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6/2/2010 18:29

I am not sure how this may fit in here, but there needs to be greater regulation of carry-on items across all airports. At some, passengers can get away with bringing luggage on that would be checked-in at other airports. Additionally, gate agents do not enforce carry-on bag regulations in terms of size and number. This is a huge pain for other passengers who then cannot find a place for their bags because one person has taken up an entire overhead bin.
While I don’t advocate making people pay more fees, I think that if passengers are found to have bags that are too big to carry-on at the gate, they should at least pay a partial fee to check them on like everyone else who paid to check their bags on. However, if passengers are forced to check their carry-ons due to limited overhead space, then there should be no fees for them.

    6/2/2010 18:53

    Thanks for the interesting suggestion mthornt. Perhaps, DOT will consider rules about carry-on luggage in the future. Do you have any feelings about DOT’s current proposals?

    6/7/2010 12:58

    have no clue how to use this site. Just want to submit comments and not be part of the discussion. Can’t find just a submit comment area.

    6/7/2010 13:18

    Thank you for wanting to contribute. All comments you post will be considered by the DOT. All postings under the “People’s Comments” boxes (which is where you’ve posted here) are the comments that will be considered and summarized. By posting, it does open it up for discussion by other contributors, because all comments are public as part of the rule-making process. You do not have to respond, however, or include any identifying information – all comments made on this site will be considered no matter what.

    We look forward to your contribution!

    6/22/2010 00:28

    While my comment is NOT directed at “mthornt1″, since I can’t find any access to Voice MY comment directly, other than “replying” to someone else’ comments.
    Firstly, I have traveled relatively frequently out of the USA. What I find very interesting is that on the various airlines I have used, none have applied the Baggage Charge on my return flights from the other countries back to the USA. Why is this so?
    It leaves me to believe that either the other countries airline offices are operating on their own and more efficiently and therefore find it unnecessary to charge for baggage or that there is something definitely Not Transparent.
    Furthermore, it is my opinion that if there is a “Charge” for something, in this case baggage, that it is a contract and that the baggage if not delivered with the owner and the time of arrival, then the contract has been broken and a refund is due the customer.

    6/22/2010 17:58

    Thanks for your input. MickC. Short of suing for your baggage fee back, what might be a good enforcement mechanism for passengers to get a refund?

    6/29/2010 18:10

    The Airlines seem protective of their international flight passengers so they are not charged for baggage while the US carriers pretty much acted as a monopoly to apply fees to domestic air travelers. Once they got enough airlines to sign on to the practice there is no stopping them short of regulation. A poll on CNN showed the baggage fee as the most hated fee for consumers. What’s next a charge if your weight is over X pounds?

    6/29/2010 19:01

    Thank you for your post. Do you have any thoughts on the specific regulatory proposals for dealing with baggage fees?

    8/10/2010 08:43

    the reason being is that you are international and they do not enforce it cause it is not a domestic flight in and around the US.

6/2/2010 20:15

If the vast majority of travelers are paying for baggage, then it is reasonable to say that traveling with baggage is a normal activity. Therefore the price of the fare should reflect that. I understand the appeal of making flights look cheaper, and even the option to fly for a cheaper fare if you can travel light. However, I think that the option to see a “full fare” price is a very good idea. I feel that it should include all “traditional” services. The flight, seat, baggage, overhead space, bathrooms, fuel, and fees. I think we have grown accustomed to airlines charging for snacks and it is not fair to expect them to feed and entertain passengers. Just get us, and our things, from point A to point B safely

I think it would be great to have all airlines post their optional-fee info to their site AND one aggregate site. I don’t believe that the code share partners should be allowed to charge a different rate. If you are flying as a representative of the first airline, or accepting reservations as a representative of the first airline, you should accept their fee structure.

    6/2/2010 21:26

    I personally think that airlines should be able to price “a la carte” as price discrimination (despite the name) tends to benefit everyone. Baggage fees are an exception, though.

    Airlines are incentivized to charge baggage fees so they can post lower base prices. In turn this encourages fliers to cram luggage in the cabin, which is irritating to say the least. But the issue is that it seems unreasonable to expect travelers to fly without any luggage. Discriminatory pricing should be truly discriminatory — like seat location, not luggage and bathrooms and water.

    Airfare should include at least one free checked bag. If all fares were somewhat higher as a result, the damage to an airline’s bottom line should be minimized. (After all, what substitutes do we have to air travel?)

    7/25/2010 17:10

    It is my understanding that airlines pay a federal excise tax on fares; they do not pay on “fees”, so they want to separate them to save money.

6/2/2010 21:51

Why limit it to carrier’s homepages? If there’s a common distribution method available why allow the airlines to discriminate on where that data is shown? Aggregate sites, local and online travel agencies, codeshare partner websites should all have access to this information. Why pop around to various carrier owner websites when one will do? This information should be public like published fares.

6/2/2010 22:05

Baggage is normally carried by passengers. Its transport should be part of the advertised price.

6/2/2010 23:54

All airfare costs should include the passenger’s right to check at least one standard piece of baggage. All fees should be fully disclosed at the time of airfare purchase, regardless of nature (i.e. optional or mandatory). Any changes in fees should be identified by air carriers at least 6 months prior to taking effect. Fees must be paid according to the carrier selling the airfare, not to the one providing the service, as in the case of a code-sharing agreement.

6/3/2010 01:08

I question the safety of so many carry-on bags shoved into the overhead compartments. These compartments have been known to fly open during turbulence and items can easily fall out.

All fees should be listed out for each airline so consumers are given full access to fees in order to make informed decisions.

A 3-month period for displaying information is adequate. It should be displayed on airline websites and ticketing outlets (like online ones), at a minimum.

This should apply to all carriers doing business in the US for all size planes.

6/3/2010 13:08

All the baggage fee has done is force people to take more as carry-ons, causing loading delays of all sorts. Between the security (no liquids, etc.) and the baggage fees pretty soon you won’t be able to take anything with you at all. The cost of the ticket is already ridiculously high. Instead of charging us, perhaps they need to bring in consultants and auditors to see just where their money is going (into executive’s pockets) and see how they can be more efficient with the money they are already extorting.

I’ve actually found it’s now cheaper to ship my items Fed Ex than it is to bring them with me on the plane. AND they get there! On time!

I totally agree if the airline loses the luggage or it’s delayed they should have to refund the fee they charged. They did not provide the service you paid for, end of story.

I completely agree ALL the fees should be listed when you buy that ticket. Prominently. You should know what you are going to be asked to pay for.

I have to say personally that if they start charging me a fee for putting a small bag in the overhead bin I will no longer be a customer. I will not fly any airline that does something so ridiculous. I do all the work AND I have to pay them? No, that’s where I draw the line. I’ll drive thanks.

    6/3/2010 18:17

    I agree–ALL fees should be prominently displayed wherever you are making the purchase. And there should not be a limit on how long changes are posted–many people are not frequent flyers and whether you fly once a year or every week you should know exactly what you will pay. I fly fairly often on a 2 hr flight to see family. Since the inception of baggage fees I do not check any bags–I carry on a regulation carry-on for the bin and a fairly large purse bag that DOES fit comfortably under my seat. I feel that as long as your carry-ons meet one regulation size in bin and one that fits comfortably under your seat that should be fine–and the airlines need to describe what is allowed that way. I am on a limited budget and the $30-$60 fee for bags is better spent having fun with my grandson. If they start charging for carry-ons as I have described then I will quit flying. I think it has gotten to the point of ridiculous how these petty fees are charged for everything–it certtainly does not give the customer a warm fuzzy feeling toward the industry. Everyone I know now hates to fly. POST FEES FOR EVERYTHING prominently.

    6/3/2010 18:54

    Interesting thoughts, thanks for contributing Pixel.
    Beyond prominently listing all fees, do you have any thoughts on which of the proposed solutions would make the most sense and work the best?

