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New rule against 'bait and switch' fees

New rule against 'bait and switch' fees

Old Dec 29, 11, 3:51 pm
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New rule against 'bait and switch' fees

Just saw this on CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/29/travel...html?hpt=hp_t3

'New rule requires airlines to include mandatory taxes and fees in advertised fares'. Finally! So sick of the international fees being hidden in searches =/
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Old Dec 29, 11, 3:57 pm
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Am I the only one who's having a head scratcher at WN's marketing person's quote:


"Forcing airlines to include taxes will also make air travel 'look' more expensive when in reality it's not," King wrote.
HUH? Those LCCs have some pretty weak sauce objections to the rule.
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Old Dec 29, 11, 4:06 pm
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I've been scratching my head at the press articles that mention taxes but not fees such as fuel surcharges at all. The genuine taxes should be the same regardless of carrier and represent money not retained by the airline. This is very different from the miscellaneous required charges added by the airline to increase the ticket price without making it look like a more expensive ticket.
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Old Dec 29, 11, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've been scratching my head at the press articles that mention taxes but not fees such as fuel surcharges at all.
I agree. The prices advertised should be "all in". Anything less is deceptive.
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Old Dec 29, 11, 4:13 pm
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Exclamation Thread Alert

As this topic — based on a news source — is not specific to Delta Air Lines or the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program, the new home for this thread is now the Travel News forum.

Regards,

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Co-Moderator, Delta SkyMiles forum
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Old Dec 29, 11, 9:19 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've been scratching my head at the press articles that mention taxes but not fees such as fuel surcharges at all.
Am I missing something here?

From the article:
The Department of Transportation rule requires airlines to include all mandatory taxes and fees in advertised fares.
...
consumers need to be able to see the entire price they need to pay to get to their destination the first time the airfare is presented to them
You believe fuel surcharges are not covered by this rule?
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Old Dec 29, 11, 9:51 pm
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This has been discussed countless times, it's not a new rule, it's the implementation of a rule that was passed in April of 2011, with quite a few threads discussing it over the past however many months.

The total price display I think is the least significant portion of it. While it would be nice to see the total price up front, it's really not a big deal to make the extra click or two to get the total price. Maybe somebody who has never traveled before thinks they can go to London for $99 each way and only have to pay $198 and needs to be told the real charge is much higher up front, but anybody else already knows it.

I think the other parts of it are way more significant, but of course the focus will be on the saving those extra mouse clicks.
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Old Dec 30, 11, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've been scratching my head at the press articles that mention taxes but not fees such as fuel surcharges at all. The genuine taxes should be the same regardless of carrier and represent money not retained by the airline. This is very different from the miscellaneous required charges added by the airline to increase the ticket price without making it look like a more expensive ticket.
I agree, PFCs that are included in taxes and fees can vary depending on the number of stops and airpors involved, but fuel surcharge is a fixed amount for a specific region. Fuel surcharge is the same for all destinations in a given region. Fuel surcharge is the easiest charge to include since it's the least variable.

It's about time that the change was made. What took them so long? Even twenty years ago, when taxes amounted to a small fraction of the fare, there was a case for including taxes and fees in quoting the fare. Now, taxes and fees, as a percentage of the fare have reached obscene proportions. Sometimes taxes and fees can be many times the base bare.

Last edited by Yaatri; Dec 30, 11 at 9:19 am
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Old Dec 30, 11, 9:16 am
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The same baggage allowance and fees to apply throughout a passenger's trip

Will this provision apply to itineraries involving a foreign airline operating a segment between two foreign airports?
For example, DCA-DTW-CDG-DEL will the same baggage rules apply on CDG-DEL sector on Air France as those on DCA-DTW-CDG on Delta? Or, as Delta claims, the most restrictive rules will apply?
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Old Dec 30, 11, 9:39 am
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1. Taxes + Fees - This makes simple common sense and will make quick comparisons much easier, especially where taxes/fees jump because of multiple segments vs. non-stop. Back when there was one simple tax and no fees, the price quoted was the fare one paid to board the aircraft. There is no reason for that to change now that there are multiple taxes and all sorts of fees. If someone tells you that you can fly between AAA and BBB for $X,XXX, that's the amount you ought to pay.


2. DOT Vs. IATA baggage - The new DOT bag rules apply to "ultimate ticketed destination." Otherwise the April 2011 IATA rules apply. Thus, NRT-HKG on Carrier A connecting to HKG-ORD on Carrier B will have Carrier A rules apply all the way through even if Carrier A and B have different baggage rules.

A major consideration will be assuring that segments are on the same itinerary because that is what presumably lets Carrier B know that it can't collect different bag fees (or allow free bags) when accepting interlined baggage from Carrier A.

Long-term, like many rules designed to help consumers, the baggage aspect of the new disclosure rules will likely have the effect of greater transperency, but higher charges. Carriers will most likely harmonize their baggage policies and, to do so, reduce the number of free bags to an international standard. DL has already announced this for Silvers. I predict that others will follow suit over the next 9-12 months.
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Old Dec 30, 11, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
Am I missing something here?

