There used to be a time when you called the Airline’s to research ticket prices and make your reservations you could actually talk to a live human being. Over the last 10 years and the push to online service by Airlines, sadly that human experience is missing, it’s also been difficult to know exactly how much your paying for that flight. Add all the extras like taxes and fees, checked luggage, premium seat selection, pillows, food and snacks; it really has become difficult to tell if your flight is really a good deal or not. Well Mr. And Mrs. Consumer, change has come! But is it good for travelers?
I am talking about the recent changes and enforcement the Department of Transportation is now requiring for Airlines that are advertising fares. With the proliferation of the big ol’ World Wide Web it is very easy to search multiple sites and airlines for the cheapest advertised fares. However over the last few years these fares have been going down, that is until you finalize your purchase. At the end of the transaction you’ve been hit with significant taxes, surcharges, airport fees, luggage fees etc. Next thing you know, that $159 round trip ticket to Lubbock just cost you $450. Now that may be extreme, but it has happened and continues to happen. It seems that many people search for the cheapest flights only to book them without researching all the additional fees that will be tacked on to your ticket.
|Notice the New Flight and Taxes Fees section, along with a hyperlink to baggage fees etc.|
With the advent of these new regulations, consumers can now make a more educated decision when they purchase plane tickets. These changes have been a long time coming, and will certainly make booking your next vacation easier. However if you are someone who books plane tickets often, you have already probably had some Sticker Shock. Recently I booked a flight to Berlin, Germany at a great low price of $658, until I finalized my booking and the total cost came to nearly $1000.
|Baggage Fees and related Rules|
Now when you go to book a flight, you will see the flight cost plus the taxes, airline and airport fees right along side your flight fee. It is this transparency that is a big WIN for consumers. No more guessing what that ticket is really going to cost you. There are also some additional measures that the Airlines must take for instance. Printing what the cost of baggage fees will be for your flight, and two of my favorites are that consumers now can cancel fares within 24 hours of purchase without penalty and finally. Once your ticket has been paid for, you can not be charged for other fees at a later date for that ticket, for example, if taxes, airport fees or baggage fees were increased after you purchased your ticket, those changes can not be applied to you.
|The World is filled with beautiful places, let’s get out there and experience them.|
Recently the Department of Transportation has fined a number of Airlines for not following these new regulations. Truth in Advertising is a good thing for all consumers. Although this is a Win for Consumers, the fight is not over. This week a number of airline lobbying groups are making their way to Washington to fight back against these regulations. If you believe in Transparency and fairness for travelers then we can not let these regulations become watered down and worthless. It takes just a moment to write your representatives and tell them that you want truth in advertising and fairness, that your willing to accept these fees, as long as you know what they are before you purchase your ticket. Click Here to contact your Representative.
If your interested in reading what the Department of Transportation has press release regarding this issue, Click Here.