6/3/2010 18:11

List all fees seperately.

    6/11/2010 01:58

    On a very recent trip for a 3-week stay the outbound trip was marred by the airline losing the bag for nearly three days. It was delivered to where I was staying 70 miles from the airport. The bag was damaged beyond repair (the pull out handle was broken off – airline says it isn’t covered). I had no vehicle to take the bag to their claim office – a 140 mile round trip in the state with the most expensive gasoline. I made a specific request that at a minimum my bag fee be refunded since I had to do without my belongings for almost three days. They flatly refused.

    I support a rule which would force a refund of any bag fee in the case of damage or delay.

    On a shorter trip I had only a carry-on which heeds the airline size limits. However, I was seated near the front and apparently people seated in the rear left their bags near the front. There were no forward spaces remaining when my group boarded. I don’t know what might be the solution to that.

6/3/2010 18:19

Should be required of all carriers.

6/3/2010 19:11

A regulation that will force the air carriers to prominently display the various fees that are required is a good idea so that you know before you fly just how much more your ticket really is going to cost (i.e. bag fees, seat fee, etc.). Optional price for a meal or entertainment is “nice to know” information but I don’t think it needs to be written as a regulation since you have the option of not watching a movie but you likely don’t have the option of not bringing that suitcase along. The website notification is a good idea but it would also be good to have these posted in the check-in area as well.
The idea of a full fair price with every optional cost added in is not realistic since the majority of people do not use ALL of the options. I do like the add-on services idea.
It’s not the job of the airlines however to tell you that their competition may have a cheaper flight for you. Sorry, that’s the consumer’s job. If one airline charges significantly more for something than another airline does and it affects the competitiveness of their tickets the market will deal with that, no regulation for this is needed.

    6/3/2010 20:45

    Thanks for the comment. Where in the check-in area do you think that this information should be posted? Would it be best on signs as you wait in line? As a screen on the automatic ticket kiosk? Verbally from an agent?

    What do others think?

6/4/2010 00:23

Information on the fees should appear everywhere information on ticket prices appear. Sum of all fees should always be listed – max and min amounts, with ability to get to all separate fees if desired. Full fare price should not include fees for traditionally provided services, but fee range for them should be indicated. The rules should apply to all US carriers regardless of size. The baggage fee for a flight should be set to the smallest one between code-sharing partners.

    6/4/2010 00:39

    Full price with breakout of optional items should always be with the price – online, at ticket agents, etc. Code-share arrangements should be the same as those of the airline issuing the ticket.

    I think that 3 months is not long enough for many infrequent travelers. But if the optional (i.e. NOT provided w/o fee) items are clearly listed upon ticket reservation/purchase, that should suffice.

    I think that separate charges for choosing your seat, having one carry on & one checked bag & access to water and restroom are nuts and should not happen. Snacks, blankets, OK, although these days we all look like campers getting on with pillows, extra jackets, meals (and only from inside security no less), and as much carry-on as will fit. Counterproductive!

6/4/2010 15:41

I applaud the governments efforts to reign in the out of control airlines in this country. I am generally against government interference in business activity, but this is an instance where the government must step in.
Charging fees for carry-on luggage is an example.
The airlines have created a scenario for this to happen. They started by charging fees for checked luggage with little outcry. They knew by doing this they would create problems with carry-on luggage. Once the travelling public accepted the fact of checked luggage fees,the airlines could complain about the amount of luggage brought into the cabin. So we hear about sore backs from flight attendants, cramped space, etc.
All of this a result of the airlines change in fees. Now the airlines want to explore charging for carry-on luggage. Before this becomes viral, even with promises by most airlines at this time not to charge for carry-on’s, the government needs to explore preventing this from ever happening. I beleive it is part of the airlines overall plan to get to the point of charging for carry-on luggage,by highlighting the problems it created in the first place. I agree that the DOT’s latest changes are needed, but we should try to prevent abusive practices from ever getting traction in the first place. The airline industry in this country has shown they cannot regulate themselves.

6/4/2010 15:55

On the subject of posting fees
I generally support the idea, but it should be limited only to those fees which are variable, ie charge for food, etc. They should not be allowed to list fees separately that are part of a ticket fee for every ticket issued, ie taxes, landing fees. This process serves no purpose other than to show a lower base fee. That is misleading and meaningless. If they want to show these components of a ticket, so be it, but not to suggest a price which could never be exercised.

    6/4/2010 21:16

    Thank you for your comment. Where do you think the line should be drawn with disclosure requirements? Should the rule be that if a fee is automatic, it should not be listed separately? Or do you propose something else?

    6/7/2010 20:50

    I think that the fees for optional services should be clearly disclosed at the time of ticket purchace and also be clearly printed in bold, 12 point font on the ticket and ticket confirmation itself. You should be able to purchace a “ticket” for these optional services at the time of ticket purchace. If you know you will be checking in one bag, and having a meal, you should be able to easily purchace a “checked bag ticket” and a “Meal ticket” along with the flight ticket. These optional tickets would be required to be honored by all airlines under all circumstances.

6/4/2010 19:08

I know this sounds silly, but I think I shouldn’t be charged as much to check a bag as the 250-lb man sitting next to me. I don’t mind getting weighed in public…

    6/4/2010 21:12

    Thanks for your comment! Do you think there should be some overall weight formula for passengers and baggage fees? Or simply that passengers under a certain weight should be allowed to check a bag for free (or at least less)?

    6/4/2010 21:20

    I don’t know. This is just something that seems unfair to lots of passengers, and that probably won’t get changed without regulation. At the very least, DOT should make clear to airlines that they *can* discriminate on the basis of weight without fearing regulatory action.

    6/4/2010 22:36

    Does anybody else have thoughts on how this could be done, or whether it should be done at all?

    6/6/2010 18:09

    Since weight seems to be the issue with charging extra fees for checked luggage, the 98 lb person should pay less for a ticket than the 250 pounder. I have thought that from the very beginning when the airlines introduced this new fee.

    6/23/2010 14:10

    Weight is the excuse for charging a fee to improve revenue. In general the airlines average what a “typical” load of baggage and people weighs and how much that adds to the amount of fuel required for a flight. They do not weigh each aircraft prior to take off so you don’t have any good numbers to back up the need for a fee for more bags or for heavier people. If you want to charge based on weight then everyone on a flight that is not full should get a refund since the airline is carrying far less weight if the plane is half full right? And how about if the majority of people on the flight are smaller than “average”? Should they all get refunds as well? What if I only bring a light carry on and you check a 30 pound suitcase, should I get a discount or should you pay more? (I weigh 250 lbs) Or…should it all just be averaged out among all of the passengers like it is now? as for the disclosure…yes, airlines should disclose what it costs to take a flight with them and it should be easy to find, read and understand. After that it’s up to the customer to actually find and read it before they pay for it.

    6/23/2010 14:46

    Thank you for the comment JJ. What level of disclosure is sufficient? Is it enough for airlines to just display additional fee information on their website?

6/8/2010 00:57

I would like to see the DOT consider regulations regarding carry-on bags in the near future. I don’t check luggage so I would be against ticket prices being raised to cover one checked bag (although I think the airlines should allow it). I travel with a single, legal-size backpack and I dread the day I have to check it because others, rather than checking oversize bags decide to carry them on and they are not stopped at either security or the gate. The European and Asian airlines alreasy have fairly strict rules regarding carry-on luggage, I’d like to see the DOT consider something similar.

    6/8/2010 01:23

    Interesting thoughts on carry-on luggage, perhaps it will be something that the DOT will consider in the future.

    If the DOT were to implement a carry-on fee, how would you want DOT to require airlines to disclose those fees? Is the DOT on track with its current proposals?

