A report from minority Democrats on the Senate commerce and transportation committee is critical of airline fees. It recommends a number of steps, including limiting certain fees, making fees more transparent and adopting a credit-card like, standardized disclosure chart of all airline charges.
Seth Kaplan, who runs the industry publication Airline Weekly, is skeptical of the need for more government oversight. “Airlines have started [modifying their fee practices] on their own. The good thing is that consumers will push back,” Kaplan says.
Fees have become an important component of airline profits. One estimate of revenues from airline fees placed the global total at $38 billion.
Airline industry consultant Mike Boyd says fees can benefit passengers, because they lower ticket prices. But, he says airlines do need to do a better job information passengers.
“There is a lack of transparency,” Boyd says. “That, they’re failing on.”
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