Industry Groups Call for Disclosure of Hidden Airline Fees

The Business Travel Coalition, the Consumer Travel Alliance and the American Society of Travel Agents released survey results yesterday that reveal widespread traveler dissatisfaction over hidden airline fees. According to on an online survey of 1,396 travelers, two-thirds (66 percent) said they had been surprised at the airport by unexpected fees such as those for checking bags, requesting a seat assignment, getting extra legroom or flying standby. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) said such fees placed some or a great deal of unexpected financial strain on their budget for a trip, with 26 percent indicating that the fees placed a great deal of financial strain on their resources. Nearly all (99 percent) respondents think airlines should be required to disclose all of their fees in advance on every website that sells tickets. The findings echo the dissatisfaction and call for transparency found among corporate travel managers in a similar, recent study conducted by the Business Travel Coalition. That group, along with the others responsible for conducting the latest survey, have launched a website,, at which travelers can post their own tales of frustration and sign a petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation calling for fee-disclosure requirements. The groups intend to deliver petitions to the U.S. DOT on Sept. 23, which they have deemed “Mad as Hell Day!”