A new survey conducted by the Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) found that the top priority for consumers in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill moving through Congress is a requirement for all airlines to disclose their hidden fees for services – including baggage, seating and priority boarding.
The survey, conducted by CTA among more than 500 frequent travelers online, found that 58% of respondents said that forcing airlines to disclose their fees should be the top consumer priority in the bill, beating requirements for airlines to provide services to consumers who are waiting for extended time to take-off (27%), creating a consumer complaints hotline (6%), or requiring airlines to provide text/e-mail notice for changes in flight status (1%).
"Congress should focus on allowing airline passengers to get full pricing information and be able to compare airfares and optional fees across airlines wherever airline tickets are sold," said Charlie Leocha, director of CTA. "It's almost impossible for consumers to compare the true cost of air travel – with more and more obscure extra fees, Congress needs to act. Transparent pricing is what makes America's free market work."
In 2010, U.S. airlines collected more than $9.2 billion in ancillary fees for checked baggage, priority boarding, and other services, according to a 2011 survey by CTA. FAA Reauthorization legislation, which has passed both chambers of Congress and is now being considered by a conference committee, would impact nearly every aspect of the airline industry. However, conferees have not yet committed to including a provision that would make all airline fees visible and sellable through every distribution channel an airline decides to use.
The full survey can be found at consumertravelalliance.org.
About Consumer Travel Alliance
The Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to provide an articulate and reasoned voice in decisions that affect consumer travelers. CTA's staff gathers facts, analyzes issues, and disseminates that information to the public, the travel industry, regulators and policy makers. CTA was founded by longtime travel journalists Charles Leocha, former MSNBC travel guru and host of the popular Travel Tips radio program, and Christopher Elliott, ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler and author of travel columns for Tribune Syndicates, MSNBC.com and the Washington Post syndicate.
SOURCE Consumer Travel Alliance
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.