Complex ancillary fees, no easy answers (yet)

022807menendez_911.pngYour average guy and gal on the street is wondering why air fares aren’t falling or at least why airlines aren’t taking away fuel surcharges. Now, so is a US Senator. Bob Menendez, who’s a Democrat from New Jersey, wrote to the chief executive of every major US airline the other day, asking if they would role back surcharges that they imposed last summer. The only change he’s seen so far is a cut in transatlantic surcharges, says the Senator. 

Let’s leave aside for a moment the Senator’s lamentable but pretty common naivety about the economic fundamentals of an industry that’s on track to lose about $5 billion for the year, because he goes on to make a point – and quite a good one at that.



airline-fees1.jpg“This is a larger issue than simply high travel costs,” writes the Garden State’s junior senator. “The plethora of fees and surcharges one must pay to fly distorts the marketplace and is fundamentally anti-consumer. The flying public should be able to directly compare flights and airports without having to sift through a pile of excess ‘fees.’ people want a simple number so they know what they will be paying, not a complex formula that makes it difficult to make an informed choice.”

This issue, ‘total price comparability’ if you will, is one that the most people are concerned about. That includes the people who sell tickets and take reservation. We were talking with one of them the other day. Kyle Moore, who heads up Sabre, says that the company is working hard on developing technology that will let people compare the total price of a seat before they buy. Moore says Sabre will have something ready for the marketplace soon.

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One Response to Complex ancillary fees, no easy answers (yet)

  1. Link Building December 6, 2010 at 4:34 am #

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