House Bill Would Allow Airlines to Deceptively Advertise Fares

Jun 26, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Imagine you’re looking to book your dream trip and see an advertised fare that’s too good to pass up — only to realize that it’s just the base fare and doesn’t include any taxes. So, that cheap ticket doesn’t turn out to be so affordable at all. Thankfully, there’s currently a Department of Transportation requirement that airlines must include taxes in the first mention of a fare in their advertising.

On Tuesday, however, a committee will vote on a new piece of House legislation that would overturn the DoT requirement to disclose taxes. Since the DoT implemented the requirement to regulate unfair and deceptive practices in order to prevent bait-and-switch advertising in 2012, airlines have opposed it. They say there is no other industry that is required to include the taxed amount when advertising their products. In fact, Spirit Airlines fronted a group of airlines that tried to bring the issue to the Supreme Court in 2013, but the court declined to hear the case.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 12.06.10 PM

According to USA Today, Representative Bill Shuster (R- Pennsylvania) introduced the bill, which says it’s not unfair or deceptive for airlines to advertise their fares without the tax included. However, the bill says that airlines must disclose the taxes through a link or popup box on their websites. According to Airlines for America, a trade group, taxes add about 20% to the cost of an average ticket.

What Can You Do About It?

This could mean bad news for travelers — especially those not accustomed to how high those taxes can climb. It’ll be best for all involved to keep the taxes included in those advertised fares. So, what can you do about it? Since a House committee is voting on the issue tomorrow, call your representatives and let them know that you’re not in favor.

To find your representative’s phone number, head to the House website and enter your ZIP code. From there, you’ll get the name of your representative and a link to their website, which will hold their contact information. By keeping the regulations in place to advertise the full fares, it can help to keep the airlines in check and honest with us, the passengers.

Featured image courtesy of Greg Bajor via Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.