Americans prefer fees to higher ticket prices

18 June 2014

Americans overwhelmingly dislike airline fees, but at the same time, don´t necessarily want to pay higher ticket prices in return for eliminating fees.

Those are among the findings of a new national survey by FindLaw.com.

Summer travel season is now in high gear, and Americans are filling planes taking them to vacation destinations near and far. As they fly, they are encountering dozens of fees from the airlines in addition to the basic ticket price. Some fees are for services that were previously included in the ticket price, such as checked luggage and meals. Other fees are for additional amenities, such as extra legroom and priority boarding.

An overwhelming 84 percent of Americans say they don´t like airline fees and support the statement that “airlines are nickel-and-diming passengers,” according to the FindLaw.com survey. Only thirteen percent said they that like airline fees, because it allows them to only pay for the services and amenities that they use.

But while people strongly dislike airline fees, when asked whether they would rather see higher ticket prices in return for eliminating some fees, people were more split. Only 53 percent say they would be willing to pay higher airfares with no fees. Nearly as many people 47 percent said they would prefer to pay lower airfares with basic service and then pay fees for additional services.

Airlines defend the use of fees. American Airlines president Scott Kirby recently told an industry conference that many other types of businesses charge for extra services, but airlines are unfairly singled out for the practice.

Free information on travel, including airline rules, security screening, travel scams and dispute resolution can be found at FindLaw.com´s Travel Rules and Rights Center (http://consumer.findlaw.com/travel-rules-and-rights.html)

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