    6/8/2010 02:13

    I’m not sure how I feel about a carry-on fee. I would prefer to support allowing a single carry-on bag of a reasonable size (like the 22x14x9) before a fee is added (not counting coats, baby bags or medical eqpt – unfortunately I’ve seen purses and laptop cases that are almsot luggage sized). Restictions need to be enforced at check-in, near security, and at the gate. I thought the FAA had mandated what was allowable, but I have seen people allowed on with more than the 1+1 or clearly oversized bags.

    Current fees should clearly be listed on the front page of the airline’s website, on itineraries printed out, and on boarding passes – especially when people check in online.

6/8/2010 18:07

Full disclosure of all fees should be clearly listed and in language that the average traveler can understand.

    6/8/2010 18:59

    Thanks for the comment Kiminno.
    Kiminno brings up an interesting point that might provoke some discussion. How can the information be presented in a way that is easy for the average traveler to understand? Is the best way to use colors? bold text? italics? charts? graphs? pictures? Is there some other method that would make things easier to understand?

6/8/2010 18:13

Most travelers have luggage. It is reasonable to expect that and it should be part of the usual serviceLimited carry-on luggage and one checked bag should be free. Those with medical conditions may need to carry-on multiple medications and/or devices (ex: nebulizer), that take up room. They should not be discriminated against and charged fees for such things. I carry-on extra food and drink (bc I experienced being stuck on the tarmac for 6+ hours years ago w/o food and drink before we had cell phones where we could call the police and/or media and make it a new story as they do). Not to mention, now we are expected to buy lousy airline food onboard, I’d rather bring my own affordable healthy snacks and meals. One free checked bag also prevents discrimination against those that can’t physically cope with carrying luggage around an airport (ex: connecting flights) and putting it in/removing it from the overhead bin. Airlines should meet the needs of their customers and not nickel and dime us to death.

    8/10/2010 08:54

    i agree with you kiminno the baggage fees are way out of control for international alone it is free for the 1st 2 bags checked in and then after that they start charging and i also agree that they need to meet our needs and not make us pay through our teeth and cost us a lot more money then our ticket cost us

6/9/2010 17:50

I feel all airlines should be required to include one free checked bag up to 50 pounds per person per ticket. Anyone traveling by air is usually going somewhere where they need to bring luggage. Airplanes, in general, are not “commuter” vehicles to go get a coffee or go to work for the day. Most people are going somewhere at least overnight and obviously can not bring their car with them on the plane! Also, I feel the more luggage “carried on” increases the security risk. The fees for checked bags encourage people to carry more on which increases the risk of something “harmful” slipping onto the plane. One free checked bag of 50 pounds or less is not unreasonable.

6/9/2010 23:34

Interesting comment, how many others would reduce their carry-ons if allowed to check bags for free? Do baggage fees impact your decision to travel?

    6/22/2010 18:18

    Baggage fees never impact my decision to travel because I only have one choice for a regional carrier to take me to an airport hub. I find that people who rarely travel are the most confused by fees and services, expecting the ‘good old days’ of in-flight meals, movies, and free luggage. However, since I often get tickets online and use airlines with code-share agreements, fees across these agreements should be standardized, not individualized.

    All OPTIONAL fees should be listed separately. These should be listed prominently on a travel web site, airline web site, ticket counter, and on the boarding pass. I can’t remember how many times I’ve lost my receipt for baggage fees when trying to be reimbursed by my company for business travel, and to have to root through my wallet or purse for a tiny slip of paper is ridiculous.

    Make all signs standard for each airline: you don’t need to figure out where each menu item is listed at McDonald’s — they’re all the same to make ordering easier for the customer.

    Plain English (and maybe Spanish), written at a fifth grade level. Short and simple: Bag #1 – $15; Bag #2 – $25; Any bag over 50 lbs: $100 (for example).

    I wouldn’t reduce my carry-ons if checked baggage were free because I never put my lap-top computer in a checked bag. I carry an overnight bag just in case my checked luggage goes missing (and it has — many times). But a good suggestion about airlines ENFORCING their carry-on bag limits (size and number) would go a long way to reducing traveler frustration.

    I also think anyone carrying their belongings in a plastic grocery bag should be stopped at the gate and forced to buy a more sturdy woven bag for a nominal fee.

    6/22/2010 18:26

    Thanks for your input, Marge. Do you think that there should be stricter baggage fee rules, or stricter fee rules in general, for smaller markets served by one or very few regional connector airlines, because of the dependence travelers in smaller cities and rural areas have on them?

6/13/2010 05:47

I think all services should be listed. Including the real perks like $90 upgrade to first-class domestic.

For a ‘full fare’ price, go back to what airlines provided during regulation days, and figure out what ammenities have been removed. Then list those.

All airlines need to comply. Restaurants don’t go out of business just because they list their prices on the menu. I don’t think airlines will either.

    6/14/2010 15:50

    Thank you for your comment. Do you have any other suggestions for how amenities should be presented to the consumer?

6/23/2010 04:19

At issue is making the airlines responsible for clearly indicating all fees associated with a flight. When searching for a flight with Internet search engines they compare the basic price. Airlines call it “a la carte” pricing and think passengers like the idea. Well, we don’t. Give me one price and let me check baggage, board the flight and sit near a window. Don’t nickle and dime me. AND ensure if you are going to charge the additional fees that I can know what they are up front and very clearly. DOT needs to ensure all fees necessary to fly are upfront to the passengers.

    6/23/2010 13:45

    Thank you for your post. Would the airlines disclosing pricing information on their website and requiring passengers to visit it before purchase be sufficient? or is more needed to properly disclose additional fees?

7/4/2010 00:33

With all of the other travel sites (i.e. Expedia, Orbitz, etc.) out there, I would imagine that if there was such a high demand for people to see full prices with bags and other fees, these sites would have created something to compensate for it. They would offer some sort of system where you could maybe “check off” boxes for what you want included, along with the options like dates/times, prefer nonstop, flexibility, etc. These sites would then offer the lowest fare based on your preferences per airline. However, since these sites aren’t providing those options, I would guess that in general, people either do their research, or don’t care enough about it.

7/11/2010 14:45

Unbundled fares doesn’t give airlines the right to deceptively advertise costs. ALL costs should be disclosed in an a la carte menu upfront!

7/11/2010 22:07

Disclosure on the carrier’s web site is the best way to get separate optional-fee information to the public. Code-shares are tricky, since usually the code-share computers don’t talk to each other. For this situation, I think the differences should also be disclosed on tickets. ALL fees should be listed. Including a second full fare price doesn’t seem as if it will add much, but rather may generate more confusion. A 3-month period for displaying information about changes on websites is about right, and this seems like the most efficient way to make the information available to the public. These requirements should apply to all carriers. Baggage fees should not be allowed to vary between code-share partners – I can’t think of any others. Finally, I think airlines should consider having a fee for carry-on luggage, rather than checked luggage, which would avoid the increasing scrimmage for overhead space on full flights! In addition, I agree with whoever said that airlines should enforce the rules they already have in place about appropriate sizes for checked luggage.

7/12/2010 13:01

The unbundle cost is not fair to passengers. We need to return to level of 2007, before the oil price soared. Airline should allow passengers to bring up to two baggages at no charge. Make the air ticket bundled like what public transportation are doing right now like Metro, Bus, Cruise, Train, that they don’t charge for baggage fee. Make it more standard.

7/12/2010 17:55

I think baggage fees especially should be included in the price of the ticket. And all other relevant fees. It is not particularly important to include snacks but anything else that is essential to the flight should be included. Also, as others have stated, there needs to be better control of what passengers are allowed to carry-on. I am to the point where if I don’t have to fly I won’t because it has become such a zoo with people trying to cram oversized, so-called carryon bags into other peoples’ space. Also, when they are stopped at the gate with an oversized “carry-on” they should be charged a fee to check it if the rest of us have paid a baggage check fee.

