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Stop calling it "fuel surcharge" or "resort fee" and just call it what it really is

Stop calling it "fuel surcharge" or "resort fee" and just call it what it really is

Old Jul 13, 11, 2:42 am
  #1  
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Stop calling it "fuel surcharge" or "resort fee" and just call it what it really is

As the junk fees charged by various travel companies are getting out of control, I propose a truth-in-advertising law to require airlines, hotels, etc. to use a more accurate term, such as "The portion of the price that we hide from you in our advertising, fare search results, etc." or perhaps "The difference between the lies we tell in our advertising and the actual price."

Please note that I am not talking about fees where you actually get something in return for the fee, such as the ability to check luggage or receive a better seat assignment. I'm talking about the fees that are a mandatory, unavoidable part of the total price (fuel surcharges, resort fees, etc.). These are nothing more than a means for companies to lie about their pricing. They are especially egregious when customers try to redeem points or miles for "free" trips and find that they have to pay hundreds of dollars in such charges.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 2:57 am
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"Socialist" places like the EU & Oz have laws requiring the headline price to be possible.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 6:50 am
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IIRC, aren't these fuel surcharges not subject to federal 7.5% tax?
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Old Jul 13, 11, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by alanR View Post
"Socialist" places like the EU & Oz have laws requiring the headline price to be possible.
There's nothing "socialist" about consumer protection.

I'd rather see the airlines drop them altogether and incorporate the prices into the price of the ticket. when I pay a fare, I expect it to include the cost of fuel to actually get me there.

It works in some airlines' (BA/AC) favor to keep it as a separate charge though because this way they can charge the fees to award ticket bookings as well.

Last edited by evanderm; Jul 13, 11 at 7:25 am
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Old Jul 13, 11, 8:38 am
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Agree. I am more irritated at the principle of the extra fee than I would be by the fare or room rate merely being increased by the amount of the fee to begin with.

In our regular trips to Vegas, we don't stay at places that charge resort fees. It's a bummer because it has removed places that we like, like the Mirage, from our trips though.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by rochel View Post
Agree. I am more irritated at the principle of the extra fee than I would be by the fare or room rate merely being increased by the amount of the fee to begin with.

In our regular trips to Vegas, we don't stay at places that charge resort fees. It's a bummer because it has removed places that we like, like the Mirage, from our trips though.
I agree in part, but just like people will blindly book WN because they get two bags for free (even though another airline after bag fees might be cheaper), they may also book a hotel w/o a resort fee that winds up being more expensive than one w/ a resort fee.

Personally I'll usually book the cheaper option but I can always convince myself tht another is better (better routing, better times, better location on the Strip etc.).

Of course, some people may just book things with minimal additional fees as a matter of principal, and that's fine too....as long as you know what you're paying for and what you're getting.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 10:27 am
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I've always said that the future winner in the travel comparison sites is going to be the one who does "all in" searches where you put a few variables in and it spits back out info based on the entire cost for what you need...

There's so many fees that a traveler can get these days that a little transparancy would go a long way in speeding up the research.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by alanR View Post
"Socialist" places like the EU & Oz have laws requiring the headline price to be possible.
Why the quotation marks?
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Old Jul 13, 11, 12:58 pm
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It's the US that has the lack of laws leading to such bait and switch.

Most civilized countries will include all fees, including optional ones if chosen, in a FINAL price estimate..but non-optional ones like fuel surcharges and tax...those are included in the ADVERTISED price.

If you think travel is bad, try buying concert tickets in the US...advertised at 40 each, plus "fees" and taxes, amounts to about 85 each.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by KoKoBuddy View Post
Why the quotation marks?
Ironic comment as on some forums anything that stops the ordinary Joe from being screwed is "socialist", "liberal" or even "communist".
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Old Jul 13, 11, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by pinworm View Post
If you think travel is bad, try buying concert tickets in the US...advertised at 40 each, plus "fees" and taxes, amounts to about 85 each.
Ticketmaster has made an art of this. I decided to make a dummy booking, and if I was to Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth) playing in Portland soon, the fees come to more than half the face value of the ticket. What exactly is a "convenience fee" and an "order processing fee" anyway? 10-14 day standard mail is free, but given the that the concert is 10 days away, that doesn't seem very useful. The next cheapest is to print them myself, at a cost of $2.50. Come again? Suddenly a $20 show is $33.50.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by alanR View Post
"Socialist" places like the EU & Oz have laws requiring the headline price to be possible.
Help me understand: what about a law requiring that the advertised price be obtainable do you find to be Socialist?

Is it just that any attempt at all by any government to pass a regulation that impacts commerce in any way is inherently anti-capitalistic?
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Old Jul 13, 11, 2:01 pm
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Originally Posted by maccoinnich View Post
Ticketmaster has made an art of this. I decided to make a dummy booking, and if I was to Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth) playing in Portland soon, the fees come to more than half the face value of the ticket. What exactly is a "convenience fee" and an "order processing fee" anyway? 10-14 day standard mail is free, but given the that the concert is 10 days away, that doesn't seem very useful. The next cheapest is to print them myself, at a cost of $2.50. Come again? Suddenly a $20 show is $33.50.
I'm often tempted to take the free option of Will Call, which likely is the most expensive for them as it requires having a ticket booth staffed so that a human can hand my ticket to me. I'll still never understand how they charge $2.50 for what is likely the cheapest option for them.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by alanR View Post
Ironic comment as on some forums anything that stops the ordinary Joe from being screwed is "socialist", "liberal" or even "communist".
I guess you didn't catch my snark.

The EU for the most part is socialist. Some members more so than others, but it's not a stretch to say the area as a whole is socialist given that MEMBERS OF THE SOCIALIST PARTY are often presidents/PMs of various EU countries. France had a socialist prez from 1981-1995 and the Socialist party is the second largest party in the country. Spain's current PM is a Socialist. As is Greece's PM. Up until just a few weeks ago, Portugal's PM was a...wait for it....a Socialist!!!

But you're right, it's crazy talk to say the EU is in any way shape or form a socialist place.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 2:09 pm
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The Department of Transportation passed regulations in April that require airlines to show a total fare, they take effect in October.
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