Airlines Lobby to Add More Fine Print to Airfares

Airlines are maneuvering to make comparison shopping harder by allowing surcharges to be advertised seperately from the fare.

This would make it okay for an airline to promote a $10 fare from New York to Chicago in a direct mailer, only to have buried in fine print on its website a $700 “Daddy Needs a New Pair of Blue Suede Shoes” tax.

The gambit attempts to push online services like Expedia and Orbitz into the lockers by making it harder to piece together all the information, as well as give a wet willy to the average consumer weighing options.

Airline lobbyists forget that resistance is futile. Like Borg, online ticketing services will assimilate and adapt to any fare hijinx.

Trans-continental bullet trains, anyone?

A Move to Add Still More Fine Print to Advertised Airfares [New York Times]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Paul D says:


    Why would the airlines do this?

    I thought they were our friends!

  2. Kornkob says:

    It’s unfortunate but this kind of thing exists all over– I mean, you can probalby count the number of places that charge you ACTUAL shipping on one hand. Almost none give you their real cost in the end (with their volume discounts in place).

    In a consumer nirvana retailers would list a ‘take it home’ price for everything. The price that it costs to take a given item and make it yours. Tax, title, stupid handling fees and license all INCLUDED.

  3. airship says:

    Bullet trains! Yes! And, of course, flying cars…

  4. OkiMike says:


    And they wonder why they can’t turn a profit.