Supreme Court Declines to Review DOT Rules on Airline Marketing
On April 1, the US Supreme Court decided not to review a lower court’s decision on airline consumer regulations. In denying the appeal, the high court effectively upheld the ruling by the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, affirming the Department of Transportation’s authority to enforce airline consumer protection regulations.
Airlines filing the appeal had argued that DOT had violated their First Amendment rights by mandating“total cost”advertising. They had also asked the court to consider the question of whether the DOT rules had in effect re-regulated aspects of the airlines’marketing and sales. The three-judge appeals court panel had upheld the DOT rulemaking authority in a July decision.
The airlines which had brought the appeal expressed disappointment with the decision. Meanwhile, consumer advocacy groups, including the Open Allies for Airfare Transparency, Travel Technology Association and others applauded the court’s actions.
“With the Supreme Court’s nod to uphold its authority, we expect the Department to move forward on the next round of rulemaking to clarify how airline ancillary fees should be displayed and transacted,”Simon Gros, chairman of Travel Tech, said in a statement.