Big changes in store for airline passengers

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- When it comes to ticket prices, new regulations are going to force airlines to be more honest with consumers.

Audrey Knight, who was waiting on a flight at Sky Harbor International Airport, said it's about time.

"Absolutely I felt ripped off, I felt deprived, and it was one more burden to flying these days," she told 3 On Your Side.

Knight was in Phoenix for a convention. She actually flies around the country quite often.

She and other passengers we spoke with say they rarely actually ever book a flight for the price they see advertised because it is always a lot higher. Then when you arrive at the airport, many airlines stick you those baggage fees that you either forgot about or just didn't plan on paying.

Passengers like Alli Urban say it makes budgeting difficult.

"If you know exactly how much you have to pay, then people can really plan for trips," she explained.

But starting Jan. 26, it all changes.

The federal government will require airlines to reveal the exact price of your ticket up front, including taxes and fees so you know exactly what you're paying.

Those costs are usually hidden behind asterisks that keep prices looking cheaper than what they really are.

The new rule will also require airlines to tell you in advance about any fees to check your baggage.
The goal, of course, is to prevent sticker shock when you arrived to check in.

Passengers we spoke to say they are going to like knowing the bottom line in advance.

"I think it's great," said Lou Perdoni, a passenger at Sky Harbor. "I think it's fair and it helps people plan with their trip.”

Another passenger, Robin Beam, agrees.

"Much, much better," Beam said. "You'll know exactly what it will cost to fly, so it's much better.”

And for frequent fliers like Knight, knowing the real costs will help keep her knitting business all sewn up.

"That will be nice to know that upfront," she said. “I’ll be able to plan for that in my budget and not a price to just get you lured in."

Also, starting Jan. 26 airlines will also have to allow customers a full 24 hours to change their reservations without having to pay re-booking fees.