“Significant fees” should be defined as those charged for something that is an essential part of the flight, i.e. seating, baggage, fuel, and I guess some airlines are considering charging for the use of overhead space and bathrooms.

    7/13/2010 12:11

    Thank you for your comment piendmontgilr, While improving the way fees are regulated and defined is important; how should this information best be disseminated to travelers? Will display on airline providers websites be enough to let people know what services are included in the listed price and which are not?

7/12/2010 23:52

If the airlines have to charge for checked bags and even carry on bags, it should be included in the price of the ticket. If a passenger has no checked bags then they should be able to choose that option and get the exact ticket price the same way a person with a checked bag should be able to see the actual ticket price.

7/12/2010 23:59

Airlines need to have a standard on oversize baggage. That price should be prominently listed and easily accessible so the consumer can discern the total price of flying with oversized baggage. Oversized baggage charges should be based on a standard measuring system as opposed to contents; for example surfboards can be charged twice as much as golf clubs.

    7/13/2010 12:23

    Thank you surfmaniac8. What do you think the best way to disseminate this information to the public is? Is display in the carrier’s website enough?

7/14/2010 13:15

In addition to disclosure, there needs to be a requirement that whatever fees were in effect the day the ticket was purchased, are the fees the passenger actually pays. Since tickets can be purchased well in advance, it is quite possible for fees to change between the time the ticket is purchased and the actual date of travel. Why should the consumer have to pay something other than what was in effect on the date of purchase? Doesn’t that purchase imply a contract of some kind?

As for ticket agents, as a travel agent, I have no problem with requiring ticket agents to disclose fees as well, but only if there is an automated way for us to get that information from the airlines. Should I be expected to have to go verify with an airline website each and every time I sell a ticket to ensure that the policy has not changed? I also should not have any liability for any changes in that policy by the airline between the time the ticket is purchased and the actual flight date.

    7/14/2010 19:00

    Thank you for comment. In particular your concern over the actual mechanism to ensure a free flow of information between passengers, airlines, and travel agents. Do you have any suggestions to address this concern or any other concerns/suggestions regarding the proposed rule, in particular bundling charges?

7/18/2010 15:01

The issue that I have is two fold.

First, take a look at the high and low price for a seat on an AC for a particular flight. Why is there 100s of dollars difference? There are well established ways to compute an “average” passenger (including “average baggage”. The airlines should also know the cost of flying and AC from point a to point B at full capacity. Now that we know the average passenger, the total capacity, and the total cost it is a simple math problem to determine price per passenger. If the low price noted above is below break even then the airline is losing money. if the high price is very much above break even then the airline is ripping off the customer (I believe this is the case).

In any case the cost per passenger seat mile should be public knowledge and listed on the ticket along with the trip length in miles. Then the customer can see what is really going on. Jetblue can fly A to B for $89. Why does a First Class ticket on United (or any airline) cost so much for the same flight? Detail cost analysis would not, I beleive, support the first class ticket cost.

The second issue is one of compensation. It is difficult for me to accept sitting on the ground for 3 hours without being allowed out of the seat, no food, toilets overflowing, etc while the CEO takes home millions of dollars. What does s/he do for this millions of dollars. S/he surely did not effectively manage the AC I was on nor did his subordinates manage that AC. So, why is s/he worth millions of dollars. Let us tie CEO compensation to performance, now that is a novel idea!!!

A side issue is the concept of checked baggage vs carry on baggage. People are carrying on very big bags because of the checked baggage fees and the general hassle of checked baggage. BUT when you are the last third of the plane to board you have to leave your bag at the gate for placement in the baggage hold. Now, this is for CONTINENTAL but I assume that other Airlines operate in the same fashion. I was told by the gate agent that I had to check my bag. I asked what the Airline liability was. I was told, after I repeated the question several times with NO response form the agent, that if I said one more word I would NOT be allowed to Board. My issue was that I had a laptop, money, credit cards, medicines, etc in my bag AND I had no where to place them if I gave up the bag. So, after I return I wrote the CEO. Of course that esteemed gentlemen id SO busy managing that he could not take time from his extremely busy schedule to reply so I got a letter from Customer Service, note that this letter is not from the CEOs Office, an executive complaint manger, or anyone special, just Customer Service. They said (I quote) ” Exclusionary items remain exclusionary regardless of the method of being checked. This includes cash,…” The letter does on to state (again, I quote) “…Passengers not wishing to gate check their carry on bag may opt to be rebooked for a later available flight that MAY have available carry on space…Customers may request the presence of a supervisor at any time. However, the customer must be aware that our supervisors have assigned duties …It may be a wait for a Supervisor to arrive. During this time the flight may board and depart…we sincerely regret that the situation has left you with a negative impression…We hop to leave you with a better impression…”

In other words, we (CONTINENTAL) got your money and we (CONTINENTAL) can have our agents abuse you and mistreat you, and you (THE PAYING PASSENGER) have no recourse whatsoever. This is why I try not to fly. I believe that CONTINENTAL is a terrible airline devoid of leadership but they are not alone. I believe that the government should step in a STRONGLY regulate them until the CEOs learn to manage and the rank and file learn that they can be replaced.

John R Willis

7/18/2010 15:17

I don’t have a problem with baggage fees, except there should be a reasonable “baggage exception” (i.e. 1 bag per traveler) before fees are imposed

7/18/2010 20:18

I’m retired and on on a fixed income. I have to carefully budget for all trips, including family emergencies. I need to know up front before I leave home, how much everything costs. I want the option to pay for a full fare that includes everything or a reduced fare where I can make suitable arrangements before I board a flight.

7/19/2010 15:57

To unbundle an airfare should be at the option of the consumer. Let the airlines post one fare for traditionally included services, and then let the consumer opt to reduce the fare by eliminating a meal, reducing the number of bags they want to take, etc. This would force the airlines to compete to attract customers by offering the biggest discounts or improving the quality of service. It also emphasizes the rights of the consumer to make the choices that best suit their needs.

7/19/2010 20:47

All fees should be disclosed *as part of the selection process* before the transaction is finalized. This should include code share fees.

Personally, I prefer full fare for everyone — or at least always include seat assignments and food. Eliminate combat among passengers pushing ahead in the queue to get preferred seating ;-) And who wants to sit next to someone eating a sloppy joe out of a bag.

If carriers reserve one overhead bin per seat (each bin associated with a particular seat) that should alleviate the issue of no bins left for those forced to board last. Oh, and enforce the size limit — though this might involve having security staff on hand to enforce. The size boxes at the gate should be realistic, i.e. reflect the actual bin size and shape.

7/19/2010 23:42

All the talk about baggage has been focusing on the fees and on what problems flight attendants claim it causes because more people are carrying on more. These baggage issues came up during the House Transportation Committee’s hearing last week. While I don’t like the baggage fees, as a fairly frequent traveler for business, the main reason I do not check my luggage has nothing to do with baggage fees. I do not check my luggage because of all the time it takes. Checking my luggage would require me to:
1) get to the airport much earlier to wait an unpredictable amount of time in a line to check the bag, rather than just print my boarding pass before I come to the airport and go directly to the security line without stopping at the airline counter or skycap.
2) Wait after my flight lands to claim the luggage – which at some airports regularly was taking 45 minutes (e.g., United at Dulles).

When you travel regularly, adding an extra hour plus to each direction of each trip is alot of time that can be much better spent elsewhere and on other things. The baggage handling process at some airports is incredibly slow and sometimes I could be home or at my hotel in the time it takes me to get my bag at the baggage claim. The baggage handling process is too slow and inefficient for many frequent business travelers to use.

