Summary

3/6/2014--Introduced. Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 - Declares that it shall not be an unfair or deceptive practice for an air carrier or other covered entity to state... Read More

Status

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on Jul 28, 2014 but was never passed by the Senate.

Date Introduced
Mar 6, 2014

Co-Sponsors

d-20
r-30

Bill Text

A BILL

To amend title 49, United States Code, to allow advertisements and solicitations for passenger air transportation to state the base airfare of the transportation, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Transparent Airfares Act of 2014''.

SEC. 2. ADVERTISEMENTS AND SOLICITATIONS FOR PASSENGER AIR TRANSPORTATION.

(a) Full Fare Advertising.--Section 41712 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(d) Full Fare Advertising.-- ``(1) In general.--It shall not be an unfair or deceptive practice under subsection (a) for a covered entity to state in an advertisement or solicitation for passenger air transportation the base airfare for the air transportation if the covered entity clearly and separately discloses-- ``(A) the government-imposed taxes and fees associated with the air transportation; and ``(B) the total cost of the air transportation. ``(2) Form of disclosure.-- ``(A) In general.--For purposes of paragraph (1), the information described in paragraphs (1)(A) and (1)(B) shall be disclosed in the advertisement or solicitation in a manner that clearly presents the information to the consumer. ``(B) Internet advertisements and solicitations.-- For purposes of paragraph (1), with respect to an advertisement or solicitation for passenger air transportation that appears on an Internet Web site, the information described in paragraphs (1)(A) and (1)(B) may be disclosed through a link or pop-up, as such terms may be defined by...

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Sentiment Map

Select:

Nation

158 Supporting
312 Opposing
34% 66%

State: CA

8 Supporting
33 Opposing
20% 80%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
1 Opposing
0% 100%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO, Roger Dow, voiced tepid support for H.R. 4156, the "Transparent Airfares Act of 2014," and urged lawmakers to incorporate further changes in the bill to provide air travelers with the full scope of the legislation's promise: a clear view of the costs built into ticket prices. "The impetus for the bill is solid, but it could be more accurately called the 'Translucent Airfares Act' because it doesn't go far enough in providing the transparency in airfare pricing that consumers crave," Dow said. "It only gets halfway there by still allowing sites to obfuscate the full price of an airline ticket. If we're going to do this, let's do it right the first time, and finish the job. "We appreciate that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is working to improve the traveler experience, and we hope its members will make the necessary changes to ensure travelers have the most accurate and complete information possible. H.R. 4156 purports to boost transparency by allowing increased disclosure of the taxes and fees built into ticket prices. But the bill would permit advertisers and other sellers of air transportation to hide the bottom-line cost of airfare in separate links or in pop-up windows, making it more difficult for consumers to quickly understand and easily compare "all-in" prices among carriers. Dow argued Congress should make sure consumers have both. "Don't just swap one kind of transparency for another," he said. "Let's take this opportunity to shine a full light on the costs associated with air travel." Dow noted that much of the extra cost of travel funds essential services, such as security and facilities upgrades, that directly benefit the traveler. He argued it's only logical to let travelers know all of what they're paying for. Dow also pointed out that other industry sectors—for example, car rental vendors—routinely build taxes and fees into their advertised costs. Said Dow: "We in the travel community will fight for three basic principles in any changes to aviation fee structures. One, transparency, so consumers can clearly see all of what they're paying for. Two, value, so consumers are assured that the dollars they spend are coming back to them in the form of services and amenities. Three, efficiency, so that the travel experience is free of hassles at every stage, from when a traveler purchases their ticket online to when they step out to the curb at their destination. "H.R. 4156 needs some work before it successfully captures all of those criteria.” http://www.ustravel.org/news/press-releases/transparent-airfares-bill-start-not-finish

