. FareCompare has been doing a great job keeping us up to date about these changes and you can read their news stories on the subject HERE and HERE. For those of you who just want a quick overview, here it is.
The biggest change is that starting January 26th, all published or advertised airfares must include all mandatory taxes and fees. This includes advertisements from airlines, travel agents, or anyone else trying to sell you a ticket. The bad news is that starting that day, all of the emails you get and the ads you see online will have higher advertised prices for the same flights. The good news is that when they were advertising the lower prices, you would still end up paying the higher price because they would add in taxes and fees at the end. In effect, you will still be paying the same amount for airfare as you were before the change, but you will know what that price is upfront instead of being lured in by unrealistically low fares and having the price go up when you try to book.
I think this is a great change. I can’t count the number of times I have been excited about an advertised fare only to find that the final price was more than twice what was advertised. With these new rules in effect, it might not happen quite as often, but at least I will know when I should actually be excited about a price. You should know that add-on fees such as baggage or preferred seating fees will still not be included in the prices, since not all passengers are required to pay them.
In addition to the new advertising requirements, there are a couple of other changes that will be happening starting today.
Reservations will now be held for 24 hours without payment. Some airlines were already doing this, but they will all be required to now.
If booked at least 7 days before departure, reservations can be cancelled within 24 hours with no fee. This will be nice if I find a good deal but need to check with my wife to make sure we can go. I will be able to book the tickets before they disappear and then cancel if Chrissy reminds me of a reason we can’t take the trip.
Finally, passengers must be notified promptly if their flight is delayed more than 30 minutes. I think this will have the least effect since with all of the flight tracking tools available to us, I think most of us would probably know about the delay before we even get this notification.
All together, I think these new requirements will have a positive effect on my planning, booking, and flying experiences. It might not be much, but every little bit helps. How do you think these new rules, if at all, will effect you?