Mad about hidden airline fees?

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 – — 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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36 comments Add your comment


September 23rd, 2010
12:35 pm

How are they hidden? They are pretty easy to find on, etc. When places like Travelocity say “Airline may charges additional fees, check airline for details,” I guess it is a stretch that people can actually navigate to the airline site (or call) and figure it out.

“Only two weeks ago, we asked travelers to tell us how they felt about hidden airline fees, and we opened a floodgate.” People are just mad about the fees, not the fact they are hidden b/c they are not.


September 23rd, 2010
12:37 pm

Why is everyone complaining? The phone companies and airlines have been doing this for years. Their price of “service” or “ticket” is $x. But, you have to then go and add all of the mandatory fees which are then added. As for that $25.00 home phone from a certain cable company, it turns into $42+ after adding on all the fees from the gov’t, etc… Same with the airlines. But with the airlines, only about half are hidden. It sucks when you get that $49 one-way (on a roundtrip ticket of course) and you have to pay a $20-25 baggage fee for one piece of luggage. Now if you destination was a nudist colony, it is a great deal. If you are spending a week with family, it is costly. But when you are a monopoly at Hartsfield and keep other airlines like SouthWest out, you can charge what you want. I can’t wait until my cellphone contract is up. Metro PCS has the only truth to advertising that I have seen. $40, including fees. Other companies need to take note.


September 23rd, 2010
12:39 pm

Mad about hidden airline fees?

Sure, but I am even more mad about the Clayton County THUGZ who are too inept, rude and stupid for Affirmative Action positions who get “jobs” at the Atlanta airport to vandalize, abuse, kick, drop, punch, throw around and steal from people’s luggage.

Law-abiding citizens don’t pay their already-overtaxed dollars to buy decent luggage to have it violated, used as playthings and/or destroyed by those Obama-worshipping hoodlums.


September 23rd, 2010
12:48 pm

had to pay a $200.00 fee to Delta from a flight from London to Atl. the bag weighed the same as the trip over, no fee. My partner was flying to Amsterdam on KLM and his bag was over…..however, they did not charge him. It’s these desperate, greedy American airlines trying to squeeze everyone. Bottom line…will NEVER fly Delta again period and only foreign airlines international……better more pleasant service by far. No wonder Delta will not allow Southwest into Hartsfield.

taken in

September 23rd, 2010
12:53 pm

henry, i knew someone would be taken in by this story. the madashellaboutfees has nothing to do with fees. the question is simply – do the travel agents get a cut of the fees. right now travel agents don’t get a cut of checked bag fees. this is a petition that travel agents started so they could sell checked bag fees and get a cut of the money.


September 23rd, 2010
12:54 pm

SID sed “Bottom line…will NEVER fly Delta again period ”

Buh bye. See ya.

The fees are reasonable. Don’t overpack and no overweight fee. It’s very very simple.

Mr. G

September 23rd, 2010
12:55 pm

My mother-in-law had to pay Delta $400 dollars each way to fly with her dog, who wasn’t allowed to stay in her lap (within the carry case)but underneath the seat. The dog price was more than her ticket and the poor thing couldn’t even have a seat. Delta use to be the hometown favorite, not they are nothing but an oversize greedy company that could careless about their passengers. I will drive an hour and a half to Birmingham to fly Southwest….it cheaper on gas than pay the extra baggage fees.


September 23rd, 2010
1:00 pm

HA! HA! You have a valid point P F! Metro PCS doesn’t hide any fees! You’re billed the EXACT same amount EVERY month! Other companies do indeed need to take note! :)


September 23rd, 2010
1:10 pm

Many travelers that are booking by the older, conventional travel agent or on line travel agency method are not aware.. As Southwest points out in their commercials not shown in Atlanta as it’s not (((yet???))) a SW city You arrive at the airport for a vacation with 2 bags and the airline zings you with $120.00 in baggage fees for a ($25 +$35 x 2) round trip.

What other form of conveyance can charge you for your bags? You grab at taxi at Hartsfield and they say $40.00 for you and $20 a piece for your 2 bags..


September 23rd, 2010
1:23 pm

Uust another bureaucratic rip-off … someone is funding huge management bonuses with all these mysterious fees.


