Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Lowey Urges DOT to Require Baggage Fee Disclosure

December 11, 2017
Press Release
In letter to Secretary Chao, Lowey warns that without disclosure requirements, surprise bag fees may financially burden American consumers.

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, sent a letter urging U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao to reverse her department’s decision not to require airlines and ticket agencies to disclose baggage fees upfront.

“I am writing to express my serious concerns about your department’s announcement to withdraw the proposed rulemaking on Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees,” wrote Congresswoman Lowey. “This important rulemaking would have required airlines and ticket agents to be transparent with regard to fees for checked and carry-on baggage. Too many consumers are surprised to learn that they have purchased a plane ticket but will need to pay additional fees for checked and carry-on luggage. These surprise fees may be financially burdensome for American consumers and can be categorized as a bait-and-switch for consumers when these additional fees are not made clear.”

“Especially as Americans prepare to travel for the holidays when budgets are often tight, it is clear that all the costs associated with travel should be available during booking,” concluded Congresswoman Lowey. “I respectfully urge you to reverse your decision and continue to make airfare more transparent for all consumers.”

Last week, DOT announced that it is withdrawing an Obama-era proposal requiring upfront disclosure of baggage fees from airlines and ticket agencies, along with another proposal to require airlines to disclose their revenue from ancillary fees, claiming the proposed rules have “limited public benefit.”

Click here for a pdf of the letter.