Travelers petition feds to require disclosure of airline fees

A number of organizations this week submitted signatures from more than 50,000 travelers on a petition urging the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to require airlines to share all of their ancillary fees through every booking channel in which they participate.

“Only two weeks ago, we asked travelers to tell us how they felt about hidden airline fees, and we opened a floodgate,” Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition (BTC), said in a news release. “Consumers are clearly mad as hell about fees they can’t see, can’t compare, and can’t predict. There is no excuse for hiding fees from consumers, and we’re pleased that the Department of Transportation is poised to take action to protect consumers in this area.”

Since Sept. 7, more than 50,000 travelers have visited madashellabouthiddenfees.com and signed a petition urging the DOT to “require airlines to make their fees fully and easily accessible to both consumers and intermediaries in the travel industry.”

The Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) joined the BTC in submitting the signatures.

“This issue is not about fees, but about fairness,” Paul Ruden, senior vice president of Legal and Industry Affairs for the ASTA, said in a news release. “Although more than half of all airline tickets are booked through traditional or online travel agencies, the airlines have chosen to hide their fees from the systems that power those bookings. Airlines should be able make a fair profit and set fares and fees that allow them to do so, as long as travelers can see and compare all of those fees in advance.”

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