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The government wants to make air travel less of a hassle for consumers.

The new rules take effect January 1, 2018.

"Competition is alive and well in the airline industry, and all pricing information is available to consumer at the click of a button", said Nicholas Calio, chief executive officer of Airlines for America, a trade group representing most large carriers.

The new rules, adopted by the Department of Transportation on Tuesday, will also require the airlines to collect expanded information on late flights, mishandled bags, even damaged wheelchairs.

The Department of Transportation also said it was proposing that airlines be required to refund fees when checked bags are "substantially delayed". They see customizing travel packages with airport lounge access, extra legroom or hotel stays as the area where revenue has the most room to grow.The airlines' efforts have put them at odds with some online travel agencies that do not allow for upselling beyond the base airfare.

Airlines for America said that "that portions of the administration's proposals could harm customers by reregulating how airlines sell their products, driving up the cost of air travel".

Airlines also will have to revamp the way they report on-time performance by including flights operated by smaller regional carriers that are part of their networks. It also has drawn ire from consumer advocates who say airlines are attempting to hamper comparison shopping and boost prices.... But he noted that the department had delayed final action on some of the rules for more than two years. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

The U.S. government is also moving to require carriers to release significantly more information about tardy flights, make purchasing tickets more transparent and give consumers clearer data on the percentage of bags that get lost in transit.

In addition to the provision on lost and mishandled baggage, the legislation also included several provisions created to expedite the security screening process, which came under scrutiny this spring after travelers reported hourslong waits at airports in Atlanta and Chicago.

Congress directed the department in an aviation bill passed over the summer to require airlines to refund checked bag fees to passengers whose luggage is delayed 12 hours or more for domestic flights or 15 hours or more for overseas flights.


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