We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

Whidbey Is, WA, USA
posts: 28
reviews: 3
The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

This is legislation which just came out of committee to be voted on by the US House of Representatives. It was written by the airline industry and would allow them to show only their price of a flight, adding in taxes and fees only at the end of your transaction. It is the exact opposite of what we have now, where we can see the full and total price of a flight upfront, which is best, especially when comparing fares.

The bill is being sold to us as fair and consumer friendly, but it is anything but. See:flyertalk.com/the-tarmac/the-transparent-airfares-act-of-2014.html for a good summary of the bill.

I have already complained to my representative (sadly, one of the sponsors), have called my local paper and plan on calling all my state's congress people to complain.

Edited: 10:46 am, April 28, 2014
13 replies to this topic
Travelling The World
posts: 11,261
reviews: 18
1. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/the-tran…

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,629
reviews: 71
2. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

Hi,

Here I agree.. but I do have some reservations..

I do believe in equity -- that is airline fares should be required to be displayed in the same manner as other similarly taxed products or services..

Since most consumer items ans services are taxed at the city, county, state and even federal level (depending on where it's sold, delivered and the actual consumer) - and since each of these different taxing entities can have different tax rates - I can make a good case for not requiring that taxes be be added in to the price until check-out/purchase, since it's not known who/where the purchase will be taxed under..

However.... for air fares it's a bit different since they are not taxed at the local, county or state level*, only federal.

(Note: airports, who can levy their own specific PFC fees - within established limits - are generally not federal level entities, so there are some minor cases where a non-federal level entity can impose mandatory taxes or fees AND such fees are NOT fixed as is the case for the 7.5% federal excise tax applied as well as the associated FIS taxes on most all in/outbound international sectors)

So.. In this case I think - for me - it's bad policy to allow for an initially shown fare to be tax EXcluded.. but should be tax INcluded...

HOWEVER.. .. I **also** think that carriers should be equally allowed to prominently display what part of that INclusive fare is a carriers fee/charge (such as YQ as well as the base fare itself) but ALSO what is a government tax/fee or required charge (like airport-levied PFC's)

Travel Safe,

Saint Louis...
posts: 9,211
reviews: 12
3. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

This is a HUGE step backwards. How can anyone think that this is a good idea? I don't see anything "transparent" about it.

Saint Louis...
posts: 9,211
reviews: 12
4. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

I do agree with this concept::

<<HOWEVER.. .. I **also** think that carriers should be equally allowed to prominently display what part of that INclusive fare is a carriers fee/charge (such as YQ as well as the base fare itself) but ALSO what is a government tax/fee or required charge (like airport-levied PFC's)>>

In 2012 I flew from St. Louis to San Sebastian, Spain and home from Paris. My total fare was $900, out of this IIRC, approximately $700 went to taxes and the base fare was about $200.

Saint Louis...
posts: 9,211
reviews: 12
5. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

Here's a link to a petition on Change.org: https://www.change.org/petitions/us-senate-c…

Helsinki, Finland
posts: 501
6. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

Wonder how this will work internationally? EU has a strict regulation on the issue and it already changed how the LCCs marketed their flights. …europa.eu/ireland/…index_en.htm

More customers to the 3rd party sellers, if it becomes even more easier to compare prices through them?

Whidbey Is, WA, USA
posts: 28
reviews: 3
7. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

The thing is, right now I can with one mouse click ( or tap on my tablet) get to a screen which shows the breakdown of base fare, taxes and fees, so nothing is "hidden" from me, the consumer.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,629
reviews: 71
8. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

Hi,

re: 7

"The thing is, right now I can with one mouse click ( or tap on my tablet) get to a screen which shows the breakdown of base fare, taxes and fees, so nothing is "hidden" from me, the consumer."

==> Agreed.. and you could also argue that the same way, but in the opposite "direction", in that with one mouse click you could also get the total fare including taxes.. so nothing there would be hidden from the consumer..

I'm not "pro" for this bill per se.. but I also do think that equal to the prominence of the INclusive cost, should be the breakdown which then tells the buyer what's the fare (plus things like YQ), and what's a mandatory tax/fee.

To me, if you want to talk about transparency, the that cuts both ways if you will.. I don't think it's transparent if only part - be that the total, or any one or more sub-totals - are shown.. You should show it all, and at the same time, place and relevancy.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 12:09 pm, April 28, 2014
Whidbey Is, WA, USA
posts: 28
reviews: 3
9. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

In response to your comment below, I agree the best thing would be to show both the total and the breakdown upfront ( for example, if you're looking at airfares on TripAdvisor). But you can't argue, as you say, that the "opposite" will be true under the new bill. Instead, an airline could keep the total cost hidden from you up until the time you're ready to make the transaction, perhaps even after you've processed your payment. This bill is anti-consumer and pure deception.

==> "The thing is, right now I can with one mouse click ( or tap on my tablet) get to a screen which shows the breakdown of base fare, taxes and fees, so nothing is "hidden" from me, the consumer."

==>==> Agreed.. and you could also argue that the same way, but in the opposite "direction", in that with one mouse click you could also get the total fare including taxes.. so nothing there would be hidden from the consumer..

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,629
reviews: 71
10. Re: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

Hi,

re: 9

"In response to your comment below, I agree the best thing would be to show both the total and the breakdown upfront ( for example, if you're looking at airfares on TripAdvisor).

==> To me, transparent is kind of like regular glass.. Both sides can see the other, without distortion or limitation.. So, yes, I agree that IF you are going to require the INclusive fare on the "buy" page, then for transparency, you should also -- equally as predominantly and on the same place/page -- show HOW that fare came to be.

"But you can't argue, as you say, that the "opposite" will be true under the new bill. Instead, an airline could keep the total cost hidden from you up until the time you're ready to make the transaction, perhaps even after you've processed your payment. This bill is anti-consumer and pure deception. ""

==> As I noted in #8, the "opposite" I refer to the need to go one step "further" to see the breakdown.. versus what I'd call true two-way transparency, and insure that not only is the INclusive price shown,but also equally as prominently, HOW that fare comes to be - and not with one or more click-thrus. If you require a clck-thru, while easy I admit, I can't say that it is now as equally as prominent nor equally as well disclosed.

Again, my issue here is >>not<< the regulation that final, tax-inclusive prices be shown.. that to me is correct and good for everyone...and, as I know it, largely parallel with what other consumer level purchases of federal-only taxed good/services are now handled.. BUT... it IS to say that if you're true about transparency, then ALONG WITH that inclusive total, show, in and on the same "page" and of comparable font and prominence, how that total comes to be -- fare, carrier-surcharges and government taxes.

I think it IS possible to balance both needs here.. The need to show a realistic out-the-door price for a service which is largely a federal-only taxed issue ... and also be equally sure that the consumer knows how that total came to be -- what part is the carrier versus what part is the government or other entities.

Travel Safe,

Reply to: The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted