Clear Airfare Amendment would require total price quote on air tickets

If you’ve ever been broadsided by unexpected taxes, fees and surcharges when you booked an airline ticket, then fire up your email program now and send a letter to your senator. Ask him or her to support the Clear Airfare Amendment that Sen. Robert Menendez introduced this morning.

The amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill (PDF), which will be considered by the Senate next week, is simple: It requires airlines and travel agents to disclose the full price of a ticket, including taxes and fees, right up front. (Other governments, including Australia and Europe, already do this.)

But there’s more. The amendment would also make them disclose any fees for checked baggage, seating assignments, and optional in-flight goods and services, and other fees that may be charged after the ticket is purchased — all prior to submitting any personal information.

This goes a long way to disclosing a “total” price and would allow air travelers to easily and fairly compare airfares.

Here’s the full amendment: