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A new airline rule meant to save you money and spur airline competition

‘We’re building an economy for everyone,’ President Biden announces a new rule that forces airlines to tell customers about all hidden fees from the get-go

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A SkyWest Embraer ERJ-175 jet approaches Salt Lake City International Airport on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

A SkyWest Embraer ERJ-175 jet approaches Salt Lake International Airport on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

This year has been especially bad for air travel, from high-priced flights to tons of cancellations, but there may be some relief on the way.

On Monday, President Joe Biden announced that all U.S. airlines will be required by law to be transparent about hidden fees — such as extra check-in baggage and moving seats to be with a child — for all flights coming into or leaving the United States.

How will this new airline rule help Americans save money?

Any websites — directly from the airline or third party — will be required to show all fees upfront the first time a customer sees the airfare, allowing them to plan ahead and find the best deals.

“You should know the cost of your ticket right when you’re comparison shopping to begin with,” the president said, per a live broadcast Monday afternoon. “So you can pick the ticket that will be the best price for you.”

With no hidden fees, all prices will be as shown and there won’t be a surprise when paying.

“Otherwise, surprise fees can add up quickly and overcome what may look at first to be a cheap fare,” said the U.S. Department of Transportation’s press release on Monday morning.

It is nonetheless predicted that prices this holiday season will be higher than normal because of a “pent-up demand from people not traveling over the last few years,” the travel booking app Hopper told The Washington Post.

Additional ways to save money are readily available, as reported by Hanna Seariac of the Deseret News.

Will this rule lessen canceled and delayed flights?

Flights get canceled for all kinds of reasons. Among the top five is for lack of passengers, per Expert World Travel.

With families and individuals able to see the flight cost with all fees at face value, they will be able to find the best deals and flight cancellations should lessen, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Other issues, such as inclement weather and staffing shortages, contribute to the delayed flights too, as reported by the Deseret News. This new rule isn’t expected to solve that.

Will other hidden fees be next and how does this help the economy?

Biden said this idea of “no hidden fees” will be further implemented for the internet and meat-poultry industries, making it an “economy for everyone” by lessening inflation and creating competition.

With more competition, Biden said, profits will be more easily dispersed and money will not be put into the hands of the select few. This competition is expected to lower prices across the board and spread outside of just the airline business. Flight competition is just the beginning.

“I’m expecting this council to build on this momentum and come with more concrete results by the next time we meet,” Biden said. “I’ve said it before: Capitalism without competition is exploitation. We’re building an economy for everyone.”