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Biden targets ‘surprise fees’ from airlines: ‘You should know the full cost of your ticket right when you’re comparison shopping’

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By Victor Reklaitis

President Joe Biden on Monday rolled out a proposed new rule that would require airlines and travel websites to provide better disclosures about certain fees, following his administration’s efforts to spotlight what carriers owe travelers when there is a delay or cancellation.

“You should know the full cost of your ticket right when you’re comparison shopping,” Biden said, as he took part in a meeting of the White House Competition Council. He added that this would let travelers “pick the ticket that actually is the best deal.”

Monday’s move is tied to Biden’s executive order last year that seeks to rein in the power of big business and boost competition.

“Under the proposed rule, airlines /zigman2/quotes/207744796/composite JETS -1.25% and travel search websites would have to disclose upfront — the first time an airfare is displayed — any fees charged to sit with your child, for changing or cancelling your flight, and for checked or carry-on baggage,” the White House said in a statement before Biden’s remarks .

“Otherwise, surprise fees can add up quickly and overcome what may look at first to be a cheap fare.”

In response to Biden’s new proposed rule, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, a trade group, told the Associated Press that carriers already disclose terms and the total cost of a ticket, including taxes and government fees that account for “more than 20% of many domestic one-stop, roundtrip tickets.”

The Biden administration also said Monday it was rolling out two new efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support fair and competitive meat and poultry markets.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Biden will continue to talk about bringing down costs amid high U.S. inflation on Tuesday, as he makes a speech about lowering the cost of prescription drugs and other healthcare expenses as well as about working to strengthen Medicare and Social Security.

Republicans have made the president’s handling of the economy their top issue, as they aim to take control of the House and Senate in  November’s midterm elections .

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