DOT Must Require Airlines to Disclose all Fees
ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-10-2 — /Travel PR News/ — The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) called on the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to move quickly to require all airlines to increase their transparency and disclose all baggage and other ancillary fees. According to comments filed by GTBA as part of the DOT’s Proposed Rulemaking on ancillary fees, travelers and booking agents, as well as corporate travel managers and buyers, must be able to understand the total cost of travel before purchasing an airline ticket.
“The lack of consistency and transparency in the pricing and application of ancillary fees in all categories of travel, but especially for air travel, is a major challenge for business travel managers,” explained GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick.
GBTA – the voice of the global business travel industry –noted that with consolidation of the airline industry, airlines have accelerated the practice of unbundling services that were traditionally part of an airline ticket, such as baggage fees. These ancillary fees represent a growing source of revenue: baggage fees rose from $464 million in 2007 to $3.35 billion in 2013 and reservation change fees rose from $915 million in 2007 to $2.8 billion in 2013.
A recent GBTA study examining the transparency and trackability of ancillary fees found that only 21 percent of travel managers are tracking ancillary fees, such as baggage fees, although those fees now account for more than eight percent of total travel spend.
“With better insight into how these fees work, travel managers can make more informed choices,” McCormick explained to the DOT. “Business travelers and their companies must be presented with an accurate and trackable view of fares and fees.”
The full text of GBTA’s comments can be viewed here
About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives business growth, visit gbta.org