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Supreme Court Upholds Airfare Advertising Rules


By refusing to review a lower court ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) airfare advertising rules, which require airlines to feature full, inclusive prices in fare displays. A federal appeals court previously upheld the rules.

Three airlines, Allegiant, Spirit, and Southwest, had protested the rules, using the far-fetched argument that knowing how taxes cost was more important to consumers than knowing the total amount they’d have to pay. The airlines also claimed that the DOT’s regulations violated free speech. The DOT had previously refused to accept that position, so you have to wonder why the three airlines pushed again.  

Fortunately for consumers, the court decided not to hear the appeal. That means the DOT rules stand as originally published: The featured price of a plane ticket has to include everything you have to pay. Now if only the FTC had the fortitude to insist on the same standard of honesty for hotels….

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