WASHINGTON, D.C. – A New Jersey senator is calling on the federal Department of Transportation to require the full disclosure of all ancillary fees on airline tickets.
“Greater disclosure of fees will give consumers the information they need to make better and more informed air travel purchases. That is why we support the Department’s proposal ‘requiring sellers of air transportation to display on their websites information regarding a full price including optional fees selected by the passenger when a prospective passenger conducts a query for a particular itinerary,’ said a letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood signed by Robert Menendez and six other U.S. senators.
“This would allow passengers to conduct queries for their specific needs—for example, air fare and 1 checked bag, or air fare and 2 checked bags and extra legroom—and then compare the full cost of their proposed trip across air carriers. We also strongly support the Department’s view that the list of ancillary services subject to required airline disclosures should be broad and inclusive,” wrote the senators.
Menendez authored the Clear Airfares Act aims to bring transparency to the price of flying through a full, clear and upfront breakdown of airfares. Before a consumer purchases a ticket on the Internet, the legislation would require airlines and third-party websites to give consumers a complete and understandable breakdown of his or her particular airfare, as well as any other possible fees that might be incurred on the flight (such as baggage, seat assignments, etc.).
A slightly modified version of Menendez’s bill to provide such breakdowns to consumers was included in the Senate Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation, but the bill is stalled pending negotiations with the version passed in the House.
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