Nightly News   |  January 14, 2012

How much that ticket really costs

On government orders, airlines are changing the way passengers buy ticket so they know the real costs, including all the taxes and fees. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> we are back now with some big changes coming to the airlines and the way most americans buy their tickets. the government had ordered the airlines to make the advertised tickets far more transparent so passengers know from the beginning how much that ticket really costs. including all the extra taxes and fees. here's nbc 's tom costello.

>> reporter: if you bought an airline ticket online, chances are it's happened to you. think you have found a great deal, you click buy and then --

>> get really upset because i don't think it's fair. you're all excited. you have a budget. you think it's the one price and then they add all this other prices. and it stinks.

>> they don't show that online. they show you one price and then by the time you get the ticket it's another price.

>> reporter: all of that is about to change as truth in advertising comes to the airline industry .

>> total tax, title, licee, any time you do an advertisement, any time you display a type of fare.

>> reporter: beginning january 26 , all airline ticket prices must include any government taxes and fees when the ticket price is made public. once it's added up that can raise a ticket price by 20% and they have to tell you the cost upfront of checking your luggage.

>> all of the fees that the airline will charge you will be listed whether it's a baggage fee, the tacks you might way.

>> reporter: but the airlines are pointing out when you shop in a store, tacks and fees aren't included until you go pay at the register. that what's happens when you buy a ticket online. in a statement to nbc news, the airline industry says all members, airlines, provide details on ticket prices and other charges prior to purchase today, before you click buy. southwest, spirit and alleejent airlines are suing to block the rules, although a decision isn't expected soon. meanwhile, a few more customer friendly rules take effect this month. airlines must promptly notify of diversions or delays of more than 30 minutes . customers will have 24 hours after making a reservation to change or cancel the reservation without a penalty.

>> i got one yesterday that was $100 in taxes.

>> reporter: at least now all the taxes and fees will be clearly stated before you click. tom costello, nbc news, washington.