September 23rd, 2010
1:23 pm


September 23rd, 2010
1:25 pm

I flew to Seattle on Delta, and I made my reservations online. I used, and there was a note that the baggage charge would be $20.00. When I got to the airport the charge was $25.00. I was only going for the weekend, so I packed real lite. I guess I should have done what 90% of the passengers did, and that was to carry my bag on the plane. When I went to retrieve my bag after I got off the plane there were only about 10 people waiting for their luggage at the carosel.

Fair is fair

September 23rd, 2010
1:31 pm

If everyone would make a sacrifice and stop flying for 2-4 weeks. The rates would go down and we may get better service. This may require a bigger sacrifice than some can handle, but our voices are not being heard. I understand some may fly for business, and let them fly. The leisure trips are the trips we need to eliminate for 2-4 weeks. If we hit the airlines in their pockets like they are hitting us in our pockets, I believe some changes will take place.


September 23rd, 2010
1:33 pm

Here’s my two cents (which are not even woth that)
I fly at least 3,000 miles each month and every time I go to book my flight at, it tells me the cost of fees with the ticket, and what the cost of a bag will be. I’ve yet to be blindsided a hidden fee there. Now perhaps if I went through a travel agent or other travel web site (travelocity, ect) it might not be shown.

If you want one free checked bag on delta, grab a delta AE credit card… you get one free checked bag per person who flies under your name, even if you dont use the card to pay. Yes, the card has a $100 fee per year, but I get one free buddy ticket with no restricitions and by flying just once with a partner, the card is paid for in savings.


September 23rd, 2010
1:47 pm

I flew Airtran two weeks ago. In addition to the baggage fee, there was a SEAT fee. I had to pay for the seat on top of the regular fare. On one of the legs, I had to pay for the seat because all of the free seats were taken. However, even with the seat fee, the round trip ticket was over half the price of Delta.


September 23rd, 2010
2:07 pm

I agree with Evigan @ 12:39. I am so sick of having our luggage damaged by the airport handlers at Hartsfield whenever we try to take a simple weekend trip. Having to replace damaged baggage only adds to the cost of the airline fees.


September 23rd, 2010
2:25 pm

Evigan-was the Obama comment necessary? THUGZ come in all colors, and I see ALL COLORS handling baggage everytine i’m looking out the windown of a plane….why wouldn’t they worship PRESIDENT OBAMA? He’s the smartest President we’ve had in some time and given time, this MESS he inherited will be righted in due time. Now, if you have a problem with damaged luggage, take it up with the company!


September 23rd, 2010
2:36 pm

Actually, I’m fed up with people trying to use the force of government to do the things that they should be doing themselves. How about you complain to the specific airline and threaten not to fly with them again? Money talks! This “fairness” term is crippling our nation.

Roger D Smart

September 23rd, 2010
2:46 pm

These airline fees are a damn ripoff! I bet if we quit riding airlines who charge this nonsense, I bet they would change their minds!


September 23rd, 2010
2:49 pm

they should get rid of the “hidden” (in plain sight on the websites) fees and just up everyone’s ticket prices across the board. that way they can stay in business, and all those business travelers who take one small carryon or no luggage at all can subsidize the cost of all the leisure travelers who overpack. after all, this is the new american way, so the airlines need to get on board.

R Bailey

September 23rd, 2010
2:53 pm

Enough with the airlines already, move on to something else.


September 23rd, 2010
2:58 pm

Bob…you are a Delta tool no doubt.


September 23rd, 2010
3:14 pm

Seems pretty straight forward to me. The airlines charge a base fare to get from point a to b. Those who choose to consume more will pay more. Do you expect to pay FedEx more to ship a 10lb package or a 100lb package? I have no problem finding the info on all the fees. Guess some people are just too lazy or too stupid. Theres always the bus, train or your own car. Cheap airfare is not an entitlement. Well it is not now but, it probably will be when Obama and the socialist party finish there change America agenda!

jay dubu

September 23rd, 2010
3:21 pm

A lot of the fees that are tacked on to the price of an airline ticket and/ or phone bill (referenced by another blogger) are state and federal taxes that they businesses pass onto the customers.

Gen Neyland

September 23rd, 2010
3:23 pm

Can we sign an online petition requiring Congress to read bills before they vote on them, too..!!!??? At least with the airlines, it’s your CHOICE whether to fly or not. With excessive taxation, we ALL get stiffed….and bring back regulation in the industry.