A note on fees – the idea of charging extra for both checked and carry-on luggage as an “extra”/optional service that can be unbundled is ridiculous. Virtually no one can travel without either a checked bag or a carry-on. Even business people who travel somewhere in the morning and back the same night tend to bring a briefcase or similar. If virtually everyone would have to pay the fee, then it is not optional and should be part of the ticket price.

7/21/2010 00:02

Disclosure of everything everywhere for at least a year.

Also, still having pain, which once was excruciating, from being hit with overhead luggage, I urge charging for overhead storage and NOT charging for checking. Airlines will save time that way and save the aggravation as people wait for passengers to find places overhead and then fit their luggage in and as flight attendants deal with passengers with oversized bags insisting on carrying them on. flights will be safer too.

7/21/2010 23:19

Charging extra for all checked bags ultimately causes passenger injuries. It’s a safety issue.

The proposed rule is wise and good and forbids a despicable practice, but misses the larger issue of passenger safety. Charging a fee for all checked baggage is the problem that you should focus on.

Charging for all checked bags encourages travelers to overload the overhead bins with large, heavy bags. Passengers are not professional baggage handlers. Baggage handlers don’t hoist bags they can barely lift over passengers’ heads. Passengers do this or pay $20-$40 extra per bag. Passengers are not as fit as baggage handlers, are not trained at all, and often can not lift their bags into the crowded overhead bins. Many need wheels to move their “carry on” bags through the airport. Passengers frequently drop bags on other passengers while loading or unloading the bins, and the overloaded bins occasionally pop open and dump during the flight.

These large bags, especially the wheels, hurt when a bag falls on your head. I’ve only gotten one cut and one ringer so far, both since the baggage fee brutality came in. I witness one accident every third flight.

Please require airlines to allow for some generous weight in checked baggage. Let it be part of the ticket. The old limit of 75 pounds domestic was really nice, but even 30 pounds would be more than plenty.

The passengers hate the baggage charge for many reasons. It’s not just the sleazy entrapment the proposed rule addresses. It is a safety issue and should be regulated as such. Fix the root problem.

    7/23/2010 10:30

    Thank you for the comment dentedskull. You raise a good issue about passenger safety.

7/22/2010 11:46

Disclosure about all additional fees that used to be part of the ticket price, food, beverage, blankets, etc. should all be included BEFORE the consumer purchases the airline ticket online. I would also hold ticket agents operating separately from the airline to include these fees. They should be broken down again in the spirit of full disclosure for consumers trying to make informed decisions about purchasing flight tickets. All carriers domestic and foreign should be required to comply with full disclosure of all fees extracted from a consumer in the course of the flight to a destination and back again. Regards code-share partners they should align their fees with their partners’ fees to make it more convenient for the consumer. It is the consumer that is the client that allows airlines and the travel industry to exist and prosper in the first place.

7/22/2010 16:02

Not fair for airline to charge me for checking luggage, then when the hoards of people at the gate are told there is no more room to stow luggage overhead on the plane and that luggage will be checked for free at the gate. Charge everyone for luggage whether it is taken onboard or stowed in the cargo. It’s all about jet fuel anyway. Also the planes would boarded faster if we went back to requiring luggage to be checked to the cargo hold. I’m tired of having my flight departures delayed by passengers bringing behemoth suitcases onboard the plane. I’ve also come close to being injured by people stowing or removing large and heavy bags in the overhead bins. No more hidden fees. This is wrong.

7/25/2010 14:28

I fully agree with nearly all the comments made here about baggage and other fees – and I know from having talked to them, that flight attendants hate the checked baggage charges too – it makes for delays in boarding times and a hassle for them to find room for all the carry-ons.

The airlines management – the suits with the spreadsheets – simply don’t care. The airlines are only one example of Corporate America, which in recent years feels free to thumb its collective nose at its customers. They know full well that their employees and their customers hate the baggage charges. They simply don’t care.

There should be no charge for one checked bag and one carry-on – with an additional item such as a purse or briefcase. ALL carry-ons should be compliant with size limitations – which is not done now.

Also – when buying a ticket and selecting a seat – one some aircraft there are some seats that have some sort of box bolted to the floor supports on the seat in front, which greatly restricts the room you have to put a carry-on under the seat in front of you, even if it’s within size limits for carry-ons. When these seats are offered online, or through a travel agent – the airline should include the information: “restricted room for under-seat storage of luggage.”

7/25/2010 18:33

The consumer needs to know the FULL fare upfront. This includes all taxes and fees plus any ancillary fees such as checked luggage, food, seat reservations, food and blankets and pillows(!). I also feel that carriers should not be allowed to increase a fare once you have paid for it. I have had this happen and it was $150, not a paltry sum.

Consumers cannot make choices without knowing the full cost of a decision. It is deceptive marketing to not declare all fees.

7/25/2010 18:49

I believe that optional fees, non-optional fees and any and all fees period should be prominently accessible on the page that travelers are completing to purchase their tickets.

Differences in code-share fees should not be allowed. If they can share codes they can bloody well share the same fees.

The DOT should require a second full fare price to include ALL traditionally provided services and baggage fees.

DOT should put a six (6) month rule for displaying changes on baggage fees.

All carriers regardless of size of aircraft should be impacted.

DOT should set the fees based on the ticketing airline and require the code-share to charge the same unless their charge benefits the traveler.

7/25/2010 19:16

All the problems described in this survey are due to the fact that, in reality, there is minimal competition in the air transportation field in this country. The cabotage regulations, promulgated at the infancy of the industry to protect US carriers from foreign competition guarantee that the airlines can inflict anything on the public without fear that their clients, who most times have only one or two other carriers flying from one city to another, can go to a competitor. This anti-competitive environment might have been needed years ago. In the 21st century it is time to allow competition from foreign airlines, that already have flights to practically most US cities to carry passengers from, at least their first gateway city withing the US to their final destination. This way, the most congested routes, for example Miami to New York City, or New York to San Fransisco, will have plenty of flights available to prospective passengers. Foreign airlines already fly between those cities, most times half or three quarters empty. Let us utilize these empty seats at a logical price without being subjected to the whims of the US airline monopoly.

7/26/2010 19:07

I normally fly Southwest, which does not have baggage fees. However, I do think lines that charge should have to include it in the fee shown (possibly having to ask how many bags will be checked. Also, purchases should always be able to pay the fees with the ticket instead of waiting until they are at the airport.

I have no real problem if some airlines want to charge for baggage, although I would prefer a charge only for more than one bag (most people will need one). I would prefer there be charges (even on Southwest) for people who try to bring full-size bags into the cabin. I have come close to having bags dropped on me several times by people attempting to lift bags that were too heavy for them.

    7/27/2010 13:13

    Thank you for the comment, kkpingle. If the DOT does change the way airlines structure their fees, what type of disclosure procedures will be needed? Is displaying fare change information on the carriers website enough?

7/26/2010 22:34

The thing that gets me upset is when a gate agent tells me my luggage is Two Pounds over the limit of 50lb. And I owe a bunch of money to let it on the plane.
I say how about the 300lb person who is next in line? How about weighing them and charging them extra because they are far over weight? If I weigh 150lb and they weigh twice as much what is the big hassle over my 2 lb in my luggage? It is discrimination for me to have to pay more and not them.
Lets weigh everything…luggage and people if we want to be fair about the weight thing. Lets say that the total allowed is 250 lb total weight of person and luggage. Now it would be fair to all. I want this changed as soon as possible. Why should I subsidize overweight people?

On domestic flights I am against charging for my checked on luggage. It makes people bring everything they can possibly bring into the plane for Free.
Then they take all day trying to stuff it into the overhead and delay passengers from taking our seats. Stop The Charging of Luggage!

7/26/2010 22:45

Since travel–especially long trips–basically require luggage to be transported I truly believe it is misleading to not allow at least one piece of luggage as part of the trip. If all carriers were required to allow one bag included in the price then prices could be easily compared. Anything else is really false advertising. And this would hopefully minimize the incentive to overuse carry-on luggage to avoid a fee.

