Beware Hidden Ancillary Air Fees

It's time to talk turkey about hidden airline fees, says the Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA), a non-profit organization promoting consumer interests on travel policy issues.

The CTA estimates show what the impact of these fees will be on travelers' pocketbooks over the busy Thanksgiving travel period - a whopping $167 million, the equivalent of more than 12 million turkeys purchased at retail.

"Feathers are flying over hidden airline fees, because Americans are justifiably angry that they can't see the true costs of air travel, nor compare the price of different flights against one another," said Charles Leocha, director of the CTA. "Airlines expect consumers to dig through thousands of words of gobble-gobbledygook to find even the most basic fees. We say stuff that. It's time to talk turkey and show consumers what their tickets will cost with all the fixings included."

According to the CTA analysis:

*    Americans will spend roughly $167 million on hidden ancillary fees for air travel over the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday travel period
*    The average 12-pound turkey will cost $13.25 this year
*    Hidden fees represent the equivalent of 12.6 million Thanksgiving turkeys, enough to give a free turkey to every household in the state of California

The Consumer Travel Alliance has urged the Department of Transportation and the Congress to take action to protect consumer interests and ensure that all ancillary fees are made fully transparent through every booking channel in which each airline participates.

Visit www.consumertravelalliance.org.

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