How much do plane tickets cost? NJ congressman wants clear answer
✈ Congressman wants to force airlines to be transparent about fares
✈ His plan would require carriers to simplify presentations about travel costs
✈ Rep. Josh Gottheimer says right now even lawyers can’t understand airline ticket terms and conditions
If you’ve taken a flight lately you know the cost of traveling on a commercial airline has increased dramatically over the past few years.
A New Jersey congressman is pushing a new plan to boost transparency and clarity when you are buying a plane ticket.
During a visit to Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, announced details of his Clear and Simple Airline Agenda he is presenting to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
No more hidden fees
He said the agenda is focused on clarifying and simplifying “those facts of hidden fees that kill you wallet, and those torturous terms and conditions that could literally send even the best lawyers over the edge.”
Gottheimer said his plan includes a rule requiring “airlines and online booking services to show the full price of a plane ticket up front, including baggage fees, change fees, cancellations fees and other hidden charges, ticket information must be clear and readable.”
He said all commercial carriers would be required “to have a new airlines transparency box that would display all taxes, seat, bag and airport fees and cancellation fees, all on the same page when your fare options pop up.”
He said the idea of the transparency box would be to present information about what it will cost to get an airline ticket in an easy-to-understand manner, “not a hundred-page treatise that a Supreme Court justice would literally get tied in knots over, it should be simple, clear and simple.”
He stressed the time has come for people in New Jersey and across the nation to be able to know the true cost of a flight.
He said that means “from bags to seats, and what happens to their tickets if they need to make a change to them.”
Give people simple information they can understand
“All these surprise fees, they just lack transparency, we need to make sure we give people information, we need to make sure it is clear and simple for them before they purchase.”
Gottheimer is calling on the U.S.DOT to quickly enact the Clear and Simple Airline Agenda, to benefit families as well as the airlines.
He noted last October the Department of Transportation received more than 5,000 complaints about airline service from consumers, a 372% spike from the number of complaints received pre-pandemic in October 2019.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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