In the News: What’s the Impact of Hidden Fees?
March 31st, 2011

Fees continue to make headlines. A distinguished panel that the U.S. Travel Association formed has riled airlines by recommending that fees for first checked bags be dropped to improve throughput at airport security checkpoints. USA TODAY recently explored currency conversion fees charged business travelers by card companies. And former American Airlines Chairman and CEO Robert Crandall this week spoke at length with an NBC Dallas affiliate about the importance – to consumers and carriers alike – of airlines disclosing fees up front at the time of purchase.

Airlines are annoyed by the suggestion that government could tell them the first bag has to be bundled into the basic price of transportation. Consumers are increasingly angry that they are often surprised by checked-bag fees after they have committed to a purchase, or even shown up at the airport. And corporate travel managers are upset that airlines do not provide fee data to their travel management companies. It seems like everyone just wants a little respect!

“While fees are likely here to stay, one does have to wonder what the aggregate impact of the mismanagement of these fees might be on demand for travel, and consequently, general commercial activities and jobs.

Safe travels,

Kevin Mitchell
Chairman
Business Travel Coalition