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Biden moves to crack down on hidden airline fees: 'You should know the full cost'

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  • Biden moves to crack down on hidden airline fees: 'You should know the full cost'

    Something I agree with Biden on:

    Down with false advertised "prices" that don't include fees.

    Personally, fake prices drive me up the wall these days. It seems that this is becoming a more and more common tactic, companies advertise a specific price, and then you get hit with fee after fee after fee.

    Recently bought a car, the lot tacked on prior to purchase a "Market adjustment fee" that added another grand to the advertised price.
    Recently changed garbage pickup because the "fuel surcharge" had reached nearly half the price of the pickup, and had been steadily going up even when gas prices were not.
    Cable company adds pass through fees that aren't mandated.

    All of these things add up to false advertising.

    Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/white-house-proposes-new-rules-airline-fees-220003922.html



    On Monday, the Biden administration announced plans to go after airlines and travel websites if they try to slip in fees after you've picked your flight or even after you’ve bought the ticket.

    The proposed rule is part of Biden’s overall competition efforts and now will undergo a 60-day review and public comment period before it can be enacted. President Biden touted the efforts to pressure airlines into changing their policies during a White House event on Monday afternoon.

    The overall effort — part of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s recent promise to make flying less painful — comes as other key issues such as constant flight cancellations and an ongoing pilot shortage elude quick fixes.

    "You should know the full cost of your ticket, right when you are comparison shopping to begin with so you can pick the ticket that actually is the best deal for you," Biden said Monday.

    The new rules would apply to extra charges such as baggage fees, change fees, and cancellation fees. They'll also apply to family seating fees that, much to flyers' chagrin, can be tacked onto fares during the last step of the booking process or after the ticket has been purchased — often significantly driving up the price.
    ‘Help travelers make informed decisions’


    Under the proposed rule, customers searching online would see the fees the first time an airfare is displayed and potential fees for extras such as flight changes and baggage would also need to be shown immediately. The new rule would apply to flights inside the US and those that take off or land in the US.

    “Airline passengers deserve to know the full, true cost of their flights before they buy a ticket,” Buttigieg said in a statement, adding that the new rules “will help travelers make informed decisions and save money.”

    A trade group representing major US air carriers, Airlines for America, told Yahoo Finance in a statement that its airlines are already "committed to providing the highest quality of service, which includes clarity regarding prices, fees and ticket terms.” The statement added: “Passenger carriers provide details regarding the breakdown of airfares on their websites, providing consumers clarity regarding the total cost of a ticket.”

    The group represents major airlines American (AAL), United (UAL), Delta (DAL), Southwest (LUV), JetBlue (JBLU), Hawaiian (HA), and Alaska (ALK).

    Monday's move is the latest from the Biden administration to try to improve the flying experience, at least on the margins. Recent efforts have included a new "Airline Customer Service Dashboard" as well as dediicating $1 billion to upgrade America’s airport terminals.

    'Capitalism without competition isn't capitalism'


    Nonetheless, the more deeply rooted problems such as a shortage of pilots and the related wave of cancellations earlier this summer haven’t proven as open to administration solutions.

    The Transportation Department is in the midst of a 90-day review process for another new rule around the issue of getting refunds in the event of flight cancellations. The administration is also pursuing enforcement actions against 10 airlines for extreme delays in providing refunds.

    On Monday, Biden said his administration's efforts were having an effect. “They cancel on you and you have to pay a fee to rebook. C’mon man,” he said. "It’s simply not fair."

    Airlines for America also also said Monday that its members “offer a range of options — including fully refundable fares — to increase accessibility to air travel and to help customers make ticket selections that best fit their needs.”

    In a recent Yahoo Finance Live interview, Melius Research Director Conor Cunningham noted that some of the overall pressures on flyers could be easing, while acknowledging delays are still a problem. Still, he added, "Delays are better than cancellations, though obviously not great, but we're moving in the right direction, I guess."

    Monday’s announcement came out of the third meeting of Biden’s White House Competition Council, whose members include Buttigieg, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and others. The group has the ambitious mandate of fostering competition across the economy from finance to health care to technology to transportation.

    Its efforts were also cast by the White House this week as an effort to also bring down costs in the face of inflation. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that the average American loses up to $5,000 a year “due to lack of competition.”

    During his remarks Thursday, Biden applauded the Transportation Department’s move and said other agencies would soon do the same in their areas of influence pointing to fees from internet providers , banks, and cellphone companies.

    "Capitalism without competition isn't capitalism, it's exploitation and we're building an economy that works for everyone," Biden said during his remarks.

    © Copyright Original Source


  • #2
    Yup. It's the same with phone and cable bills along with so many other things.

    And of course tourists here really hate being told that a meal will cost say $12 -- but then there's tax. And a gratuity (tip) is also expected.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • #3
      What about companies that charge a substantial "convenience fee" when you pay for something online? I know Ticket Master is notorious for that, with the additional fees often being as much as the ticket itself. Why is Joe only focusing on the airlines when this is a widespread problem? Simply outlaw the practice of advertising a low price and then adding a bunch of fees on the backend of the transaction.
      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
      Than a fool in the eyes of God


      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        Yup. It's the same with phone and cable bills along with so many other things.

        And of course tourists here really hate being told that a meal will cost say $12 -- but then there's tax. And a gratuity (tip) is also expected.
        You're Still Paying for the Spanish Inquisition!!!

        (OOOOOOPS --- That should be Spanish-American War! )

        You might be surprised at what lurks on your phone bill.


