Bill Alen - Jul 26, 2010

Airline companies in Europe and North America have been getting away with offering one price and charging a different one for quite some time. As budget airlines continue to get away with it in Europe, the American government has decided to react.


The emergence of budget airlines seemed to have been a blessing from heaven. It meant that traveling to sunny destinations did not have to cost half a year’s savings and more money could be spent on accommodation and food. However, now when we have become used to such rates, traveling with budget airlines has become a nuisance because of annoying ways of arguing at airports and haggling over cash. We continue to have the beginnings of our holidays ruined in Europe through arguing about extra charges, yet the American government has decided to call an end to such deception.

In the aftermath of a report by the Government Accountability Office, whereby it was discovered that airlines made $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2010 just on luggage and other extra charges, the government has demanded that airlines display the real price of tickets. Ancillary fees have grown by less than 1%, as the profit is in the add-ons. Passengers say that they would not mind tickets being more expensive if they could save the stress at the airport worrying if they have to fork out for fuel surcharges and other details such as forgetting to fill in passport details. Fuel surcharges and taxes must now be included in all advertised prices of tickets.

The line is drawn whereby certain services are unavoidable. Passengers do not have a problem with paying extra for window seats, tea and coffee, oversize luggage or an extra pillow. These are luxury items. However, is it moral to charge people for things they cannot avoid? The American government wants to ban charges for checking in, fuel and booking online.

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