How often have you booked and paid for flights for you or your family, only to learn that the actual cost of your trip is far higher once you factor-in all the extra fees?
On Wednesday, with the summer travel season just weeks away, the Department of Transportation proposed new rules that would require airlines and travel websites to disclose those fees up-front.
Here are five takeaways from the new plan.
1. No More Hidden Charges
All fees to check a bag, carry-on a bag, board early, or buy a seat with extra legroom would need to be revealed before a customer buys a ticket, to help consumers make smarter choices.
2. Code-Share Partner Transparency
If you book a flight on an airline that has relationships with other airlines, then you should be told which one is actually flying the route.
3. No Penalty for Canceled Reservations
A reservation made within 24 hours could be canceled up to a week before departure, without penalty.
4. The New Rules Apply to Travel Websites, Too
For the first time, online travel booking websites would be required to disclose their fees upfront -- much like ticket agents.
5. DOT's Proposed Changes Could Be Enacted Soon
If the Obama administration's new passenger rights rules are approved, they could take effect within a year. But the airline industry is now warning the rules would likely lead to higher ticket prices.