        I read a very surprising article in USA Today the other day. It seems that we American consumers of telephone services have been paying an excise tax on our phone bills for a heck of a long time. Apparently, this tax was imposed back in 1898 -- get this -- to help pay for the Spanish-American War. Well, that war ended before the 20th century even began, and we're well into the 21st century now. Doesn't it seem like something's wrong here? Doesn't it make you think about banding with friends and tossing your phones into Boston Harbor?

        The article made me dig out my last phone bill from Verizon (NYSE:VZ). There it was -- "Federal Excise Tax." You'll probably find it listed on your bill, too. If your monthly bill amounts to around $100, at the current 3% rate for the tax (which has been as high as 25% in past years), you'll be paying $3 per month for this tax, or $36 per year. Heavy phone users might pay $100 or more per year. And all this, to pay for the Spanish-American War?

        Even folks at AT&T (NYSE:T) don't like this tax. Jim Cicconi, AT&T's general counsel, has said that, "This is a 19th-century tax on a 21st-century technology. It makes no sense, and it ought to be repealed."

        Fortunately, some in Congress agree, too. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and nearly 100 co-sponsors recently introduced legislation to repeal the tax. USA Today noted: "This year, consumers and businesses will fork out another $6 billion in general excise taxes -- enough to pay for the Spanish-American War all over again, notes Rep. Christopher Cox, (R-Calif.)." Other businesses supporting repeal include Verizon, SBC, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), Radio Shack (NYSE:RSH), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and America Online.

        Courts have been finding the tax groundless, too, siding with consumers against the IRS more than half a dozen times.

        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

        Comment


        • #5
          The question is actually are Biden/Dems serious about this or not? I notice there is a "60 day review" period. Just long enough to get by the elections. I fear this is just another vote-buying scheme by the democrats. But if they are serious, then I too think this is a good thing. Another industry that does the add-on fees are cell phone companies.

          Just tell us the final price and lock it in for a set period.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
            Yup. It's the same with phone and cable bills along with so many other things.

            And of course tourists here really hate being told that a meal will cost say $12 -- but then there's tax. And a gratuity (tip) is also expected.
            My phone bill is outrageous now. It's funny how things change. Back in the 1990s, I had to make a lot of calls to the UK and they were really expensive, like $1 a minute, but otherwise my phone bill was quite small. Now, I can call the UK with no extra charge at all, but my monthly bill is cumbersome.

            I know there are gobs of hidden fees in there but I haven't tried to weed them all out.
            "You should just assume going forward that if I am ever wrong it is a typo" - Backup
            "
            Reality simply does not change based upon consensus or desire." - rogue

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              The question is actually are Biden/Dems serious about this or not? I notice there is a "60 day review" period. Just long enough to get by the elections. I fear this is just another vote-buying scheme by the democrats. But if they are serious, then I too think this is a good thing. Another industry that does the add-on fees are cell phone companies.

              Just tell us the final price and lock it in for a set period.
              Exactly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ronson View Post

                My phone bill is outrageous now. It's funny how things change. Back in the 1990s, I had to make a lot of calls to the UK and they were really expensive, like $1 a minute, but otherwise my phone bill was quite small. Now, I can call the UK with no extra charge at all, but my monthly bill is cumbersome.

                I know there are gobs of hidden fees in there but I haven't tried to weed them all out.
                There are ways for cheap phone service. The cheapest is a landline bundled with your cable/internet bill if you already have it. These are essentially "free" or very low cost, with the side effect of simply being stuck in the past.

                Cheaper cell phone service is harder to get especially for a family, as unlike the past you are paying for multiple phone lines.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                  There are ways for cheap phone service. The cheapest is a landline bundled with your cable/internet bill if you already have it. These are essentially "free" or very low cost, with the side effect of simply being stuck in the past.


                  And I prefer "Old School"

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                    The question is actually are Biden/Dems serious about this or not? I notice there is a "60 day review" period. Just long enough to get by the elections. I fear this is just another vote-buying scheme by the democrats. But if they are serious, then I too think this is a good thing. Another industry that does the add-on fees are cell phone companies.

                    Just tell us the final price and lock it in for a set period.
                    Hotels! Hotel Occupancy Taxes, booking fees, local tax..... a "$99 room" can easily become a $149 room.

                    AND... why is it that cheaper hotels include parking, breakfast and internet, while EXPENSIVE hotels add those as extras?
                    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I got rid of my cable TV because of the idiotic add-on fees and constantly rising rates. I did keep the internet plan and for some reason that remains a flat rate with no add-on or hidden fees. I just use streaming services now like youtube TV and netflix which all have flat rates also. I get a discount on my cell phone from my company so that's a help but the price has creeped up a few dollars over the years. Started at $48/month now it's around $55.

                      Another service that has the hidden fees and constantly rising rates: Insurance. Especially home insurance. Seems like every year they raise my rates. Eventually I end up having to shop for a different insurance company to lower the rates, then it starts over again. Their excuse? Rising cost of replacement materials and home values. If that's the case then why can I get it cheaper somewhere else when I go shopping?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                        why is it that cheaper hotels include parking, breakfast and internet, while EXPENSIVE hotels add those as extras?
                        That's WHY they're expensive. Duh.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Summary of this thread so far:

                          menyell.jpg

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                            Hotels! Hotel Occupancy Taxes, booking fees, local tax..... a "$99 room" can easily become a $149 room.

                            AND... why is it that cheaper hotels include parking, breakfast and internet, while EXPENSIVE hotels add those as extras?
                            I don't mind taxes (from a price perspective). It's nice to have, but, everyone (at least in the US) knows taxes are standard, and comparison is still valid.

                            It's the fees conusmers might not be aware of, and ESPECIALLY the fees that aren't mandatory, and aren't standardized across the hotels in the area that makes me especially angry.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                              Summary of this thread so far:

                              menyell.jpg
                              smiley old.gif

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                              Comment

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