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Question About US Getting Fined By DOT  
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1535 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 3031 times:

Just saw this article: http://www.atwonline.com/news/story....+AtwDailyNews+%28ATW+Daily+News%29

It struck me that the charge against US seems like one they could level against basically any American carrier - am I missing something here? I've always thought it was a bit sleazy how airlines advertise their prices, but I didn't think US was the only one who does this.

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinecrosswinds21 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 698 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 3016 times:

Not really. Most (probably all) far advertisements I've seen do comply with Government requirements. I get emails of AA's fare sale all the time and they always say "based on round trip purchase" and also that "additional taxes and fees apply." I'm pretty sure I've seen this with all other airline ads as well.

User currently offlineNWA330nut From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 115 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2954 times:

UA was fined a few months ago for doing the same thing as US. I just don't understand how they come up with $40,000. It just doesn't seem like much money. Is the fine just for a slap in the face in front of the public, or is it for an actual nominal damage? I'm sure that there are many more complex tactics that airlines get into than this.

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24735 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2931 times:

At some point or another everyone seems to run afoul with errors in advertising.

Here is United from January
http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2009/dot0610.htm

Here is one for an online web portal
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/11/dot_ultimatefares.html

and Spirit
http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2009/dot14209.htm



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1535 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2780 times:

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 1):
Not really. Most (probably all) far advertisements I've seen do comply with Government requirements. I get emails of AA's fare sale all the time and they always say "based on round trip purchase" and also that "additional taxes and fees apply." I'm pretty sure I've seen this with all other airline ads as well.

Oh I must have missed that. I don't pay attention to that disclaimer because I always assume it to be there somewhere, but I guess if they really didn't put that up there, they deserve it. These days I always read the fine print so I'm not in the habit of really paying attention to whether they qualify everything or not.


User currently offlineaa1818 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Feb 2006, 3429 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2736 times:

To me this business about advertising without taxes and additional fees etc is nonsense. I hardly ever applaud EU legislation, but I must say that is one area where the EU are light years ahead. A quoted price actually reflects what you pay. When AA quotes me a price on a POS-MIA round trip, the minute it quotes me the price it knows what the taxes are, yet they wait until i'm ready t confirm my purchase to include it. Same goes for shopping in a department store. The shirt on the rack says $70 and the store knows full well what the final price is long before I even walk into the store. The US needs to revamp its legislation to force sellers to advertise the ACTUAL price of the goods, including the taxes and other fees.

AA1818



“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24735 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 2681 times:

Quoting aa1818 (Reply 5):
The US needs to revamp its legislation to force sellers to advertise the ACTUAL price of the goods, including the taxes and other fees.

I disagree. Providing an all-in price hardly provides the clarity of what the merchant is charging and helps the government to continue to hide ever growing charges.
I'd much rather see that airline X is charging $350 for a ticket (or lets say 1GBP in the case of Ryanair), and the government adding on another $150, then just a single $500 price where I have no idea what the providor is getting.

Seeing the actual merchant price allows the consumer see what they are getting and better judge one merchant versus another and judge if they feel its a fair and suitable offer.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24670 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2589 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
Quoting aa1818 (Reply 5):
The US needs to revamp its legislation to force sellers to advertise the ACTUAL price of the goods, including the taxes and other fees.

I disagree. Providing an all-in price hardly provides the clarity of what the merchant is charging and helps the government to continue to hide ever growing charges.
I'd much rather see that airline X is charging $350 for a ticket (or lets say 1GBP in the case of Ryanair), and the government adding on another $150, then just a single $500 price where I have no idea what the providor is getting.

Most customers are only interested in the total price including all fees/taxes/charges. If they want to see the breakdown, they can easily see that if they wish, and it always appears on the ticket (paper or electronic).

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
Seeing the actual merchant price allows the consumer see what they are getting and better judge one merchant versus another and judge if they feel its a fair and suitable offer.

How can they judge whather the offer is fair when carriers apply widely-varying fuel surcharges (which are really part of the fare) if those amounts are shown separately? That used to be the case in Europe before legislation forced airlines to advertise and quote only the total amount. Some airlines have very low base fares but high fuel surcharges, and others are the opposite. It's much clearer for the consumer if they can first see the total price. The taxes and airport fees etc. are identical for the same routing, regardless of airline, so the total price still lets you judge how fair the offer is, and it's much less misleading than burying the various taxes and fees in the small print which can easily be overlooked.

I doubt any consumers in Europe would want to go back to the way it was a few years ago when airlines were still permitted to advertise only the fare when the taxes/fees/surchrages etc. were often far higher than the so-called fare. All other prices for goods and services, at least in Eujrope, always includes the applicable taxes (normally VAT which can be well over 20% in some countries) but it's always broken out on cash register receipts or other invoices for those who really care. I'm sure that was a primary reason for the EU legislation that now requires airlines to do the same thing. Consumers couldn't understand why air fares were virtually the only purchase where the total price wasn't quoted initially.

I know it has been traditional in the US and Canada to quote retail prices without the various sales taxes but I expect a high pecentage of consumers there would also prefer to see only the total without having to their own arithmetic to determine the total price to be paid.


User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5285 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2561 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
Seeing the actual merchant price allows the consumer see what they are getting and better judge one merchant versus another and judge if they feel its a fair and suitable offer.

The trouble is that merchants don't disclose their actual price. Leaving government fees entirely out, carriers often impose arbitrary fuel surcharges as well as other charges named to fool the unwary traveler into thinking the government imposed them.

There are two possible solutions to this:

1) force carriers to state the full price of the ticket before mandatory government fees and taxes, or
2) force carriers to state the full price, all-inclusive, and allow carriers to break out the government fees in smaller type.

2) is more consumer friendly, but 1) fits your political agenda better. Either one would be a marked improvement over the dishonest and confusing system we have today.



Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1302 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 2545 times:
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Quoting aa1818 (Reply 5):
To me this business about advertising without taxes and additional fees etc is nonsense. I hardly ever applaud EU legislation, but I must say that is one area where the EU are light years ahead. A quoted price actually reflects what you pay.

Yes - but it does not reveal the huge taxes and fees the government is levying. I think it is important for people to know if the government is adding 25 or 30% to their ticket



rcair1
User currently offlineEDICHC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 2514 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 9):

Yes - but it does not reveal the huge taxes and fees the government is levying. I think it is important for people to know if the government is adding 25 or 30% to their ticket

There is always a final breakdown given at the final transaction or on an official receipt.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24735 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 2514 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 7):
I know it has been traditional in the US and Canada to quote retail prices without the various sales taxes

Right --- and why should airlines be any different?

Whether I go clothes shopping, eat out, buy online, stay at a hotel, rent a car the pricing is based on the merchants net price which allows the consumer good competative visibility from merchannt to merchant.

Having an all in total price to me provide much less visibility of the cost of a the actual product, and easily hides government taxation.
A good benefit and control over runaway government taxation in my view consumers understand and can clearly feel the power of taxes every day when they purchase goods and services and its added to the merchants price.
With a single all-in price the consumer would be hard pressed to figure out what is a tax and what the merchant is charging in reverse.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7383 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week ago) and read 2450 times:

Simplest solution is this is what you pay.

Then let the firm say "this includes the following govt charges".

I want to know what it will cost me.


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