September 23rd, 2010
3:37 pm

Since the 80’s the airlines have been progressively reducing service or increasing fees. Some of that due to deregulation. We the American people sat there and accepted it and so now they feel they can continue to do it.Until we revolt nothing will change plain and simple…

Bob from Accounttemps

September 23rd, 2010
3:45 pm

@BOB (12:54PM) – have you ever flown as anything OTHER than a non-rev? “Unbundling” is nothing more than a fare hike. Fine, then just hike fares? Can’t? Right, because passengers will only pay so much. How to get them to pay more? Slip in extra fees. And now good luck finding overhead space since folks are trying NOT to check bags. I’m fine to pay for what you use, but if you “unbundle” to pay for bags, shouldn’t the fare have come down for that optional part of the cost? AA’s been sued over bag fees – let’s see where that goes.


September 23rd, 2010
4:04 pm

JT – your an idiot. A community organizer is the smartest president in some time?!?! Lay off the Kool-Aid!


September 23rd, 2010
4:20 pm

Evigan guess what, my bags were broken into and equipment was stolen and it was a bunch of crackers. Hell I am guess it was your bumpkin slack jawed cousin kissing ass. Did you ever work in the Bosie airport?

Oh by the way I am a cracker, just not a dumbass hillbilly like you.


September 23rd, 2010
5:52 pm

Why are the airlines always the target for these type of discussions? Ever looked at one of your utility bills? So-called hidden fees are everywhere but it seems that the airlines are the only ones that ever get dumped on for having them. Moreover most of those hidden fees, which are really not all that hidden, are some type of tax or fee that’s government imposed. So… complain to your Congressman. And as for bag fees? Let’s just establish a baseline price for a ticket based on weight and then charge for each pound you’re over… either because of the baggage you carry in a suitcase or the baggage you carry around your waste. Think of the furor and comments that would cause.

Free market

September 23rd, 2010
6:29 pm

airlines can charge whatever they want for their product—just clearly disclose it in the ordering/payment/booking process. If people don’t want to pay it–don’t fly that airline–very simple.


September 23rd, 2010
7:19 pm

Airlines, especially the big ones are acting very ruthless towards the passengers. Even for one
pound extra weight, they will force the passengers to collect money. Credit card companies
charge late charges of 39.99 or 49.99, being late to send $ 5.00 payment. This mentality of
outright highway robbery is being practices by the airlines.

What difference it makes, if the weight is 2 lb over. The weighing scale might not be very accurate
at home.

It is time for the consumers to unite and tell all these big corporations ” we are a majority and we
are going to teach you a lesson for your greed and robbery”.


September 23rd, 2010
7:21 pm

To all you folks giving government fees on utility bills as equal to the charges that a single airline makes for their own benefit, you are the problem for most all of our country’s ills. Too stupid to vote but you do it anyway!


September 23rd, 2010
8:52 pm

Stay home! Man wasn’t meant to fly. Why are we so cheap? If only our highways were as safe.

No fly zone

September 23rd, 2010
10:18 pm

Because delta once charged me $50 for less than 1 pound over their “limit” I no longer fly with them. Very simple.


September 26th, 2010
8:24 pm

Last week I had to make a quick one day trip to NYC. I checked the fare from Atlanta and the cheapest one way was $399* on Air Tran. I then found a $118 one way on Spirit on Hotwire and Travelocity. When I tried to book this fare I was told it was no longer available. I then went to Spirit’s web site where the fare ws $104. I had no checked baggage and by the time it was all said and done the fare was over $270.

Now here is the problem. Air Tran had a $65 fare from Chicago to New York. Air Tran does not fly directly to NYC from Chicago so the plan has to stop in Atlanta. However, theAtlanta to NYC fare was over $320. For the same plane ont he same date with the Chicago people. So a friend suggested I catch a flight to Chicago get on theChicago plane and come to Atlanta. On the return, take the air tran flight to chiago stopping in Atlanta then fly back to ATL. With all of that I would have saved about $90.

The problem was I needed to be on time.

Atlanta is one of the most expensive cities int he US to fly from and the lack of competition is only helping to keep the costs high. In all honest, we are thinking about moving our business out of Atlanta because the ability to catch flights and get to plaes at a reasonable time and costs are slowly fading away.

Somebody needs to do something.