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Allegiant, Spirit lose bid to stop airfare ad rules

Discount airlines Spirit and Allegiant lost a joint legal bid to stop new airfare advertising rules laid down by the federal government.

In a one-paragraph order entered on Monday, a three-judge appellate panel of the District of Columbia Circuit said their case had not met the “stringent requirements” needed to win an immediate halt to new government regulations. However, they will be allowed to continue with the case on a normal timetable.

The point Spirit and Allegiant contested most adamantly was the new U.S. Department of Transportation standard that an advertised air travel price include all fees and taxes up front. For a seat purchased online, just the fare itself is shown now, with the other parts added on the final screen before purchase. Printed ads generally list the taxes and fees in the fine print.

The rule was to take effect in October. But the government postponed it until Jan. 24 after airlines complained that they needed the extra time to reprogram their booking engines.

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