House Bill Lets Airlines Advertise Pre-tax Fares
In a victory for airlines and their workers’ unions, the House rejected consumers’ complaints and passed legislation Monday letting airline advertising emphasize the base price of tickets, before taxes and fees are added. The bipartisan legislation would roll back federal regulations that since 2012 have required ads to most prominently display the full ticket price. Under the bill, the base price would have to be the one most prominently shown in ads as long as taxes and fees are displayed separately, such as in footnotes or pop-up ads. The measure was approved by voice vote, in which individual lawmakers’ votes are not recorded. Such votes are used often for non-controversial bills, but they can also allow legislators avoid taking a public position on a touchy issue. Groups representing airline passengers and companies that frequently rely on corporate travel say the bill’s enactment would return the country to an earlier era of misleading and confusing advertising.
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