Truth is the New Years resolution that Travelers United works every day to fulfill with legislators, regulators and the travel industry honchos. Clear pricing allows travel consumers to comparison shop.
As we come into the holiday season when the spirit of giving spreads across the world, airlines are doing all of the taking and none of the gift-giving. Their plans are being hatched to give even less in the future.
Airlines pack more passengers into planes, reduce the value of their frequent flier programs, hide airfares and fees, and shift the tax burden to passengers.
It is not easy being a disrupter, organized to share, when it comes to long-established, highly regulated businesses like hotels and taxis.
An airline pricing bill, passed out of the House committee, is based on two major prevarications. Here's the scoop and a petition already with 35,000 names that will help consumers fight back.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed what they mistakenly, or cynically, call the Airfares Transparency Act of 2014. These representatives listed below decided to strip consumer protections against misleading and deceptive pricing by airlines.
Are airlines being held to a different advertising standard than other consumer products industries?
Airlines assert that a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirement that they prominently display the full price of an airline ticket (base fare, taxes, fees) in a print or online advertisement treats them differently than other industries. They are correct. There is a reason. They are treated differently on many different levels.
During the budget negotiations last year that produced a two-year budget deal, airline passengers were slapped with more than a doubling of TSA Security fees for many fliers. Now in a new bill working its way through Congress, airline passengers are facing a 30 percent increase in the immigration user fee paid by airline passengers on international flights to the United States as part of the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations package.
Budget negotiations are going on in DC. And, wouldn't you know it, Congress wants to double the TSA security tax from $2.50 to $5. But, that's not the least of the budget deal — the increased funds will not even go toward airport and flight security, the government will put it into the general fund to balance the budget. That is unfair, deceptive and abuses the flying public.
Last year The Global Business Travel Association did a study about taxation and came up with this list of US cities that tax tourists the least. If you want more bang for your buck, these towns might be at the top of your list.