From the article:

You believe fuel surcharges are not covered by this rule?
Of course fees are covered. My point is that I have been seeing articles in the press, including highly regarded newspaps and international coverage, that mention taxes but not fees. I believe that disclosure of fees is the more significant portion of the legislation as taxes tend to be independent of the carrier as well as not under the control of the carrier and not accruing to the carrier.
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Old Dec 30, 11, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Of course fees are covered. My point is that I have been seeing articles in the press, including highly regarded newspaps and international coverage, that mention taxes but not fees. I believe that disclosure of fees is the more significant portion of the legislation as taxes tend to be independent of the carrier as well as not under the control of the carrier and not accruing to the carrier.
It doesn't matter to me whether a given item is a tax or a fee. What matters to me is how much I have to pay in order to board my flight. I could care less if a $1,000 ticket is $100 in airfare and $900 in taxes or vice-a-versa. I simply care that I need to spend $1,000. And, as the customer, it's not my job to hunt down this information.
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Old Dec 30, 11, 3:41 pm
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The Delta.com site displays both the fare, and the total all-in price, from the very first fare display page. Works well.

The Southwest.com site gives you a grid showing only the base fares but, once you select the fare, the next screen shows the all-in price. Not as good of an implementation at Delta but not bad.

I recently did a rental car through Travelocity and that got me a grid with all of the different car and company options showing but the base per-day change and total rental charge in each box of the grid. Worked well.

What I don't want to see is the taxes hidden. I think we should know how much of what we are paying is going to taxes and other government fees. This is especially true in travel expenses as the percentage of taxes and government fees can be so much higher than what we're used to at the checkout register.
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Old Dec 30, 11, 6:28 pm
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
The Delta.com site displays both the fare, and the total all-in price, from the very first fare display page. Works well.
Maybe I can go to EU again sometime in 2012. If I have enough money and will try to search a cheap fare and not too expensive at all. We want a real cheaper the reasonable fare is $500 to $600 R/T all-in. I don't want to get too extremely expensive.
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Old Dec 31, 11, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
1. Taxes + Fees - This makes simple common sense and will make quick comparisons much easier, especially where taxes/fees jump because of multiple segments vs. non-stop. Back when there was one simple tax and no fees, the price quoted was the fare one paid to board the aircraft. There is no reason for that to change now that there are multiple taxes and all sorts of fees. If someone tells you that you can fly between AAA and BBB for $X,XXX, that's the amount you ought to pay.
It's impossible to include all taxes or fees in advertisements, because the airline doesn't know what routing you will take. If a European airport is involved as an intermediate point, the difference between total fare can be significant.

I agree that breaking down the fare into a dozen components does not benefit the customer at all. When you buy a bus ticket, from Washington, D.C. to New York, for example, they don't add every toll along the way to the quoted fare. Some buses are non-stop and some might stop in Baltimore and/or Philadelphia, which does not increase the fare even though facilities in Baltimore and Philadelphia re being used. It's the misconception. What the airline has to pay the airport, or the government is between the airline and the entity, I don't need to know that.
I wonder if the practice of not announcing total fare to the customer until the routing is finalised gives airlines anymore revenue than they would get if they just had one fare for a specific pair of cities regardless of routing.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
2. DOT Vs. IATA baggage - The new DOT bag rules apply to "ultimate ticketed destination." Otherwise the April 2011 IATA rules apply. Thus, NRT-HKG on Carrier A connecting to HKG-ORD on Carrier B will have Carrier A rules apply all the way through even if Carrier A and B have different baggage rules.
A major consideration will be assuring that segments are on the same itinerary because that is what presumably lets Carrier B know that it can't collect different bag fees (or allow free bags) when accepting interlined baggage from Carrier A.
Most airlines already allowed this (until recently) even when two carriers were involved on two separate tickets, as long as connection was within 24 hours. I have flown, hundreds of US-YY-XX and US-ZZ-XX itineraries, on which allowed baggage on YY-XX and ZZ-XX was 20Kg vs 2 pieces on US-XX, but the connecti8ng carriers in the connecting cities rarely made a fuss about it until recently, when every airline started the practice of "we will enforce baggage policy for each sector and the customer be damned". Micro-accounting costs everyone in the long run. I have had only one issue, which was because the check-in agent iin BWI screwed up by checking my bags up to AMS only where I had a 20 hour layover.


Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Long-term, like many rules designed to help consumers, the baggage aspect of the new disclosure rules will likely have the effect of greater transperency, but higher charges. Carriers will most likely harmonize their baggage policies and, to do so, reduce the number of free bags to an international standard. DL has already announced this for Silvers. I predict that others will follow suit over the next 9-12 months.
TMT-Too much Transparency
TMI-Too much Information
TMC-Too much Confusion
TME-Too much extortion/expense

It's a simple thing. Consumer wants to fly from A-B and is wilin to pay the advertised fare. why make it complicated with TM-TICE?
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