Changes affect how passengers buy plane tickets

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – If you are planning to go on a spring break vacation this year, you might think you are going to have to pay more for a plane ticket, but that might not be the case.

A year ago this week, the government put in place a set of new rules for airlines in terms of how they advertise a ticket price. Those changes require airlines to include government taxes and other hidden fees in their advertised price.

Coast Carolina University marketing professor Mark Mitchell said this was a big change for consumers.

"I remember researching a trip about a month after that and for me as a consumer I felt better because I knew the certainty of the costs and I don't want surprises," Mitchell said.

The new rule changes are a way to protect the consumer, Mitchell added.

"Because you're collecting this on our behalf," Mitchell said. "We want the consumers to know what the full price is what the full costs is."

Mitchell said some consumers were shocked at first to see what looked like an overall increase in airfare prices, but now he said customers may shop by price instead of airline because the prices are known up front.

"There was a bit of a sticker shock," Mitchell added. "But now we're a year later and we've dialed that in changed our behaviors so we know if you tell me it's a $400 round trip then good it's a $400 dollar round trip."

If you are looking for a place to go for spring break and want to save some money, travel experts recommend going someplace colder this spring to avoid the rush.

"Anywhere that's snowy because it's sort of the opposite," said Tracie Lawrence with AAA.  "Some of the ski resorts that are still making snow and still have snow they're going to be a little better value too instead of heading to Florida where everyone is trying to get to."

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