The Beat Letters: On Air Fee Disclosures

Two readers wrote us following coverage last month of Sabre's Air Total Pricing fee display, which launched as planned on Sept. 17, a Sabre official said ...
These discussions and concerns about "ancillary" fees seem to me to be totally missing the point: a transaction with a credit card for each "fee" eliminates any bundling problems. Corporate travel reimbursement and review should be dependent on transaction reporting. A fee for baggage is imposed by airlines but it is not "air transportation" and nobody should "buy" it if it hasn't been disclosed. When an airline doesn't charge for things that are bundled, they are not separate transactions at all. It's like a restaurant giving you a napkin; it's a throw-in for free.

A charge card program, properly defined, will capture costs and corporate travel does not need to categorize it as "airline" or "airport" or other fee imposers.

Ancillary fees, if paid for separately, are independent transactions and don't need to be parsed out as an aspect of air transportation.

~ Consultant Rolfe Shellenberger

There is still at least one fee missing: Travel agent service fee. Seems like the airlines don’t want to get involved with that.

~ Travel buyer