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.
When it comes to traveling, driving by car is by far the predominate means of transportation. Studies regularly peg automobile travel at must more than 80 percent, then bus and truck travel comes in at 8 percent making the total of overall U.S. highway transportation just south of 90 percent. Though much of our discussions focus on airline travel, highway travel far more important. And, gasoline taxes support that infrastructure.
Something is broken in America. Is it our national character or our sense of right and wrong. In travel, America is moving down the wrong path. Airline bankruptcies pillory their workers and reward ineffective managers. TSA patdowns infuriate and demean the public TSA is supposedly protecting. New laws proposed by sincere politicians who for some reason don't see Big Brother lurking in their bills to restrict travel for tax issues.
To say that air travelers spend as much time complaining about fees and surcharges as they do flying might not be much of an exaggeration. And now the airline industry wants you to add another complaint to that list: taxes.