“Lower” Airfares Coming Soon — But Don’t Be Fooled
E xpect airfares to be “lower” when they are advertised in the near future, as the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 was passed on Monday, July 28.
The House of Representatives of the United States “overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation to return transparency to U.S. airfare advertising and providing greater clarity for consumers by allowing advertisements for passenger air travel to state the base airfare” and separately disclose any taxes and fees imposed by the government and the total cost of travel.
Recently, “airline passengers were hit with a 125 percent increase in the TSA passenger security fee that will do nothing to increase aviation security,” according to Peter DeFazio, a Democrat who represents the people based in the fourth congressional district in Oregon. “Rather, the increase will be used to offset other government spending. The fee went through without raising many eyebrows because that cost was hidden in the airfare. If the government wants to be seen as transparent and accountable about the taxes it imposes, this is a good place to start.”
I do agree that government taxes and fees should not be hidden — but I do not believe reverting back to the way fares were displayed is the answer either.
It is no surprise that many airlines supported the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, as it would essentially reverse the Total Cost Airfare Rule which became effective on January 26, 2012, according to an article I wrote on April 22 earlier this year.
Airlines infamous for advertising ultra-low airfares such as Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines — the latter of which advertises so-called “$9.00 airfares” — had reportedly filed legal appeals two years ago to have the United States Court of Appeals in the Washington, D.C. circuit overturn the rule, claiming that the rule “violates commercial free speech rights”.
Well, they got their way.
As I mentioned yesterday in this article, I have always been an advocate of showing the total price of anything to the consumer whenever possible to avoid surprises.
Perhaps I am missing something here; but along with the total airfare, why not just add the required breakdown of the total cost of airfare in a more prominent position than what is currently required? This way, the consumer — you — can have all of the information necessary to you in order for you to engage in an informed decision when it comes to the purchase of an airline ticket.
What are your thoughts? Are you for or against the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014?