Transparency of Airline Ancillary Fees and Other Consumer Protection Issues, 45731-45732 [2014-18525]

Download as PDF 45731 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 151 Wednesday, August 6, 2014 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. Manager, Building Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 950 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: 202– 586–6590; Email: asrac@ee.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Purpose of Meeting [Docket No. EERE–2011–BT–CE–0077] 10 CFR Part 460 Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC)—Regional Standards Enforcement Working Group Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: This notice announces an open meeting for the Regional Standards Enforcement Working Group (RSE Working Group). The purpose of the working group will be to discuss and, if possible, reach consensus on a proposed rule for the energy efficiency of requirements of enforcement of regional standards, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. DATES: A two-day, open meeting will be held on: Wednesday, August 13; 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (EDT) and Thursday, August 14; 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (EDT). Foreign nationals wishing to participate in the meeting must respond by email to asrac@ee.doe.gov as soon as possible, to initiate the necessary security screening procedures. ADDRESSES: Wednesday: U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Room 8E– 089. Thursday: 950 L’Enfant Plaza Washington, DC 20024, room 6097/8/9. Individuals will also have the opportunity to participate by webinar. Webinar: To register for the webinar and receive call-in information, please register for Wednesday, August 13 at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/ 831773864 and for Thursday, August 14 at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/ register/916598880. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ashley Armstrong, Lead Project tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:32 Aug 05, 2014 Jkt 232001 The purpose of the working group will be to discuss and, if possible, reach consensus on a proposed rule for the enforcement of regional energy efficiency standards for split-system central air conditioners and singlepackage central air conditioners, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. Tentative Agenda: (Subject to change): • Overview of Working Group’s Task • Discussion and formation of a work plan for the RSE Working Group to accomplish its objectives. Public Participation Members of the public are welcome to observe the business of the meeting and, if time allows, may make oral statements during the specified period for public comment. To attend the meeting and/or to make oral statements regarding any of the items on the agenda, email asrac@ee.doe.gov. In the email, please indicate your name, organization (if appropriate), citizenship, and contact information. Please note that foreign nationals visiting DOE Headquarters are subject to advance security screening procedures. Any foreign national wishing to participate in the meeting should advise ASRAC staff as soon as possible by emailing asrac@ee.doe.gov to initiate the necessary procedures, as soon as possible. Anyone attending the meeting will be required to present a government photo identification, such as a passport, driver’s license, or government identification. Due to the required security screening upon entry, individuals attending should arrive early to allow for the extra time needed. Members of the public will be heard in the order in which they request to make a statement at the public meeting. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number of individuals who wish to speak but will not exceed five minutes. Reasonable provision will be made to include the scheduled oral statements on the agenda. The co-chairs PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 of the Committee will make every effort to hear the views of all interested parties and to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Participation in the meeting is not a prerequisite for submission of written comments. ASRAC invites written comments from all interested parties during the course of the negotiations. If you would like to file a written statement with the committee, you may do so either by submitting a hard or electronic copy before or after the meeting. Electronic copy of written statements should be emailed to asrac@ ee.doe.gov. Minutes: All notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents associated with this working group are included in Docket No. EERE–2011–BT–CE–0077. Issued in Washington, DC, on July 31, 2014. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. [FR Doc. 2014–18567 Filed 8–5–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary 14 CFR Parts 234, 244, 250, 255, 256, 257, 259, and 399 [Docket No. DOT–OST–2014–0056] RIN 2105–AE11 Transparency of Airline Ancillary Fees and Other Consumer Protection Issues Office of the Secretary (OST), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Extension of comment period on proposed rule. AGENCY: This action extends the comment period for an NPRM on transparency of airline ancillary fees and other consumer protection issues that was published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2014. The Department of Transportation is extending the period for interested persons to submit comments on this rulemaking from August 21, 2014, to September 22, 2014. This extension is a result of a joint petition filed by a number of airline associations to extend the comment period for the proposal. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\06AUP1.SGM 06AUP1 45732 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 151 / Wednesday, August 6, 2014 / Proposed Rules Comments must be received by September 22, 2014. Comments received after this date will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: You may file comments identified by the docket number DOT– OST–2014–0056 by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., between 9:00a.m. and 5:00p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket number DOT– OST–2014–0056 or the Regulatory Identification Number, RIN No. 2105– AE11, for the rulemaking at the beginning of your comment. