Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Jim Hood stands up for fliers

Lord Protector of the Realm, Jim Hood, issued the following proclamation.

Attorneys General to U.S. Transportation Secretary: Reverse Withdrawal of Rule 
Requiring Airlines to Disclose Baggage Fees Upfront

JACKSON—Attorney General Jim Hood joined 16 attorneys general in a letter last week asking U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to reverse the department’s decision to withdraw a rule requiring airlines and third-party booking companies to disclose baggage fees and other charges upfront.

The Transportation Department announced earlier this month it was withdrawing the Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees rule, which was proposed during January 2017. The rule would have made it far easier for consumers to understand the full cost of their plane tickets, but the department said in a notice posted online that the rule would have been “of limited public benefit.”

When a customer books a ticket, the baseline price is typically all that is shown. Carry-on baggage fees, checked baggage fees, seat fees, and more are not disclosed until booking is nearly complete—or even after tickets have been purchased. The rule would have required airlines to post all the fees up front at the beginning of the booking process, rather than surprising consumers at the end. U.S. airlines are expected to earn $57 billion from fees this year and $7 billion from baggage fees alone.

“Traveling, especially during the holidays, is stressful enough without hidden fees,” said General Hood. “Consumers should be able to make informed choices about the cost of their travel, and that’s why we’re asking the Transportation Department to demand transparency from the airline industry.”

The letter details the many different fees that airlines are increasingly charging consumers for basic services, which were previously considered standard services covered by the basic ticket price. In addition to baggage fees, some airlines charge for printing boarding passes at the airport, allowing passengers to select seats, and even providing assistance to children traveling by themselves.

According to a 2016 study, travelers paid an average of $100 in fees per round-trip on Spirit airlines, $97 on Frontier, and $86.92 on United. “We regularly hear reports from consumers in our states who are confused and frustrated by these fees, which significantly alter the total cost of travel,” the attorneys general wrote.

The letter also states that while they are committed to working collaboratively with the Transportation Department to protect consumers and ensure the country’s aviation industry is able to grow, “this decision by your Department works against those goals, making it harder for Americans to be informed consumers when they travel.”


In addition to Mississippi, the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia signed last week’s letter.


Anonymous said...

Must be energized after receiving (extorting) his annual Christmas bonus from his employees earlier this month.

Anonymous said...

Anything for a press release.

Anonymous said...

He's just working for the least of these...

The jet setting crowd.

Anonymous said...

Don't the airlines have lobbyist who donate to politicians? Apparently they left someone off of their contribution list.

Anonymous said...

why does Hood care about these poor little folks - he flies on his buddies (contractor lawyer's) G-5's. Didn't Dickie, Langston and all their buddies get to keep theirs while serving a little time in the pokie?

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone oppose this requirement on the airlines? What's wrong with something as fundamental as knowing the price of something before you buy it? How can you be so partisan that you advocate FOR hidden fees and (assuming you do not own an airline) against your own interests? Some of y'all would rather burn down the house than let anyone sit on the front porch.

Anonymous said...

Real question is this the time that Hood takes the big step or is this all just another tease. Hood and Tate are both really weak and very limited to be governor but the bar has really been really lowered. This is one sad State.

Anonymous said...

4:03, don't see anybody saying that the airline policy is great - but if you notice it seems limited to a few airlines. You as a buyer can determine your costs, and if you choose a low cost airline, you know that there can be additional fees -- if for example you are one of those asshats that tries to drag a camp trunk on as carryone luggage.

The deal is that Hood is 'joining in' a request to DOT. You think that this letter is going to make a difference, or just make a headline. The mullet is never going to miss an opportunity to look like he is doing something for the po' folks as he lives in his Chickasaw County office away from his office.

Anonymous said...

If you make fun of hood for this
You are the problem

Anonymous said...

To bad we can't get a similar rule for hotels... they sell you a $99 room and then have a $20 resort fee, $15 parking fee, 20% local and state taxes, $13communication fee, $18 general purpose fee, and more... 😁Lol

Anonymous said...

7:19 -- call Hood. His number is listed in the Chickasaw County phone book. Suggest to him that here is a new person to sue, he'll probably take you up on it. Dependent of course on whether Mike or Ronnie will take the case on a contingency from the state, but if there is money there it might work.

Anonymous said...

2:42 pm The " jet setting" crowd has their own jet.

If you don't travel by air, but rather by car, you aren't going far enough for the costs of wear, tear, miles reducing the value and gas math to matter vs air travel cost to be a calculation for you.

You also have a car and wouldn't have to rent one which adds to costs. There are people, even with good jobs who live in big cities who don't have cars. Shocking to you, isn't it?

You obviously don't have to leave the mainland to work or see family or else you'd know you'd need a ship as well as a car.

You also haven't been in an airport and seen who is flying.

I am sick of every policy comment being based on partisan BS and whether the commenter personally likes someone or not.
We all admire Churchill and he was right a lot of the time but you know he was wrong to divide India and create Pakistan. Churchill was not physically attractive.

Here's a thought...try judging someone based on his actions and overall competence rather than his party affiliation or his looks.

And, by the way, our Founders wanted a secret ballot so no one would feel pressured by the mob mentality. There was some hope you'd remember that the ability to vote without risk of losing you jobs or angering your neighbors is important. And, it was hoped you vote for honor and competence and not make government a popularity contest.

Anonymous said...

Tots sure have their long knives out for Hood!

StarRider said...

8:20, little early to be in the vodka isn't it?

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