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Airline passengers protected from hidden fees and overbooked flights

Passengers at Nice airport in southern France. Wait after left stranded by volcanic ash -- April 20, 2010.

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Starting today, airlines will have to prominently post the fees they charge. And they'll have to offer more money to passengers that get involuntarily bumped. It's all part of the new flyer-protection regulations.

WNYC's Jim O'Grady reports.


Jim O'Grady: Consumer groups have long complained that buying a ticket online means digging deep into an airline's website to understand its fees.

Charlie Leocha of the Consumer Travel Alliance says he'll be interested to see how airlines clearly display fees on everything from early boarding to extra leg room.

Charlie Leocha: I really don't know exactly how they're going to do it because they have so many different fees now and they change so quickly.

Airlines say they strive to communicate clearly with passengers. Steve Lott is with the Air Transport Association.

Steve Lott: Airlines already have made many service improvements and many of the regulations going into effect formalize procedures already in place.

In January, airlines will face even more rules, including notifying passengers at the boarding gate if their flight is delayed or canceled.

I'm Jim O'Grady for Marketplace.

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