Menendez blasts airline fees and surcharges while re-introducing the Clear Airfares Act

Ever get tired of those surcharges and additional fees when flying on the airlines? Senator Menendez held a press conference this past Monday, one of the surcharge days, to blast the airlines and talk about reintroducing the Clear Airfares Act. The Senator says he wants to ensure customers get a clear breakdown of holiday surcharges and all add-on fees, including for baggage, meals and pets:

Other days when the surcharges are in effect this holiday season are, depending on the airline, Dec. 18-19, Dec. 23, Dec. 26-27 and Dec. 30.

The legislation, which Menendez termed The Clear Airfares Act, calls for fees, charges or surcharges to be disclosed in a straightforward transaction before customers have to input their name and credit card information.

Reservations by phone can add up to $35 per person. Bags that need to be checked can run the customer from nothing to $35 per bag. Priority seats that provide extra leg room can run the customer from nothing to $109.

I know that the Southwest commercials about how your bags can fly for free always get my attention. Some feel that surcharges and fees on individuals are better than an overall increase in rates on everyone:

Mike Boyd, an aviation analyst based in Evergreen, Col., said airline fares are about 13 percent lower nationally than they were at this time last year and that making up the difference through surcharges is more fair to individual customers than raising fares.

“I don’t check my bag, why should I pay for your bag?” he asked.

It almost sounds like the people who want to consolidate everyone else’s town, but keep all their own local services. We’ll see if the Senator has any better luck with his bill this year than he did last.

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