1:18 PM

Buyer beware if airlines have
their way with Congress

Buried deep under the boiling cauldron of woe surrounding the collapsed Dubai ports deal is this potential bombshell.

ABC News is reporting that New York Senetor Charles Schumer is launching big red warning flares telling U.S. airline ticket buyers to watch their back. According to Schumer, the major airlines are lobbying Congress to ease current advertising restrictions that they say will boost online sales. But if this passes, it looks like one big corporate shell game.

Says Schumer:

They'll say they had to bill an extra $99 for a fuel surcharge and then there was a landing fee surcharge, and then there was a tax surcharge, and so the consumer thinks they're getting a flight for $99 and they get billed for $300.
So that hot price you initially saw and spent time searching for will suddenly change before you hit purchase, indicates Schumer. And more of us are doing our ticket buying online – about 47 million of us – which is up 17 million from one year ago. The mainstream media is only hearing of this today, so expect a lag of a day or so before it shows up on the evening news or in large daily papers.

More from Schumer's release:
The airlines are attempting a very deceptive move which would make it impossible for consumers to know who has the best fare. I've always been concerned about disclosure, which is the way we work in the free enterprise system, so that consumers can shop around.
Under existing law, airlines and ticket vendors must advertise the total price of the ticket. The DOT does make certain exceptions for taxes, fees, and other government charges, but this is a completely new deal – a raw deal for the pax in the back. Developing story…

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