There has been a recent rule made for airlines, stating that they are required, when advertising for fare prices, to include taxes, fees, and other surcharges in the final amount of the advertised price as a means of being total honest with customers. This rule has been put into place as many consumers complained about being led to believe that their airline fare would be a lot cheaper than it actually was after taxes and fees were added to the final amount. It is believed that advertising like this is simply misleading. However, some people beg to differ. In fact, a congressman is working on a bill that would overturn this rule that has been recently made.
The congressman, Representative Tom Graves, said on Monday that he has plans to introduce a new bill, a bill that will cancel the rule that has been made by the Department of Transportation, which was made effective at some point during last week. The new rule wants all airlines in the United States to advertise fares that include taxes, fees, and surcharges. The rule states that the airlines can, in fact, break down the different costs for consumers within the advertisement.
Prior to this rule being made, most airlines were advertising extremely low fares online, but the fares were based strictly on the airline fare and did not include the taxes and fees that are added on before purchasing the ticket. This led many consumers to become frustrated with the many different airline companies, believing they had been misled.
The Department of Transportation, along with many different consumers, argued that the airlines were not releasing the real cost of their air travel and were instead hiding the real price by leaving out all of the other fees that are added on to the final total. Graves, however, says, “If the American people can’t see these costs clearly, I fear it will be easier (for) these fees and taxes to be raised without their knowledge.”
Graves says, “If the goal of the DOT’s rule is to prevent companies from deceiving passengers about the total cost of their ticket, why is the department mandating that airlines hide the taxes, surcharges and government fees in the fine print?” He concluded by saying, “Transparency and honesty in ticket pricing should apply across the board.”
There has definitely been a major clash between the Department of Transportation, an assortment of airlines, and a number of consumer groups, all of which have differing opinions and are voicing them loud and clear.
In fact, one airline, Spirit Airlines, has added a pop-up message on its website, stating that the new government regulations are requiring the airline to hide taxes and fees within the fare which is not fair to the consumer at all. They are saying that the move is completely unfair. A lawyer for the Department of Transportation says this message is definitely misguided.Bill Could Turn Around Rules Made for Airline Fare Advertising by Harrison Barnes