Supreme Court De­clines to Re­view DOT Rules on Air­line Mar­ket­ing

Business Traveler (USA) - - UPFRONT -

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.

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