Department of Transportation Wants Airlines to Detail Revenue from Ancillary Fees

The Department of Transportation has proposed that airlines must report detailed breakouts of revenue generated from ancillary fees each quarter.

Currently, airlines need only disclose revenue generated from baggage and reservation change fees, while they bucket all other non-fare charges into a miscellaneous bucket. If the rule were to pass (and it could be another year before that happens), carriers would detail revenue from fees in 16 categories. Really? You want to know which categories? Fine (thanks, Travel Weekly):

• Baggage
• Reservation cancellation and change fees
• Booking fees, including fees for telephone reservations
• Priority check-in and security screening
• In-flight medical equipment
• In-flight entertainment/Internet access
• Sleep sets
• In-flight food/nonalcoholic drinks
• Alcoholic drinks
• Pet accommodation
• Seating assignments
• Charges for lost tickets
• Assistance fee for unaccompanied minor
• Frequent-flyer points/points acceleration
• Commissions on travel packages
• Travel insurance
• Duty-free and retail sales
• One-time lounge passes

In case you were wondering why the government would care about this, they add a 7.5% excise tax on airfares to be used for airport improvements. That tax does not apply to non-fare fees (ie, the 16 fees above), and the government is starting to feel that airlines (we’re looking at you Spirit) are not paying their fare share, since much of their revenue comes from non-airfare charges.


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