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Business

Airliners Ask Feds To Delay Deadline For Baggage Fee Updates

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(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The nation’s biggest airlines want to put off having to be more transparent with customers about baggage and “bumping” policies for at least another couple of months.

US Airways, Delta, and American Airlines were among those asking federal regulators to delay a deadline for a new policy that would require the carriers to be more open about the bag fees and boost compensation for flyers who get bumped.

But as travel analyst Rudy Maxa tells KFWB 980’s Michael Shappee, it’s all part of a deliberate strategy to boost ticket sales at a time of increased price competition among airliners.

“They’ve never wanted to really attach those fees to the first number you see for fear you’ll say, ‘Well, I’m going over to this airline’,” said Maxa.

After posting a $1 billion loss in the first quarter of 2011, U.S. air carriers are blaming a sharp rise in jet fuel prices for the new fee hikes.

New government figures show airlines collected $3.4 billion in baggage fees in 2010, up 24 percent from the previous year.

Regulators have given airlines until Aug. 23 to post a notice of any new or increased fees on their respective websites.

However, Maxa has his doubts that the deadline will be enforced.

“Is it really a software problem? Is it really a massive thing to redo your website to put the fees in there? If it is, then maybe they’ve got a case,” said Maxa.

“They certainly do change things quickly enough when fuel prices go up,” Maxa added.

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