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U.S. Congressional Action to Change How Airfares are Advertised.

U.S. Congressional Action to Change How Airfares are Advertised.

Old Apr 1, 14, 7:03 pm
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U.S. Congressional Action to Change How Airfares are Advertised.

Can airlines really advertise fares with taxes and fees not included anymore? Does that mean we're going to see a surge of $2 fares with a $99 fuel surcharge a la Spirit.
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Old Apr 1, 14, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by 1353513636 View Post
Can airlines really advertise fares with taxes and fees not included anymore? Does that mean we're going to see a surge of $2 fares with a $99 fuel surcharge a la Spirit.
Nothing has changed. A bill has been proposed to Congress that would allow airlines to return to their old deceptive ways of advertising the fare rather than the cost. In today's Congress, the distance between a bill and a law is vast and rarely surmounted.
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Old Apr 1, 14, 8:53 pm
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Old Apr 2, 14, 10:18 am
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No More Transparent Airfares?

When i go buy a soda at 7-11, they tell me what they advertise the portion that they will keeping. They charge me that cost but also collect the sales tax of 7% to be sent to the state of New Jersey. It is not deceptive of them to tell me that a 20 oz bottle of soda is 1.79 and then want to collect from me 1.92. They are only charging me $1.79 . The .13 is the amount the state of NJ is charging me. Anything 7-11 is keeping should be in the advertised price any tax they are collecting need not be.
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Old Apr 2, 14, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by Jerseyguy View Post
When i go buy a soda at 7-11, they tell me what they advertise the portion that they will keeping. They charge me that cost but also collect the sales tax of 7% to be sent to the state of New Jersey. It is not deceptive of them to tell me that a 20 oz bottle of soda is 1.79 and then want to collect from me 1.92. They are only charging me $1.79 . The .13 is the amount the state of NJ is charging me. Anything 7-11 is keeping should be in the advertised price any tax they are collecting need not be.
True enough but I don't think it's a useful analogy to air fares. Soda is cheap and the unadvertised tax is small. Air fares are expensive and the taxes can amount to 50% of the total. A prospective traveler wants to know what the travel will cost and couldn't care less how the money will be distributed.
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Old Apr 2, 14, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by Jerseyguy View Post
When i go buy a soda at 7-11, they tell me what they advertise the portion that they will keeping. They charge me that cost but also collect the sales tax of 7% to be sent to the state of New Jersey. It is not deceptive of them to tell me that a 20 oz bottle of soda is 1.79 and then want to collect from me 1.92. They are only charging me $1.79 . The .13 is the amount the state of NJ is charging me. Anything 7-11 is keeping should be in the advertised price any tax they are collecting need not be.
Funny, I always thought the opposite. Perhaps it dates to when I was a child and brought exact change to a store to buy a new toy. Then I was told there was an extra sales tax and couldn't buy the toy. Scarred forever.
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Old Apr 2, 14, 4:02 pm
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This isn't even about taxes. This is about fuel surcharges. Airlines like Spirit want to be able to advertise fares at $1 or even free and charge immense carrier imposed surcharges on top of it. What I think would be perfectly fair to both airlines and consumers is:

Fares available from $720 + $150 NON-AIRLINE taxes and fees, so it's fair to airlines that people won't be decepted into thinking the fare is higher than it is to the airline, but doesn't make comparative shopping too hard.
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Old Apr 2, 14, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Jerseyguy View Post
When i go buy a soda at 7-11, they tell me what they advertise the portion that they will keeping. They charge me that cost but also collect the sales tax of 7% to be sent to the state of New Jersey. It is not deceptive of them to tell me that a 20 oz bottle of soda is 1.79 and then want to collect from me 1.92. They are only charging me $1.79 . The .13 is the amount the state of NJ is charging me. Anything 7-11 is keeping should be in the advertised price any tax they are collecting need not be.
Analogies simply don't work. Just look at the time people waste on FT on this.

The bottom line is that DOT, as authorized by Congress, has determined that it is false and deceptive to fail to provide a consumer with the total cost of a ticket before the consumer makes the purchase decision.

The underlying rational is that air fares are subject to multiple taxes and (non-governmental) fees. These can include not only direct taxes, but items such as the 9/11 security fee, Customs & Immigrations fees, as well as non-tax fees such as fuel surcharges.

