WASHINGTON, D.C. – As airline fees proliferate, it has become harder for travelers to determine the full cost of their trip before purchasing a ticket. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) led a letter, along with Sens. Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer, calling on the Administration to require airlines to disclose the full range of ancillary fees associated with each ticket option in a way that consumers will know exactly what the final cost will be before purchase and can also truly comparison shop for the best price.
In a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell the Senators wrote: “Under current requirements, airlines post a list of ancillary fees on their homepages. While this is an important first step, this information would be more useful to consumers if it was fully integrated with the ticket purchasing process through all sales channels.”
“Passengers should have the same ability to select options for seating, boarding, baggage, and other fees that are now separate from the base airfare, and view total price comparisons prior to selecting a flight or entering their personal information,” they added. “This information should be frequently updated, as the fees charged by airlines are continually evolving; and passengers should have the option of paying these fees when they purchase their tickets, to shield themselves from future price increases.”
Partially in response to the Clear Airfares Act and a Menendez-led letter to the DOT, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2011 announced new rules for airlines that require the full and upfront disclosure of hidden fees on their websites.
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