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received in any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment if submitted on behalf of an association, a business, a labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78), or you may visit http:// Docketslnfo.dot.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov or to the street address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kimberly Graber or Blane A. Workie, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202–366– 9342 (phone), 202–366–7152 (fax), Kimberly.graber@dot.gov or blane.workie@dot.gov (email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 23, 2014, the Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on transparency of airline ancillary fees and other consumer protection issues, including clarifying and codifying the Department’s interpretation of the tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS DATES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:32 Aug 05, 2014 Jkt 232001 statutory definition of ‘‘ticket agent;’’ expanding the pool of ‘‘reporting’’ carriers; requiring enhanced reporting by mainline carriers for their domestic code-share partner operations; requiring large travel agents to adopt minimum customer service standards; codifying the statutory requirement that carriers and ticket agents disclose any airline code-share arrangements on their Web sites; and prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices such as undisclosed biasing in schedule and fare displays and post-purchase price increases. Additionally, this NPRM would correct drafting errors and make minor changes to the Department’s second Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections rule to conform to guidance issued by the Department’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office) regarding its interpretation of the rule. See 79 FR 29970 (May 23, 2014). Comments on the matters proposed were to be received 90 days after publication of the NPRM, or by August 21, 2014. We received a joint petition for a 90day extension of the comment period for this rulemaking by Airlines for America (A4A), the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), and the Regional Airline Association (RAA). According to this petition, the extension is appropriate because the NPRM proposes significant new regulations on U.S. and foreign carriers and ticket agents, in addition to requesting information and views on dozens of topics that could materially alter the proposal. The petitioners also state that the proposed rule would expand the regulated community by covering previously unregulated entities and commercial relationships. Further, the petitioners point out that the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) accompanying the NPRM requests information on a number of proposals and alternatives and more time is needed to provide the Department with the extensive information it requests. We received four comments generally in support of this joint petition. Spirit Airlines supports the joint petition and its underlying rationale. Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO) also agrees with the petition particularly because of the complex technical questions raised by the NRPM in relation to implementing the proposal of enhancing transparency in airline ancillary fees. Open Allies for Airfare Transparency urges the Department not to prolong the adoption of a rule that would enhance airline pricing transparency but also recognizes the complexity of the proposals in this NPRM. Therefore, it supports a PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 ‘‘reasonable extension’’ period of less than 90 days. Travelers United opposes any extension to the comment period for the proposal to enhance transparency of ancillary fees and states that this topic has been debated and commented for three years. It also opposes an extension to the comment period proposals related to reporting issues. Also recognizing the complexity of the NPRM, Travelers United supports a limited extension to the comment period for other topics such as codifying the definition of ticket agent, requiring large travel agents to adopt customer service standards, transparency of codeshare operations, and disclosure of biasing in schedule and fare displays. While we concur with the requests for an extension of the comment period, we believe that a 90-day extension would be excessive. We have decided to grant an extension of 30 days, or until September 22, 2014, for the public to comment on the NPRM. We believe this extension is appropriate in balancing the need for additional time for comments and the need to proceed expeditiously with this important rulemaking. We note that the proposal to enhance airline ancillary fee transparency, which is the proposal in this NPRM that involves the most technical complexities, was one of the proposals in the Department’s 2010 Enhancing Airline Passenger Protection rulemaking. In the final rule of that rulemaking, we deferred final action on this matter to a future rulemaking. Therefore, the interested parties have been on notice that we intended to further explore this topic in a subsequent rulemaking. We further note that with this additional 30 days we are granting here, interested parties will have total of 120 days to comment on the proposals, which we believe is adequate time for analysis and coordination regarding the proposals. Accordingly, the Department finds that good cause exists to extend the time for comments on the proposed rule from August 21, 2014, to September 22, 2014. We do not anticipate any further extension of the comment period for this rulemaking. Issued this 31st day of July, 2014, in Washington, DC. Kathryn B. Thomson, General Counsel, Office of Regulation and Enforcement, U.S. Department of Transportation. [FR Doc. 2014–18525 Filed 8–5–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P E:\FR\FM\06AUP1.SGM 06AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 151 (Wednesday, August 6, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45731-45732]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18525]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

