Airlines make much of their money from services beyond selling tickets. They sell food on planes, upgrade economy seats and charge fees for what they deem to be “extra baggage.” Consumers had the ability to decide whether they wanted to use those extra services. That has become more difficult. Carriers will no longer have to tell passengers about some baggage fees.
According to the New York Post:
Airlines won’t be forced to disclose the price of baggage fees up front to travelers shopping for tickets under a federal move that sends an Obama-era proposal packing.
The Trump administration is scraping the proposed rule that requires airlines companies and ticket agencies to be up-front about the price of “optional” services, such as the price of checking bags, according to the federal Department of Transportation.
Planning the price of a trip just got harder.
A study from IdeaWorks reveals how important these fees have become to carriers:
The importance and prevalence of ancillary revenue continues to move forward with an ever larger footprint on airline financial statements and the products offered to consumers. Back in 2007 the top ten airlines, as rated by total ancillary revenue, generated $2.1 billion. Fast forward to financial results of 2016 and the top ten tally has leapt to more than $28 billion.
Presumably, the lack of disclosure will make the increase in these fees a bit easier. Passengers may have to make baggage fee charge decisions late in their trip planning process.
Airlines will still have to show these fees on their own websites, but not on sites that sell tickets for them or when people call reservations systems to book their tickets.
Happy holidays, travelers. Your trips may have gotten more expensive.