Huffpost Travel

Great Debates: Do New Airfare Rules Help Or Hurt Consumers?

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In February, the Department of Transportation enacted new rules requiring airlines to reveal all mandatory taxes and fees. The new rules will force airlines to advertise prices that include taxes and fees, in an effort to add transparency. Prior to these rules being instated, airlines could tout low "base fares" and leave out any government-mandated taxes, security fees or additional airport charges.

Some airlines, including Spirit, have been slow to adjust, and have even called out the government. The day the new law was passed, Spirit Airlines sent an email to customers saying "New government regulations require us to HIDE taxes in your fares.” Senator Barbara Boxer then slammed Spirit Airlines for "deceiving" the American flying public.

In a letter to the airline, Boxer said, "What the rule says is that you have to tell your customers the full cost of a ticket. It prohibits Spirit or any other airline from advertising fares 'that exclude taxes, fees or other charges since the major impact of such presentations is to confuse and deceive consumers.'"

Travelzoo's US web editor Andrew Young told The Huffington Post at the time that "For the consumer, at first, they may have to recalibrate a bit what they consider a flight deal. It's not that prices are going up, prices are just being displayed differently."

Yet, Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza disagrees. Baldanza tells The Huffington Post that the new DOT rules "ignore deregulation."

So what do you think?

Welcome to a new Huffington Post platform called “Great Debates.” In this new forum, we will pit two bloggers against each other—in this case Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza and Airfarewatchdog's George Hobica—to tackle this question that affects the American public.

Join the debate below and see if Ben or George change your mind.

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