Airlines assert that a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirement that they prominently display the full price of an airline ticket (base fare, taxes, fees) in a print or online advertisement treats them differently than other industries. They are correct. There is a reason. They are treated differently on many different levels.
A carry-on bag is included in Lana Joseph’s ticket price whenever she flies from Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on United Airlines. But if that carry-on includes Molly, her six-pound Yorkshire terrier, Joseph has to cough up an additional $250 round-trip.
Both airlines and the government have been creating more and more misery with long lines and abysmal service and then charging fees for upgrades or to avoid the pain they have created. Have you found yourself in that situation.
During the budget negotiations last year that produced a two-year budget deal, airline passengers were slapped with more than a doubling of TSA Security fees for many fliers. Now in a new bill working its way through Congress, airline passengers are facing a 30 percent increase in the immigration user fee paid by airline passengers on international flights to the United States as part of the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations package.
The travel industry likes to describe itself as “family friendly.” But some customers and family travel experts claim the travel industry preys on families as much as it pampers them, broadsiding these helpless customers with junk fees and surcharges.
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Besides big lies that are harming consumers who want to compare prices, airlines consistently lie about the little things like calling fuel surcharges taxes and fees or, as on my latest United Airlines flight, calling an Economy Plus seat with “no” recline a seat with “limited” recline.
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