The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has declined a request from airlines to hold off on enacting its new ancillary fee disclosure rule pending the airlines’ lawsuit against it in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Airlines for America (A4A) and individual carriers have asked DOT to stay compliance dates and indicated they would escalate their stay request to the appeals court if DOT did not reply by June 10. DOT said it would fight any stay request the carriers may make in court.

Several major airlines and A4A on May 10 filed suit in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals over DOT’s final rule. Their petition for review alleged DOT overstepped its regulatory authority and asked the court to issue an order vacating and setting aside the rule.

The carriers have argued that the fee rule, finalized in April, is unlawful and will bring about “immense irreparable harm” to airlines.

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The DOT’s filing said, “the Ancillary Service Fees Rule is a lawful and critical piece of the Department’s efforts to protect American consumers from unfair and deceptive practices by air carriers such as petitioners.” It continued that “we strongly believe it is not in the public interest to stay the rule pending review of A4A’s petition.”

DOT’s new rule requires airlines and travel agencies to disclose “critical” ancillary service fees “during the itinerary search process at the first point where a fare and schedule is provided in connection with a specific flight itinerary.” Ancillaries covered in the rule are fees for first-checked, second-checked and carry-on bags, as well as fees for changes and cancellations.

DOT did exclude corporate travel transactions from the final rule, but the regulation requires new fee disclosures in consumer-facing channels from airlines and travel agencies.

The rule calls for airlines to provide fee data to agencies by Oct. 30 and to comply with disclosure requirements by April 30, 2025. Travel agencies have additional time to comply with disclosure requirements. The compliance dates remain in effect unless the court issues a stay or vacates the rule.

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