Airline fares must be more transparent

FRESNO, Calif.

When it comes to airline travel, flying is now associated with fees. "You've got the taxes and then the airlines fees and the luggage fees and all the different fees you have associated with them," said Fresno resident Rachel Devoll.

Those fares and fees have turned booking a flight into a chore. "You've got to know when to buy, you've got to read the fine print, and know how to play the airline game," said Reedley resident and frequent flyer Kim Helmey.

Under the new regulations that go into effect Thursday, airlines must include taxes and fees in the advertised fare. The goal is to make things more transparent and take away the fine print that can confuse passengers. Fresno travel agent Craig Mungary hears about that confusion constantly. ""When the airlines have a promotional fare, they advertise the base fare of the airline. So when a traveler calls our office they're expecting this base fare and then we have to explain, "Well, there are all these fees that the airline adds on, after the base fare,'" said Mungary.

The protections are part of a larger effort that began last year. Airlines are now required to publish all taxes and fees and fully disclose baggage fees. They're also required to hold a price for 24 hours without payment. In addition, you also have 24 hours after you book a flight to cancel it, free of charge. Airlines must also notify passengers about flight delays in a prompt manner.

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