In this week’s developments, the Biden administration wants to require airlines to be more transparent in displaying certain passenger fees during online flight searches; United Airlines is dropping more routes from its network; Mineta San Jose gets a new transcontinental route next week; United revives a New Zealand route from SFO, and new trans-Pacific service is starting up from LAX to Korea and Seattle to French Polynesia; Delta will expand its Europe schedules next year; Virgin Atlantic finally joins a global airline alliance; Canada ends COVID-19-related entry restrictions as another Canadian low-cost carrier plans to enter the U.S. market; there’s Latin America route news from Aeromexico, American and Azul; the trial has started in the Justice Department’s antitrust suit against the JetBlue-American Northeast Alliance; and United is poised to start using a second terminal at Newark Liberty International.
When you get on the computer and start searching for flights, what’s the one thing you probably won’t see when those fare results start popping up on your screen? The extra fees that the airline will tack on for ancillary services and options that aren’t covered in the basic airfare, like checked bags (and in some cases, overhead bags), seat selection and rebooking charges. Those fees are now the latest target of the Biden administration — not that they should be eliminated, but that airlines should be more transparent in letting customers know before they hit the “purchase” button just how much those fees are, so that their online comparison-shopping will show the true cost of travel, not just the base fares.?