Where is our Mr Blumenthal?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Where is our Richard Blementhal?

Where is our Richard Blumenthal?

In the US, Senator Blumenthal has written to the Secretary for Transportation drawing attention to the hidden charges made by airlines, some of which he says are bogus.

Some of his language in the letter is worth quoting. “Not coincidentally, as fuel prices declined, most airlines dropped “fuel charges” and began assessing consumers other vaguely worded charges such as “international/domestic surcharges”, and “carrier imposed charges,” which seemingly have no relation to any additional costs borne by the airlines.” He also writes, “This anti-consumer practice shrouds the true cost of airfares and can deceive consumers searching for the best deals.”

He has asked that the Transportation Department investigate “whether these surcharges are unfair and deceptive, and to take swift and appropriate enforcement action.” I don’t remember the Transport Select Committee in the House of Commons announcing that they would look at similar wording over here that is used by airlines.

Senator Blumenthal makes reference to British Airways. “British Airways… assesses a carrier surcharge that may be even greater than the cost of the base fare.” Delta also has a carrier surcharge.

He says that by failing to define the surcharge, airlines appear to escape any responsibility for explaining how they came up with these amounts, possibly padding their profits by deceiving consumers. The text of his full letter is here.

He also attacks the practice of awarding free flights when you try to redeem the miles that many readers accrue through favouring one airline over another. He says “an examination of Delta SkyMiles’ voluminous rules and conditions webpage yields only a hint that the award ticket “may include up to $600 for foreign government taxes and fees and/or carrier-imposed fees for international itineraries.”

Just about Travel will monitor this approach by Senator Blumenthal because any action taking by the US will have an effect on airlines over here particularly if one of elected representatives takes u the cudgels on behalf of airline passengers over here.

Which of them will volunteer to represent us?

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