It's relatively easy to figure out what a 7% sales tax is. It can be pretty hard to figure out what a ticket will cost. The air carriers have the unique capability to provide this information because it's all easily pulled from a simple database and there is no reason why they can't and shouldn't share it.

So, bottom line is that under US law, it is false and deceptive to fail to provide the total price, e.g. the amount you must pay in order to have a ticket issued.

The bottom feeders such as WN & NK don't want to do this. The real carriers don't seem to mind. Wonder why?
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Old Apr 16, 14, 7:24 am
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In Congress H.R. Bill 4156 Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

So what's the view/reaction out there of this bill currently in Congress that would once again allow airlines to advertise just the base fare and quote the taxes and fees later?

See more at
http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-...ouse-bill/4156
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Old Apr 16, 14, 7:54 am
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A poor idea. Total price should be required up-front. And "price each way based on round trip purchase" when one cannot get the same fare just one way should not be permitted.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:05 am
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Since the forum description for Travel News is

Link to and discuss the latest travel news articles.
and since there is no link to a published general travel news story, with the permission of a Travel Buzz moderator I will move this there.

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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by 1kprem View Post
So what's the view/reaction out there of this bill currently in Congress that would once again allow airlines to advertise just the base fare and quote the taxes and fees later?

See more at
http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-...ouse-bill/4156
It's truly beyond me how this could even remotely be construed as being "Transparent" as the act's title would lead one to believe. It does say "Government taxes and fees" though and makes no mention in the summary of "Carrier imposed fees (surcharges)" so perhaps the fuel scam would at least be required to be included in the "Base fare" advertised price. Better yet, anyone have a congressman's ear? Would love to see a Brazil style ammendment, no fuel surcharges allowed. Price your fares appropriately to start with, there's absolutely no need in a 2 part system (base + YQ)
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Old Apr 16, 14, 9:26 am
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What's the political purpose of the bill?
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Old Apr 16, 14, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by dvs7310 View Post
It's truly beyond me how this could even remotely be construed as being "Transparent" as the act's title would lead one to believe. It does say "Government taxes and fees" though and makes no mention in the summary of "Carrier imposed fees (surcharges)" so perhaps the fuel scam would at least be required to be included in the "Base fare" advertised price. Better yet, anyone have a congressman's ear? Would love to see a Brazil style ammendment, no fuel surcharges allowed. Price your fares appropriately to start with, there's absolutely no need in a 2 part system (base + YQ)
FWIW, I read it differently.
Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 - Declares that it shall not be an unfair or deceptive practice for an air carrier or other covered entity to state the base airfare in an advertisement or solicitation for passenger air transportation if it clearly and separately discloses: (1) the government-imposed taxes and fees for the air transportation, and (2) its total cost.

Defines "base airfare" to mean the cost of passenger air transportation, excluding government-imposed taxes and fees.(Snip...)
The bill defines that it isn't deceptive to separate government taxes from 'base airfare' and then defines 'base airfare' to be everything that is in the ticket price but is not a government imposed tax or fee. However, all costs need to be clear.

I think the airlines have been pushing for this for a long time. They don't like that consumers get the false impression, under the current requirements, that the costs is completely under the control of the airlines. I would be ok with the change- just as I find it a little bothersome to be reminded of the portion of each gallon of gas I pump that is government taxes, it is a good thing to know. I think the airlines just want to be able to make that clear to consumers and today, under current rules, they can't do that easily.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by USHPNWDLUA View Post
FWIW, I read it differently.


The bill defines that it isn't deceptive to separate government taxes from 'base airfare' and then defines 'base airfare' to be everything that is in the ticket price but is not a government imposed tax or fee. However, all costs need to be clear.

I think the airlines have been pushing for this for a long time. They don't like that consumers get the false impression, under the current requirements, that the costs is completely under the control of the airlines. I would be ok with the change- just as I find it a little bothersome to be reminded of the portion of each gallon of gas I pump that is government taxes, it is a good thing to know. I think the airlines just want to be able to make that clear to consumers and today, under current rules, they can't do that easily.
The bill makes it explicit that the total cost need only be shown through a "link or pop up" from an advertisement.
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