7/29/2010 10:57

I support uniform regulations requiring both airlines and ticket agents to disclose all fees online (and on e-tickets and through traditional ticket sellers) before purchase, for all flights and all carriers. 3 months of notification of changes on an airline’s web page is too short, especially for less-frequent fliers. No other industry gets away with the pricing gimmicks and gotchas that the airline industry does; it’s not a free market if we never know the real price we pay for a service. Regulations should be as uniform as possible and applied uniformly.

7/30/2010 12:46

Baggage fees are a new form of usury and misery. While I realize that charging the customers individually is more just than adding cost to everyone’s ticket, the whole issue of whether these fees exceed any reasonable need the airlines have to control baggage or are simply a result of greed should be explored. I would like to see a return to the days when two bags could be checked free, then charges imposed on excess baggage. I do not understand the rationale for baggage fees except as a means for the airlines to make more money.

7/30/2010 23:18

I see no issue with baggage fees. I have an issue with what RyanAir is doing/trying to do and that is charging for bathroom use. Airlines need to make a profit…but the whole system is full costs that are not fully realized in ticket prices. The government should mandate price waterlines to cover costs or the airlines will cut tickets to gain passengers while neglecting their planes and their staff.

8/3/2010 16:20

I just want to chime in and say how there needs to be more regulation in how carry-on baggage is handled on the plane. If only there was a way to have a specific, seat-dedicated overhead bin (with a lock? – just brainstorming here) that would allow only myself to use. So if my ginormous bag didn’t physically fit into my personal overhead bin, then I can’t stuff it into your space. I think that was the thinking with the current system, but now people are rushing to get onto the plane so they can get an overhead bin space so they don’t have to put things under the seat in front of them, without care that they are infringing on everyone else’s overhead space. If there was a one free checked bag allowance, that would be helpful. But ultimately, I would love to have seat-specific overhead space.

I realize that doesn’t exactly fit into this category, except I suppose it does support the one-checked-bag-free idea. Thank you.

8/3/2010 16:29

I’m not sure where to put this comment but would like to post it somewhere. There needs to be more regulation in either 1) larger seat sizes, or 2) mandating that severely overweight passengers buy a second ticket. It is very troubling to be seated next to a person who is taking more than their seat allows. I’m not sure how they are enforcing it now, but I’ve seen some really large people squeezed into their (and their seatmate’s) seats. It’s not fair to have to share my already tiny seat with someone else. Thank you.

8/4/2010 10:03

Baggage isn’t optional. The daytripper is a distinct minority. Fares should include one (1) checked and one carryon, subject to size and weight limits. Right now the premium is on smuggling oversized and overweight baggage and robbing other passengers of scarce storage space (ever see someone trying to jam a 30″ pullman into the overhead on an Embraer?).

8/5/2010 01:01

Airlines (and travel websites) should be required to include all taxes and mandatory fees in advertised ticket prices. They should be required to individually and clearly list all “optional” fees. I don’t think listing an all-option-included total price is particularly helpful because most travelers I know no longer choose all the options. Baggage fees should be stated very prominently.

Passengers should not be charged a baggage fee higher than that of the ticket-issuing airline on a code share flight. The ticket issuing airline should be required to clearly advise passengers in advance – at the time of ticket purchase – of any differences between its rules and the partner’s rules.

The rules should apply to all commercial flights, domestic or international.

8/8/2010 12:09

My understanding is that airlines do not pay tax on baggage and other fees. Why not? If they don’t, they should.

8/8/2010 12:12

While I support the DOT’s effort to make sure the fees are published upfront, I do think there need to be limits on some fees, chief among them carry on luggage. If the airlines are charging for checked baggage, there need to be rules preventing them from charging for carry ons. It is not acceptable for airlines to have what is in effect a mandatory fee for carrying any luggage at all on a vacation. Luggage is not something that very many air travelers can cut out altogether, the DOT should step in and prevent them from charging fees on all of it.

In relation to mthornt1′s point, the overhead bins are not the only place to put luggage. There is room under the seats that is designed for luggage as well. If airlines have restrictions on carryons, it’s up to them to determine how much they want to enforce them.

8/8/2010 12:14

While the passenger has a right to know what fees are being charged by the airlines, when the ticket is purchased, it should be inclusive of any and all fees. I have always been opposed to carry-on bags that don’t fit under the seat. Delays in boarding are caused by people trying to “stuff” their bag in the overhead compartment. If the carry-on is too large to fit, then the passenger should be charged a fee for those carry-on bags. I agree with the comments that mthornt1 has posted.

8/10/2010 08:39

i think that international should be charged the baggage fees that domestic travelers are charged with because it is not fair to domestic travelers that have to pay the fees and international does not for the 1st 2 bags and international is charged for the 3rd bag on and domestic travelers are charged for the 1st 2 bags along with other fees as well “the hidden fees”.

8/11/2010 11:02

DOT needs to do a lot more than just give information about how the airlines can rip off the traveling public. They need to regulate fees to a reasonable level. The public relations black-eye airlines are getting for their “fee-frenzy” is their own fault, but the DOT isn’t doing much to assist them in overcoming it!

    8/12/2010 01:33

    Thank you for your comment. The idea that the DOT should directly determine baggage fees is an interesting one. What does everyone think about this, and – if you agree – what would be a reasonable price?

    8/17/2010 22:07 lists fees for major airlines. They all seem to settle into the $15-$35 each way.

    The airlines aren’t competing on price for checked baggage. I think the best solution is $0.

    8/18/2010 22:48

    Thanks for your comment! Do others think the $15-$35 range is reasonable? Should the DOT get involved in regulating this fee?

8/11/2010 13:51

I can remember when it was possible to put a coat on top of your luggage in the overhead bin and not have it emerge accordion pleated. Charging for checked luggage has made the situation even worse. I would like to see the rules about carry-on’s, as to size and number, enforced.

8/29/2010 09:50

At least one bag and one carry on should always be free, under clearly specified size and weight limitations. Lost baggage should also be regulated, although I do not object to system in effect years ago.

8/29/2010 10:07

While I do believe that the first checked bag should be free (luggage kinda goes with air travel!), I think the bigger issue is that novice travelers are unfamiliar with the fees, how much they are and when they need to be paid for. Airlines need to make it clear when quoting prices what the fees are for things that were previously included in flying – luggage, food and snacks, etc. Services that were not included previously shouldn’t have to be posted. I say that because if you give a notice about too many fees then people get lost in the laundry list of fees and we’re back to square one.

Baggage fees have created an issue with carry on bags. Flights are fuller, and now there are more carry-on bags too. Airlines need to enforce their policies of carry-on size. I have no problem with charging a higher fee to gate check an over sized carry-on, as it will force people to comply with carry-on rules and make the boarding process smoother and less dangerous. If overhead space runs out and a bag needs to be gate checked, then a fee would not be appropriate.

8/29/2010 11:16

proposed changes are good.

8/29/2010 11:43

The obfuscatory practices around the fees are bad enough, but, what is also bad is that these fees are typically non-refundable, even if the airline fails to provide the service they are charging for. For example, if they mishandle your baggage, they do not refund the fee. This rule should include a requirement that fees are refundable for non-performance on the airline’s part. Also, there should be a minimum level of service defined in the rules … maybe one checked bag and one carryon bag included in the ticket price. And, yes, very clear information on fees is an absolute … travelers should not need to be confused or misdirected regarding the bottom line price of a flight.

