Some rules and regulations work as intended. Some don’t.
It didn’t take the latest string of viral videos to convince Cynthia O’Leary. There was no need to see the near-riot at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport or the passengers brawling on a flight at Burbank Bob Hope Airport.
Donald Trump is good for consumers.
If you’re an experienced traveler, maybe you know about the Department of Transportation’s 24-hour rule for airline ticket purchases, or EU 261, the European consumer protection regulation for air travelers, or the Fair Credit Billing Act.
At 36,361 words, the document laying out the latest proposed Transportation Department passenger protection rule is an epic, a few pages longer than Franz Kafka’s novella “The Metamorphosis.”
Search for a flight between Washington and Los Angeles on United.com and you’ll find a notice posted high above the fares saying, “Additional baggage charges may apply.”
On the Delta Air Lines site, a query for flights from Baltimore to Memphis yields a similar warning — albeit in slightly smaller type — that “there may be additional fees for your carry-on/checked baggage.”
And on USAirways.com, a check for flights between Philadelphia and Phoenix reveals a disclaimer at the top of the screen: “Does not include taxes and optional fees. Checked baggage fees may apply.”
None of this may look like a big deal to you, but it is. Because there’s big money at stake. The domestic airlines raked in $3.3 billion in luggage fees last year, an increase of more than half a billion dollars over 2009.