April 10, 2014 Dear Chairman Shuster and Representative Graves: On behalf of the 362,000 members of National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write to endorse H.R. 4156, the “Transparent Airfares Act of 2014.” This legislation would repeal a 2012 Department of Transportation ruling that requires airlines to aggregate federal taxes and fees in the total advertised airfare price and in doing so, masks the growing financial burden Washington imposes on air travel. With a few exceptions, consumer goods are typically advertised at a base price with taxes and fees added at the point of purchase. Forcing an industry to deviate from this norm has less to do with any perception of “fairness” and more to do with hiding the true cost of overly burdensome taxes. Indeed, if consumers understood the true scale of additional government-imposed expenses that comes on top of base airfares, they would be appalled. Air travelers can be subject to 17 different federal taxes and fees including a passenger ticket tax, a flight segment tax, fuel taxes, and many others. On an average domestic flight, some of these taxes can comprise up to 20 percent of the total price. And it’s about to get worse – in July the TSA security tax will double thanks to a provision in the Ryan-Murray budget deal. Although some have claimed this is a fee and not a tax, the underlying problem is clear: airlines should not be forced to conceal these added costs from consumers. When taxes and fees are hidden to avoid scrutiny from those footing the bill, it is easy for elected officials to treat those revenues as a “slush fund” rather than dedicating the revenue to its stated purpose. Unfortunately, these types of cash grabs come at real cost to both consumers and the afflicted industry. In the case of airlines, heavier overhead imposed by government can dampen demand and undermine economic growth in an industry already plagued by increased fuel and labor costs as well as regulatory issues. Washington’s insatiable demand for tax dollars shouldn’t exacerbate airlines’ woes. Americans have the right to know just how much of their airfare is going straight to the Treasury. Transparency is the key to increasing consumer awareness and reining in excessive costs. NTU is pleased to endorse the “Transparent Airfares Act of 2014” and urges all Representatives to cosponsor this legislation. http://www.ntu.org/news-and-issues/economy/ntu-endorses-hr-4156-the-transparent-airfares-act-of-2014.html

Organizations Opposing

Alexandria, VA, April 24, 2014 – "As Congress and federal regulators examine legislation and policies impacting the travel and tourism marketplace, it's imperative that any new laws or regulations protect consumer choice and promote transparency," said Travel Tech President Steve Shur. "The traveling public deserves to have access to the transparent, all-in cost of airfare, including all taxes and fees, so they can make true comparisons and educated decisions regarding their travel choices. Travel Tech is concerned that the Transparent Airfares Act could harm consumers by reducing, rather than promoting, all-in price transparency.” http://traveltech.org/press-releases/travel-tech-statement-on-the-transparent-airfares-act/

Travel Tech 1 year ago

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has launched a grassroots campaign to fight anti-consumer legislation—The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 (H.R.4156)—making its way through Congress under the guise that it will make airfares more transparent. “We need for anyone concerned about anti-consumer practices to tell their member of Congress that this so-called Transparent Airfare Act doesn’t fly,” said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby. “This bill would allow airlines to deceive travelers about the actual cost of a flight, a fight they already lost in 2012 when the Department of Transportation put rules in place to prevent precisely this situation,” said Kerby. “The airlines challenged the rule in court and lost, then tried the United States Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. Congress should stay its hand here. There is no evidence of consumer harm under the DOT rule, only benefits for the traveling public,” said Kerby. Under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) full-fare advertising rule, in effect since January 2012, advertised airfares must prominently state the full and final price to be paid by the consumer, including all government-imposed taxes and fees. Charges included within the total price—including taxes and fees—can be listed separately, as long as the total price is displayed more prominently than the individual components. Airlines are free to add anti-tax commentary in their advertising if they wish, so long as, again, the full and final price is most prominent. Airlines’ claims that the DOT rule prevents them from clearly disclosing the tax burden on air travel are simply not true. The bill (H.R.4156), which was reported out of committee in the House without debate on April 9, could be acted on as early as next week. Meanwhile, airlines continue to shop for a companion bill sponsor in the Senate. ASTA recently expressed its serious concerns with this legislation to relevant members in the House, and of any bill possibly being drafted in the Senate. But time is running out. The association is now asking members to write their Members of Congress to oppose the bill, and to request their coworkers and other colleagues to get involved. “We cannot stand by while anti-consumer legislation is allowed to sail through Congress and unravel protections put in place by the DOT with no input from the traveling public,” said Kerby. http://www.asta.org/News/PRDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=11430

There is no need for this bill. DOT rules allow full publication of all taxes and fees. The airlines simply choose not to do so. Plus, the bill will enshrine into law drip pricing, a form of bait-and-switch advertising that has long been considered anti-consumer by the FTC and DOT.

