The findings of a new congressional report that took a look at the airline industry's use of extra fees is set to be released on Tuesday.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, said they found that ancillary fees, such as cancellation penalties and preferred seating, have kept passengers in the dark about the true cost of air travel.
"Air travelers today have more tools than ever before to analyze and compare flight costs, airport amenities, and on-time performance, but this report reveals that airlines are going to great lengths to keep the actual cost of air travel secret until it is too late," Blumenthal said. "Airlines have already eliminated meals, added bag fees, and slashed leg room. Now we learn the lengths to which they stoop to nickel-and-dime passengers from the moment a ticket is purchased."
Blumenthal said in some cases, airline websites only offer seats that require additional fees, while in other cases the penalties for changing flight plans can double the cost of a ticket, even when such changes are made far in advance of the flight.
"Airlines are striving relentlessly to conceal added costs and fees until consumers are stuck," he said.
Blumenthal said the report made a number of recommendations that require more transparency from the airline industry.
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