14 CFR Parts 234, 244, 250, 255, 256, 257, 259, and 399

[Docket No. DOT-OST-2014-0056]
RIN 2105-AE11


Transparency of Airline Ancillary Fees and Other Consumer 
Protection Issues

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary (OST), Department of Transportation 
(DOT).

ACTION: Extension of comment period on proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This action extends the comment period for an NPRM on 
transparency of airline ancillary fees and other consumer protection 
issues that was published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2014. The 
Department of Transportation is extending the period for interested 
persons to submit comments on this rulemaking from August 21, 2014, to 
September 22, 2014. This extension is a result of a joint petition 
filed by a number of airline associations to extend the comment period 
for the proposal.

[[Page 45732]]


DATES: Comments must be received by September 22, 2014. Comments 
received after this date will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may file comments identified by the docket number DOT-
OST-2014-0056 by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Room W12-140, Washington, DC 
20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., between 9:00a.m. and 5:00p.m. ET, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket number 
DOT-OST-2014-0056 or the Regulatory Identification Number, RIN No. 
2105-AE11, for the rulemaking at the beginning of your comment. All 
comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received in any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment if submitted on behalf 
of an association, a business, a labor union, etc.). You may review 
DOT's complete Privacy Act statement in the Federal Register published 
on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you may visit http://Docketslnfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to the street 
address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the 
docket.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kimberly Graber or Blane A. Workie, 
Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and 
Proceedings, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. 
SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-9342 (phone), 202-366-7152 (fax), 
Kimberly.graber@dot.gov or blane.workie@dot.gov (email).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 23, 2014, the Department published a 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on transparency of airline 
ancillary fees and other consumer protection issues, including 
clarifying and codifying the Department's interpretation of the 
statutory definition of ``ticket agent;'' expanding the pool of 
``reporting'' carriers; requiring enhanced reporting by mainline 
carriers for their domestic code-share partner operations; requiring 
large travel agents to adopt minimum customer service standards; 
codifying the statutory requirement that carriers and ticket agents 
disclose any airline code-share arrangements on their Web sites; and 
prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices such as undisclosed biasing 
in schedule and fare displays and post-purchase price increases. 
Additionally, this NPRM would correct drafting errors and make minor 
changes to the Department's second Enhancing Airline Passenger 
Protections rule to conform to guidance issued by the Department's 
Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office) 
regarding its interpretation of the rule. See 79 FR 29970 (May 23, 
2014). Comments on the matters proposed were to be received 90 days 
after publication of the NPRM, or by August 21, 2014.
    We received a joint petition for a 90-day extension of the comment 
period for this rulemaking by Airlines for America (A4A), the 
International Air Transportation Association (IATA), and the Regional 
Airline Association (RAA). According to this petition, the extension is 
appropriate because the NPRM proposes significant new regulations on 
U.S. and foreign carriers and ticket agents, in addition to requesting 
information and views on dozens of topics that could materially alter 
the proposal. The petitioners also state that the proposed rule would 
expand the regulated community by covering previously unregulated 
entities and commercial relationships. Further, the petitioners point 
out that the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) accompanying the NPRM 
requests information on a number of proposals and alternatives and more 
time is needed to provide the Department with the extensive information 
it requests.
    We received four comments generally in support of this joint 
petition. Spirit Airlines supports the joint petition and its 
underlying rationale. Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO) also 
agrees with the petition particularly because of the complex technical 
questions raised by the NRPM in relation to implementing the proposal 
of enhancing transparency in airline ancillary fees. Open Allies for 
Airfare Transparency urges the Department not to prolong the adoption 
of a rule that would enhance airline pricing transparency but also 
recognizes the complexity of the proposals in this NPRM. Therefore, it 
supports a ``reasonable extension'' period of less than 90 days. 
Travelers United opposes any extension to the comment period for the 
proposal to enhance transparency of ancillary fees and states that this 
topic has been debated and commented for three years. It also opposes 
an extension to the comment period proposals related to reporting 
issues. Also recognizing the complexity of the NPRM, Travelers United 
supports a limited extension to the comment period for other topics 
such as codifying the definition of ticket agent, requiring large 
travel agents to adopt customer service standards, transparency of 
codeshare operations, and disclosure of biasing in schedule and fare 
displays.
    While we concur with the requests for an extension of the comment 
period, we believe that a 90-day extension would be excessive. We have 
decided to grant an extension of 30 days, or until September 22, 2014, 
for the public to comment on the NPRM. We believe this extension is 
appropriate in balancing the need for additional time for comments and 
the need to proceed expeditiously with this important rulemaking. We 
note that the proposal to enhance airline ancillary fee transparency, 
which is the proposal in this NPRM that involves the most technical 
complexities, was one of the proposals in the Department's 2010 
Enhancing Airline Passenger Protection rulemaking. In the final rule of 
that rulemaking, we deferred final action on this matter to a future 
rulemaking. Therefore, the interested parties have been on notice that 
we intended to further explore this topic in a subsequent rulemaking. 
We further note that with this additional 30 days we are granting here, 
interested parties will have total of 120 days to comment on the 
proposals, which we believe is adequate time for analysis and 
coordination regarding the proposals.
    Accordingly, the Department finds that good cause exists to extend 
the time for comments on the proposed rule from August 21, 2014, to 
September 22, 2014. We do not anticipate any further extension of the 
comment period for this rulemaking.

    Issued this 31st day of July, 2014, in Washington, DC.
Kathryn B. Thomson,
General Counsel, Office of Regulation and Enforcement, U.S. Department 
of Transportation.
[FR Doc. 2014-18525 Filed 8-5-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P