Travelers United 1 year ago

Users Supporting

I support The Transparent Airfares Act because...Michelle Bachman endorses this

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IN
8
sherry333
IN-8
1 year ago

I support The Transparent Airfares Act because...we need to stop these illegal taxes in air fares

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IN
4
Bill-Of-Rights
IN-4
1 year ago

I support The Transparent Airfares Act because...it's about time.

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CA
47
CheriW52
CA-47
1 year ago

I support The Transparent Airfares Act because...It will show the people how the Government is screwing people flying. another gimmick by Congress. Remember the House controls money Bills.It's all money to them not us we pay and pay no matter what its called. Stop all LOBBYING would STOP A LOT.

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AZ
4
bratglen
AZ-4
1 year ago

I support The Transparent Airfares Act because...this should follow truth in lending. It seems that airfares change at the blink of the eye. The passengers of the airline should have some protection. I would hate to get trapped with airline tickets when there was a price change.

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MS
3
threek1att.net
MS-3
1 year ago

I support The Transparent Airfares Act because... We should know how much of what we pay is for other than the actual fare.

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FL
1
JeffMartin
FL-1
1 year ago

Users Opposing

I oppose The Transparent Airfares Act because it will encourage misleading advertised prices for airline tickets, and consumers won't be able to fairly determine what the best ticket will be for them to purchase. The status-quo system works just fine for everyone. I remember loathing seeing advertising that allowed an airline to say "Travel to Europe for just $400!"* and then in fine print "one way fare based on round trip ticket". So no, I CAN'T go to Europe for $400, I have to pay $800 for the ticket! These are the kind of tricks the airlines wants to pull on people so they buy tickets. It's an awful system, please don't let us go back to it.

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OR
1
ryantheryno
OR-1
1 year ago

I oppose The Transparent Airfares Act because it is misleading and allows airlines to 'bait and switch consumers'. Airlines already can breakdown taxes and fees in the price, so long as they advertise the total price, including taxes. An airline can advertise a $100 airfare or the same fare as $75+$25 taxes. If this bill passes they will be able to advertise $75 fares that do not exist. This means that there will be no easy way to compare fares. This is especially true in light of rising airfares in the wake of the airline mergers approved by DOJ. I fly often to see family and friends and I truly think this bill is the opposite of transparent. Unless you are in the pocket of the airlines, there is no reason to vote for this bill.

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NY
10
JacobUriel
NY-10
1 year ago

I oppose The Transparent Airfares Act because... All the airlines care about is deceit When I book i want to know total cost for me a one bag Is that asking too much

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CO
2
Mortgage1
CO-2
1 year ago

I oppose The Transparent Airfares Act because...It is deceptive. The airlines are playing the flying public and congress. Please stop this obvious attempt to manipulate the public.

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AZ
6
centurionaz
AZ-6
1 year ago

I oppose The Transparent Airfares Act because deceptive sales bait-and-switch practices need to end. The American consumer deserves to be treated better than an easy target for scamming.

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MA
7
Kingsley
MA-7
1 year ago

I oppose The Transparent Airfares Act because...get feds out of private businesses!

Share
FL
4
Kat32063
FL-4
1 year ago

Bill Summary


3/6/2014--Introduced.
Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 - Declares that it shall not be an unfair or deceptive practice for an air carrier or other covered entity to state the base airfare in an advertisement or solicitation for passenger air transportation if it clearly and separately discloses: (1) the government-imposed taxes and fees for the air transportation, and (2) its total cost. Defines "base airfare" to mean the cost of passenger air transportation, excluding government-imposed taxes and fees. Defines "covered entity" as an air carrier, including an indirect air carrier, foreign carrier, ticket agent, or other person offering to sell tickets for passenger air transportation or a tour or tour component that must be purchased with air transportation.

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