Major airlines sue Biden administration over fee disclosure rule

FILE PHOTO: A plane takes off as seen from inside the newly completed 1.3 million-square foot $4 billion Delta Airlines Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 1, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Major U.S. airlines are suing the U.S. Transportation Department over a new rule requiring upfront disclosure of airline fees, the latest clash between air carriers and the Biden administration.

Lobbying group Airlines for America, along with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways , Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines, filed suit against the department (USDOT) in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana late on Friday, according to a copy of the suit seen by Reuters.


The USDOT issued final rules last month requiring airlines and ticket agents to disclose service fees alongside the airfare, saying it would help consumers avoid unneeded or unexpected fees.

The airline group said in a statement on Monday the department’s rule would confuse consumers and that its “attempt to regulate private business operations in a thriving marketplace is beyond its authority.”

The airlines’ previously unreported lawsuit calls the rule “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and otherwise contrary to law.”

USDOT said Monday it “will vigorously defend our rule protecting people from hidden junk fees and ensuring travelers can see the full price of a flight before they purchase a ticket.” USDOT said last month the new rule would result in many consumers paying less for fees when traveling by air.

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