DOT Advisory Committee Recommendations Fail to Ensure Consumers Ability to Understand Full Cost of Air Travel
Reacting to the recently released recommendations of the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection, David Kelly, Executive Director of Open Allies for Airfare Transparency commented:
While Open Allies applauds the committee’s recommendation that the “DOT should ensure transparency in air carrier pricing,” this does not go nearly far enough to protect consumers from hidden and poorly disclosed fees.
Consumers, travel agents, and travel managers all testified to the committee that the airlines’ continued refusal to share core fee information in a transparent and purchasable format is making it difficult, and some cases impossible, to comparison shop for and calculate the true “all-in” cost (fares+taxes+fees) of air travel.
This market breakdown is harming millions of consumers who are too often charged hidden or poorly disclosed fees.* It is not only appropriate, but necessary that the DOT step in to fix this market failure by issuing a new rule requiring the airlines to share core fee information, in a purchasable format, in all the channels through which they sell airfares.
* Survey: 94% Of Summer Travelers* Using Online Travel Sites Want Airline Fee Information Available, September 2012, http://goo.gl/CZ4Km