8/29/2010 13:01

I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that airlines should be required to provide travelers with a “full-fare” price. This would allow travelers to compare prices between carriers and make better decisions.
A good alternative would be to allow an individual to choose what options they will use (e.g., how many checked bags) and provide an all-in price that includes those options (and also includes fees and taxes). This would allow travelers to determine what the “all-in” price includes, but would still allow the traveler to compare apples to apples when determining which airline to travel with.
ALL carriers that operate in the US should be required to display all-in fares for all flights that either begin or end in the US.
One result I could see here would be that an airline may allow one checked bag, but the size of the bag may be smaller for some carriers than others – and the charge for oversized bags may be more. Oversized bags may be something one doesn’t think about until one gets to the airport and then finds out the bag is too big. Consequently, it might be good for a more prominent display of requirements on the traveler – e.g., bag size and weight.
As to “code share” price display – as a traveler, I want to know what I am paying and what the restrictions on me would be. If there is no cost difference for me to fly on an airline the airline I have contracted with has sub-contracted with to fly me somewhere, I am OK knowing only the all-in price. I think, however, that it is important for me, the traveler, to know if the subcontractor has more restrictive luggage requirements that could cause me to need to pay additional fees.
I believe people want to know about the fees and restrictions when they arrange for travel. I’m not sure it is necessary to advertise changes in fees or restrictions. Instead, I believe the fees or restrictions should not change for a passenger that has bought his or her ticket. The contract between the airline and traveler is set when the ticket is purchased and unilateral changes to fees that affect the traveler should not be allowed. If that contract allows the airline to change restrictions (e.g., size of bag), the airline should be required to inform affected passengers that have already purchased tickets.

8/29/2010 13:06

Full, transparent, and clear pricing as part of assisted and on-line sales so people can not purchase a ticket until they have affirmatively rejected or accepted some ot the add-ons. As long a people do not see or do not care to see them the airlines can slip them in after the option to buy from another carrier is past. By forcing the issue up front you can decide at the time of purchase if you want to pay for the services being charged.

8/29/2010 13:49

As an infrequent traveler, I get easily confused with all the new fees and regulations. When I’m comparison shopping, I’d like to see additional fees listed on every webpage of every airline or ticket provider (Expedia, etc.) I love Amazon’s page that shows cost + shipping. I think we need something like that for airfares. It’s pretty deceptive for one airline to list an all inclusive fee (or not charge extra) and another to unbundle just to look like they have a lower price. I’m not a travel agent and don’t want to spend hours looking for the best deal, only to find hidden charges. I hate to see this become ANOTHER federal regulation, but it would be good business.

In terms of code share, the rules/fees of the issuing airline should prevail across the board.

8/29/2010 14:07

I think airlines of all sizes at all airports should be required to allow passengers to stow in cargo one large suitcase for free and carry on one small suitcase for free. I do not believe the airline should be allowed to charge fees for access to water or lavatories or light or air or electricity. If the airline is going to charge extra fees for anything a passenger may need while traveling, it should be clearly stated at the point where a quote for the airline ticket fare is quoted. There should be no need to wander anywhere else on the airline’s site. State it up front and obvious so the traveler can make an informed choice.

8/29/2010 16:34

Code share fees should be based on the airline from whom I purchased the ticket – if I purchase a DL ticket but one segment is operated by AA (as used to be true from LAX to Monterey, CA), I should fly under Delta’s rules, not American’s.

A ticket receipt should list any additional charges which might be incurred during the itinerary – seat reservations, baggage, snacks, pillows, etc – with a window to cancel without penalty (say 24 hours) after this is presented.

8/30/2010 15:29

I agree with mthort1 about a baggage carry-on rule that is the same at all US airports and strictly enforced.
In addition, these baggage and other fees are ridiculous and need to be regulated. While I agree with charging for more than 1 checked bag under X lb. weight, all other extra fees should be forbidden. If that does not happen, airlines definitely must tell customers when booking what fees are – and they should NEVER include a fee for water or a certain-size carry-on or to use the toilet!!
ALL carriers should list ALL separate fees and show the minimum full fare price.

8/31/2010 07:53

Dear Sir/Madam:

As a frequent domestic and international traveler (traveling approximately 5-15 times per year) on business and leisure travel, I am in favor of full disclosure of airline pricing at the time of ticket marketing/advertisement and ticket booking. The current practice by airlines is deliberately deceptive with intention to hide true cost at time of marketing, advertising and ticketing. The lack of marketing, advertising or ticketing standards in the airline industry is deplorable.

The practice of hiding the full cost of a “standard” economy ticket with 2 checked bags, 1 meal / 4 hours of flight duration, legroom of a specified amount, and other amenities (blanket, pillow) is pervasive across the industry. Pricing should be “re-bundled” by class of fare: eg. standard economy, business, and first class. Sub-dividing out standard economy w/ or w/out bags, w/ or w/out a blanket is absurd and an attempt to deliberately confuse the consumer, misleading him into committing to purchase a higher fare which was not advertised.

Ticket purchasing through Company A, regardless of their use of Company B as co-chair or code-share, should not result in a different price from the one advertised. The airlines have the capacity to set and coordinate their prices with co-chairs and code-share partners. If the airlines want to be competitive, they should disclose their market price, inclusive of partnership agreements. Otherwise, this amounts to wrongful intent under contract. If airlines wish to avoid this requirement of aligning policy with co-chairs, they may either pay their co-chairs the difference, in-effect “absorbing” the cost into the total ticket price. Or, they can alter their co-chair arrangements and offer service on their own proper airplanes. However, deliberate advertising for one standard service and delivering sub-standard service at an above-standard cost is inexcusable.

The terms as outline should apply to all commercial airlines operating in the United States of America. Otherwise, loopholes are created through which airline carriers may advertise under foreign airlines and circumvent the proposed rules.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment. I am available for further comment, if necessary and helpful.


8/31/2010 09:32

Personally I think that if the airlines are going to charge for checked bags they should EXPECT that passengers will try to get away with the largest carry-on they can get away with. With that in mind they should actually enforce the carry-on size limits BEFORE passengers board.

Perhaps establish official size dimensions for carry-ons and make an official “carry-on” friendly icon, like TSA did for laptop bags that can go thru scanners without having to take the laptop out.

9/2/2010 03:40

I can see many sides to this issue as well as other issues that need to be addressed.

In regards to the problems herein, airlines are getting away with charging for things that used to be included. Frankly, I want them to just drop all these extra fees and get back to the simpler times.

Charging now for checked bags, pillows, close to the front seating, etc, it is getting out of hand. Now with some airlines getting away with charging for carry-ons, it has gone too far. Passengers have to carry a bag for security of their own money, wallet, keys, tickets, etc. When I fly, I do not want more to remember to do, such as booking food, and pillows and asking for such things. The flight attendants are already busy enough, stressed to the max by passengers and the airline they work for already. We just say one fly off the handle here a few weeks ago, I don’t blame the poor guy, something happened that pushed him over the edge, but we don’t need more flight attendants feeling over burdened by passengers having to ask for all this stuff. Moreover, as a flyer, frankly I don’t want to have to ask for it, I am already tired, when I get on board I just want to relax, flying is already stressful enough.

The airlines need to get back to similar times, no more charging for these things. It is not about disclosing them, although anything they change MUST be disclosed before hand, but really, this goes back to my original point, I don’t want more stuff to read, more disclosures to understand, more researching about which airlines do what, it is enough already, I cannot handle anymore of this.

The charging of carry-ons is the straw that broke my back and the reason why I am writing.

I agree with mthornt1 in some respects, and was going to comment about this issue also. What I notice is that passengers are bringing on suitcases that do not fit in the overhead bins, how are they getting away with this? Those things are hard cased, heavy and frankly too big. I do not want to see further restrictions in the size of carry-ons, but I want the airlines to start telling these passengers those suitcases cannot be taken on board.

