REPRINT OF A LETTER FROM KEVIN MITCHELL
HEAD OF BUSINESS TRAVEL COALITION
Dear Airline Consumer,
I am writing to you because you were among the 50,000 consumers who in September 2010 signed a petition to U.S. Secretary of Transportation (DOT) Ray LaHood urging him to put a stop to hidden airline fees. This continued airline practice is unfair, deceptive and costing consumers dearly. I promised to update you from time to time on our progress. (This is the second update since 2010.) There is promising news and an opportunity to finally solve this problem.
In early 2013, DOT will send a proposed rule to address this problem to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. To ensure the Administration supports the strongest rule possible, we have launched an official White House WE the PEOPLE petition requesting that DOT require airlines to provide fee information to sales channels where they offer base fares so that consumers can see, compare and buy the complete air travel product.
Today, if you call your travel agency or use an online agency you will not be able to quickly comparison shop among competing airline offers and purchase a complete trip without your travel agent or you having to go to different airline websites to search for service fees and pay for them separately. This maddening process exists because airlines refuse to provide agencies with fee information that enables side-by-side comparison-shopping and purchasing. As we know all too well, there is great profit in consumer confusion!
If we can secure 25,000 signatures to the petition by December 25, then the White House is committed to formally reviewing this request and providing a public response. Having the White House aware of the infuriating experience consumers must endure when buying air travel, and having them encourage a strong DOT rule, would be very helpful.
I hope that you will consider reviewing and signing the petition at http://wh.gov/IXhH.
Much more information on this issue is available at http://BTC.travel. Please tell your friends and family members about this opportunity to end consumer abuse in air travel.
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Business Travel Coalition