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Hot - action needed on proposed air fare rules

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by HAWJOHN, May 9, 2014.

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  1. HAWJOHN

    HAWJOHN Tourist

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    ---Transparent Airfares Act ---
    What is it? There is a new bill they are trying to rush through Congress so airlines can once again only publish base fares. Then they sock it to you with all these added fees. I plan on contacting our delegates in Washington and ask them NOT to vote on this bill. Please pass this along.

    http://tiny.cc/r12kfx
     
  2. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    LOL, how about a Transparent Hotel Fees Act? :)
     
  3. gilly from philly

    gilly from philly Low-Roller

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    Can't really blame the airlines for pushing this. There is no reason for the double standard.
     
  4. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Yeah I read about this a few weeks ago. Like so many of these bills, its name is completely contradictory to its actual aim.

    Its the total bullshit type of deregulation that screws over consumers by opening up the door to deceptive marketing. No single benefit at all. The frequent flyer community is up in arms about it and they represent a fairly professional and important demographic, which is why I hope this doesn't have much chance of getting passed.
     
  5. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    What double standard? The main reason for the law they are trying to overturn was to make mandatory fees FROM THE AIRLINES be included in the price you see when you search. If there is some bullshit convenience fee or fuel surcharge, it now has to be in the pricing you see, not sprung up on you later. How about they tax all that fee revenue as income instead of local sales taxes? Maybe that will slow the airlines down in tacking even more on.
     
  6. gilly from philly

    gilly from philly Low-Roller

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    Show me another service, besides gasoline, that must include everything in the advertised cost. An auto company advertises a car, and in small print, "plus title, tax, doc, and license." Car rental companies advertise "xx dollars a week" but do not include the many fees added on by local governments. Heck, what one pays for a McDonalds value meal is different than what one sees on a commercial. Megabus has a following for their $1 fares, those do not include booking fees and taxes. And I don't think I have to mention resort fees at hotels.....


    So yes, a double standard. If the government thinks that fees need to be included in an advertised price, fine then do it for everything. Until they do, it is a double standard.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  7. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    I don't think they are talking at all about things like baggage fees and convenience fees and such, but instead about things like state and federal taxes, aviation fees, airport fees, etc.

    Because it is optional they can't roll things like baggage fees in to pricing... like if an airline had a baggage fee how are they going to advertise prices:
    Fly to Fabulous Las Vegas! Round trip from your airport for:
    $250
    $275 if you have one bag
    $300 if you have two bags
    $325 if you have three bags
    $350 if you have four bags

    That would just be stupid, and its not what they are trying to get around.

    What the airlines do want is to be able to advertise the base cost of airfare before all the state, federal, municipal and airport taxes/fees are added in.

    It would be like if you go buy a can of Coke from the store: the price printed on the cooler says it is 99 cents, but you know after you add on deposit and sales tax its probably going to be $1.11


    And that just illustrates how with some things, like baggage fees or resort fees, how some people can get all outraged and upset because the price they see is not the final price... yet the same people aren't shi##ing their pants when they go buy a shopping cart full of groceries and at the checkout they have to pay $25 in taxes as well as another 75 cents for plastic bags to hold the groceries they bought.

    And thats the double standard.
     
  8. HAWJOHN

    HAWJOHN Tourist

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    I see things differently. I do not relate this to purchasing items at the grocery store or renting a car/hotel room. The law was changed two years ago so airlines would include all the minor charges/fees so we would know exactly what the air fare was before purchase. This was not intended to include the cost of checked baggage but to retain the system that is now in use.

    If we revert back to that old system, air fare would be announced as X amount of dollars. These fees will then be added in our area.

    1. US September 11th Security Fee:
    2. US Flight Segment Tax:
    3. US Transportation Tax:
    4. US Alaska/Hawaii Departure Tax:
    5. US Passenger Facility Charge:

    What double standard is it to have the announced fare include these five items? These are all federal mandated taxes/fees and not something required by the state or business.
     