What makes matters worse is some of these passengers put these big carry ons anywhere they please. I have watched people who sit in the back stuff their carry on at the front of the plane, and the flight attendants are not even paying attention to it. When I get on I cannot find a place for my carry on, I end up stuffing it under the seat in front of me and then I do not have room for my long legs. This is another issue, the planes are too cramped, there needs to be more pitch between the seats, period! There is more room on a bus, and a bus is smaller!

I fly international quite often and the situation is made even more difficult through international flights. If the tickets you hold are not together fees apply here and there and everywhere, and of course nothing is clear across the board, and there is no standard.

No more fees, the ticket price you pay includes everything as far as I am concerned. I do not mind having to pay for a bag that weights over 70lbs, but do not charge me because I have a bag! In addition, why did the weight limit change international from 70 to 50lbs? Too many changes, let us get back to the basics of air travel. If everyone respects the rules that are already set up then we won’t have any problems.

9/2/2010 17:06

I do not understand, where are the owners of all those unclaimed baggage and why have they not claimed their luggage? Obviously, the baggage were found because they were delivered to the Unclaimed Luggage Center to be sold, therefore, why were they not instead delivered to their rightful owners?? Where are all those people who have had their luggage lost?

The second thing I do not understand is the fact that the airlines are actually making a very high profit from all of these ‘lost’ personal items. Therefore, they have a vested interest to insure that their ‘stock’ is always available for sale. In order for there to be stock to fill the shelves then there must be a huge amount of lost luggage. And if the airlines are making a profit from all of these lost items in order to insure that they continue to maintain their profit they then must purposefully not return lost luggage to their rightful owners and/or intentionally hold on to it and then claim it as being lost. Having a unclaimed luggage store whereby the airlines profit from the loss of other people’s personal and valued property is a clear and obvious conflict of interest and the store needs to be put out of business. This type of conflict of interest could not, nor would not exit in any other type of industry. In fact, it would be a violation of law.

The solution: For every piece of luggage that is lost, no matter the size or content, the airlines should reimburse the customer $7,000. This will insure two things: 1) the airlines will make every effort to make sure the luggage is returned; 2) if the luggage is not returned and instead sold at the Unclaimed Luggage Center then at least the person whose items have been sold will have made some profit from their sale.

9/5/2010 13:35

All fees should be shown on the initial screen showing a price or in any ad showing a fare.

That said, I would prefer the rule to be that airlines return to the standard of several years ago. Any flight to, from or within the US includes 2 bags of up to 70lb. and a carry on in the standard 22 inch size.

9/7/2010 20:19

I find it interesting that the moderator keeps saying the DOT will consider carry on rules in the future. The fact is there ARE current carry on rules in effect. Sadly the CURRENT carry on rules ARE NOT ENFORCED! A great start would be to ENFORCE the current rules. This needs to happen AT THE SECURITY CHECKPOINT, so that those who need to check luggage are easily directed back to the airline’s ticket counter.

As far as the multiple, and seemingly never ending array of fees that the airlines are charging, yes, these fees should be prominently displayed as part of the ticket purchase process. The customer should be required to acknowledge their understanding of the fees before the ticket purchase is completed. Perhaps those writing the rules need to check the websites for Ryan Air (, EasyJet (, or Flybe ( As the customer navigates these sites, as part of the ticket purchase process they are asked to select additional items they are interested in. For example, when they select to check a bag, the bottom line price goes up, same for fees for early boarding, sporting equipment, and the like. The ticket purchase, and the additional fees are then lumped into a single transaction. In this scenario, no advanced notice of changes in the fees would be required, if once the fee is paid, it cannot be changed.

Personally, I believe that EVERY airline ticket should include the first checked bag. This would simplify security, and help alleviate the problems with the carry on luggage. I also believe that unless the passenger does not meet the check in time limit for checked luggage, that all fees charged for the transport of that luggage should be immediately refunded to the original form of payment if the luggage does not arrive with the passenger.

The regulations, once they are developed should apply to all carriers, no matter size of the plane. No reason to increase the complexity by making exceptions or differences based on the size of the company or size of the plane. The services should cost the same on code share flights, regardless of which carrier is operating the flight.

Airline Passenger Rights "Baggage & other fees"

Agency Proposal
By the Regulation Room team based on the NPRM
Agency Documents
1 69


Airlines seem to be charging additional fees for everything nowadays — from baggage, to beverage service, to blankets. In response, DOT Department of Transportation is considering at least requiring airlines to give travelers better information up front about what all these services will now cost them. Open questions include which carriers and flights should be covered by the new rule, as well as whether separate fees should not be allowed in certain circumstances.

This post will tell you more about what the problems have been, and what solutions DOT Department of Transportation is considering — and alert you to questions DOT particularly wants people to comment on.

2 1 The Problems:

Airlines have decided to “unbundle” their fares. Travelers may now be hit with separate fees for checked baggage (and, more recently, carry on bags), choosing seat assignments, in-flight entertainment, food and beverages, and even pillows. People are accustomed to getting these services as part of the basic ticket price — and often don’t realize until at the airport, or even on the plane, that they now must be paid for separately.

An additional complication can come from code-share arrangements, when one airline issues tickets for a flight segment actually provided by a different cooperating airline. (When a flight is described as “Operated by” a carrier different than the airline you bought the ticket from, this is probably a code-share arrangement). Sometimes the code-share partner has different, less favorable charges for services (e.g., baggage fees) than the airline issuing the ticket. Passengers often don’t understand code-share arrangements, and have no clue that part of their flight could involve a different set of fees for services.

3 10 The Proposed Solutions:

In the proposed rule, DOT Department of Transportation is mainly concentrating on getting passengers better information about unbundled charges. It has several ideas — and a lot of questions about what consumers need (see next section):

  • Require airlines to have a website that discloses fees for optional services, through a prominent link on the homepage.
  • Require that air fare advertising include not only the ticket price, but also a second, “full fare” price that includes what it will cost to get all the services traditionally included in the ticket price.
  • Alternatively, require that airline ticket websites offer travelers the option of selecting among various “add on” services in order to see what the total cost would be. This way, consumers could focus on the charges for only the specific services they desire.
  • Require airlines to provide this information to both Internet and traditional travel agencies and ticket sellers, so that these parties can pass it along to their customers.

Specifically on baggage charges:

  • Require airlines to “prominently disclose,” on the homepage of their website, any increase in fees or change in the free baggage allowance — for at least 3 months after the change is made.
  • Require that the e-ticket confirmation reveal any charges for carry-ons and for first or second checked bags.

On code-share arrangements:

  • Require the airline issuing the ticket to make travelers aware of any “significant” differences between their own fees and those of the carrier operating the flight.
  • An open question is whether code-share partners should be prohibited from charging different fees, at least for some services.

DOT’s current thinking is to apply these rules to all airlines; an open question is whether it should also apply them to all ticket agents, even though they are not affiliated with an airline.

4 32 What DOT Department of Transportation wants to know from you:

Is disclosure on the carrier’s website the best way to get separate optional-fee information to the public? Should DOT Department of Transportation also require disclosure on the e-ticket confirmation, or in other ways? What about the best ways to disclose differences in code-share fees?

Should DOT Department of Transportation require that all separate fees be listed, or only require disclosure of significant fees? How should “significant” be defined?

If DOT Department of Transportation were to require sites to include a second, “full fare” price, should this include only baggage charges, or fees for all traditionally-provided services (e.g. seat assignments, snacks, personal comfort items)?

With respect to changes in baggage fees and rules, is a 3-month period for displaying information on airline websites too short? too long? Are there other, or better, ways to inform the public?

Should these requirements apply to all carriers or only to certain subgroups — e.g., only US carriers; only US and foreign carriers with aircraft of more than a certain size?

Are there any services (e.g., baggage fees) that should not be allowed to vary between code-share partners?

See what DOT Department of Transportation said on this issue: NPRM Section 8.

See the proposed rule text on this issue:  Section 399.85

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