Too good to be true? Bill would give airlines ability to advertise ‘deceptive’ prices

American Airlines

American Airlines

WASHINGTON – Consumer advocacy groups are furious after a bipartisan group of lawmakers are supporting a bill that would allow airlines to “mislead’ customers.

The Transparent Airfares Act is being supported by a group of 33 lawmakers, including the head of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Currently, airlines are forced to tell customers the full price of a ticket, including all fees and taxes, up front.

However, the bill would reverse that advertising model.

Charlie Leocha, the director of Travelers United, a nonprofit advocacy group, told the Seattle Times, “When mandatory taxes and fees, TSA security fees, airport facility charges and other fees, are applied to those fares, the final price can soar by more than 100 percent. It’s flat-out misleading and deceptive. It’s legalized bait-and-switch advertising.”

The Seattle Times also quoted Paul Hudson, the president of FlyersRights.org, said, “Imagine if gas stations were to start advertising just the base cost of the gas on their signs, and only after you’d filled your tank you discovered the total cost.”

However, experts say that will not likely be the case.

Customers should be able to view the final price of a ticket before they enter their payment information.

Supporters say the airlines are overtaxed and should be able to show the consumer how much of their ticket price actually goes to the government.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a  Congressman who voted against the bill, calls the legislation “a gift to the airlines.”