  9. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Maybe it's me, but I don't remember flying on airlines that didn't quote all the taxes in their price quotes. Maybe airlines like Spirit didn't but I don't fool with them. And some are going out of their way to show the full tax breakdown in their pricing. I do know the primary intention of the legislation was to get fees that are not optional from the airline included in price quotes and the taxes was a secondary thing. What they are attempting to do is throw the whole thing out and that's my concern.

    I don't think it's a burden for the airlines to include taxes in their quotes. And more importantly, with capacity at the levels they are, they can't exactly claim to be burdened by doing the consumer the small favor of providing a complete picture of what they have to pay. With or without the taxes, the perception is still going to be that the price is too high.
     
  10. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Spirit will soon advertise all flights as free, and will hand all people who board a $50 bill.

    Spirit Base Fare: ORD to LAS $0.00 + One Free $50 Bill per ticket!!!

    Spirit Ticketing Charge: $25 online, $35 phone; $50 in person; $100 day of flight.

    Spirit Mandatory Seat Charge: $85 middle, $125 Aisle, $150 Window, $200 Emergency Row, $250 Big Seat.

    Spirit Bag Fees: Carry-on $50; checked bag $70 per bag; on-board bags $100 per bag; bag fees not purchased at the time of flight purchase an additional $50 per bag, bag fees purchased at the airport an additional $100 per bag.

    US Govt taxes (several fees including TSA feel up your child fees): $135.

    Spirit Safety Equipment Fees (Mandatory): Emergency Lights $10, Pre-flight Emergency presentation $20, Oxygen Mask $30, Air Pressurized Cabin Fee $50; Air traffic control fee $60.

    Spirit Amenity Fees: In flight lavatory $20 + $25 per use.

    Spirit Crew Fees: $20 per ticket counter agent, $25 per gate agent, $35 per stewardess & $50 per pilot.

    Spirit Operations fees: $8 off shore phone center fees, $20 pension fee; $35 home office fee.

    - All charges for each one way ticket purchase. Fees subject to change. No refunds of fees, including for flights canceled for weather or mechanical issues.
     
  11. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    This is just plain wrong. Its this kind of uninformed rhetoric that the lobbyists want people to promote.

    First of all airline tickets are exempt from state and local taxes. So that part is bullshit. Second there is no easily digestible federal tax % on airline tickets. In fact the example the lobbyists behind this bill use in all the ads is completely fictional and plain wrong. The actual tax and fees on that fictional ticket in their ad wouldn't be 21% it would be 13.7%. Much better informed people than either of us at FlyerTalk pointed this out weeks ago in one of the threads on this subject (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travelbuzz/1565534-u-s-congressional-action-change-how-airfares-advertised.html).

    More importantly the government taxes and fees the airlines are talking about are purposely vague if you read the actual Congressional Act H.R 4156. In an infograph on a piece of lobbying literature they listed much more than what HAWJOHN mentioned (which by the way are already disclosed on all tickets), including fees that are borne by the carrier and not by passengers. This is no different than any business advertising some artificially low price but then later including costs that the business pays on their fuel bill or for property tax. In fact, its purposely vague because airlines have claimed that virtually everything is a tax when they are just costs of doing business. They have wanted to claim congestion pricing charged by airports is a government fee which is like me claiming the price I pay to ride the subway is a government fee for me being able to get around town since the subways are publicly owned. Airports are publicly financed and the costs are supposed to be recovered by the airlines, passengers, vendors, etc. It wouldn't work any other way, unless Delta, United, AA, and everyone else agreed to pitch in the funds to build airports all over the country. But if United wants to fly into JFK at peak hour they need to pay the higher fees by the airport and not try to hide behind the government tax boogeyman, because those fees are just part of normal capitalism. If a private entity wanted to build airports they'd have to do the same thing.

    So a bill like this just gives the airlines freedom to advertise completely meaningless fares because even normal costs of business with public entities can be construed as government fees. They want to have their cake and eat it too. The regulation they want to overturn was promoted by frequent flyer and consumer groups in the first place, this new bill is promoted by the airlines. If you think its actually in any way a double standard, or consumer friendly, or an increase in transparency than you don't understand it at all.
     
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