You’re not alone if you’re mad as hell about hidden airline fees.
Petition signatures from more than 50,000 people who visited the website – madashellabouthiddenfees.com — were submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday, organizers said in a news release. The petition urges DOT to “require airlines to make their fees fully and easily accessible,” the release said.
The groups behind the website and petition are the Consumer Travel Alliance, Business Travel Coalition and American Society of Travel Agents.
“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, said in the 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.”
“This issue is not about fees, but about fairness,” Paul Ruden of the American Society of Travel Agents said in a statement. “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.”
Thursday is the last day of a public comment period on a series of enhanced airline passenger protections proposed by the agency in June, CNN reported. The DOT expects to issue a final rule in spring 2011.
“It is absolutely imperative that consumers have the opportunity that they’ve had in the past to make comparative price decisions, to understand the total cost, the all-in price,” Ruden said, according to the CNN report.
The Air Transport Association of America, the nation’s largest airline trade group, also plans to submit detailed comments about the proposed rules to the DOT on Thursday, CNN wrote.
“We are working to provide more transparency, making it easier for customers to make decisions,” said David Castelveter, the ATA’s vice president of communications, CNN reported.
What do you say?
Are you fed up with these practices? What should be done?
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