Should the Government Regulate Travel Fees?
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Ever wonder why change fees for airlines are so expensive or hotel bookings cost you a one-night stay? As Chris Elliot finds out for USA Today, it’s not necessarily related to losses incurred by the company.
"It's revenue optimization," explains Scott Wainner, chief executive of Fareness, a new airfare search app that finds the lowest-cost travel dates told Elliot. "The airlines have become very good at extracting every dollar from consumers by keeping travelers in the dark with hundreds of optimizations and fare rules that maximize the carriers' revenue."
A new bill introduced into congress (and later shelved) proposed regulation of these fees. Although the bill is tabled for now, the Forbid Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous Fees or FAIR Fees Act did accomplish one very specific goal: It made travelers ask why. Why are we paying these exorbitant fees?
The USA Today article noted that The FAIR Fees Act, introduced by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., would have prohibited airlines from imposing fees that are "unreasonable or disproportional to the costs incurred by the air carrier" — specifically, change or cancellation fees and checked baggage fees. It also set federal standards for establishing a reasonable fee.
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Fees are an infectious business and other areas of the travel sector have watched the airlines rake in cash and have also gotten in on the deal. Hotels charge penalties for cancelations and car rental companies have even been known to charge more for turning in your car early.
Is there a way to get relief from these extra fees and should the government intervene? Get more details here,
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