The ancillary fee circus is coming to town!

Mention the word “ancillary fees” to someone like John Cashman, and I can promise you his eyes will glaze over. Yours too?

They shouldn’t.
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Socked with a $450 resort fee — is that fair?

You owe more for your room, baby! / Photo by imaqine – Flickr

Resort fees fall under the category of “nuisance” surcharges because they’re usually so insignificant that they’re not worth fighting. And travel companies know it, which is one reason they keep piling ’em on.

But what happens when these extras rise to the level of a major expenditure?
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Why isn’t anyone mad about car rental fee disclosure?

When it comes to airline fees, there’s no shortage of outrage. The simple mention of the word “ancillary” or “surcharge” in a story is enough to draw hundreds of comments.

But turn your attention to another part of the travel industry, like car rental companies, and you hear the sound of crickets.

Valanie Bradley would like to know why that’s happening. She recently tried to book a car through Thrifty in Orlando for a day, because it offered a reasonable rate of $52.
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US Airways fined $40,000 for failing to disclose full airfares

In yet another sign that the Transportation Department is serious about protecting the rights of consumers, the government this morning fined US Airways $40,000 for failing to disclose the full price consumers must pay for air transportation.

“When consumers shop for air travel, they have a right to know how much they will have to pay,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a prepared statement, adding, “We will continue to ensure that airlines comply with our price advertising rules.”

Here’s the full consent order (PDF).
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