With the frustration over a la carte pricing by airlines these days, the government is fighting back...
Starting this week, the Feds are forcing carriers to become more transparent when it comes to airfare pricing and the online purchasing of tickets.
Since forever airlines have been using low prices as come-ons in their advertising only to ambush frustrated customers with veiled final pricing that includes additional taxes, fees and fuel surcharges.
But now, as of later this week, the airlines must reconfigure their "now you see it now you don’t" selling model in the following manner:
** Advertised fares must include all government taxes and other associated fees such as fuel surcharges which can add 30% to 50% to the final ticket price.
** Airlines must be upfront about fees for checking bags when the tickets are purchased and paid for online. In other words, no more surprises at the airport.
** Airlines must give customers 24 hours to change their reservations without having to pay rebooking fees.
Once these rules are implemented, fliers will have a clearer picture in making price comparisons between airlines.
HOW DO KCI CARRIERS FARE WHEN IT COMES TO THE PRICE OF CHECKED BAGS?
A check of the baggage fees imposed by 10 major airlines flying out of Kansas City shows the following:
American, United-Continental, Delta, AIR CANADA and US Airways have the highest fees, charging $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second.
AirTran is next with a $20 charge for the first bag and $25 for the second.
(Note: AirTran’s baggage fees will disappear later this year when the carrier merges into new owner Southwest Airlines’ business model.)
Frontier Airlines also charges $20 for the first bag and $20 for the second checked piece
Alaska Airlines, scheduled to make its debut at KCI by late Spring, also charges $20 for first and second checked bags.
Finally Southwest Airlines, which may or may not have the lowest ticket price to a particular destination anymore, still waives fees for two checked bags per customer. Which can be a savings of as much as $120 on a roundtrip ticket.
So always consider the baggage charges when doing your price comparisons.