8-Sep-2010 9:20 AM

New survey shows consumers 'mad as hell' about hidden fees

Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA), Business Travel Coalition (BTC) and American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) released (07-Sep-2010) the results of an online survey of 1,396 travelers showing widespread surprise and anger over hidden airline fees for services such as checked baggage, advance seating and priority boarding. Conducted over the last two weeks before Labor Day, the hidden fees survey found:

  • 66% of respondents said they had been surprised at the airport by unexpected fees for things such as checking bags, requesting a seat assignment, getting extra legroom, or flying standby;
  • 29% said they were surprised often or nearly every time they travel via air by such fees;
  • 65% said such fees placed some or a great deal of unexpected financial strain on their budget for the trip, while 26% said that those fees placed a great deal of unexpected strain;
  • 99% of respondents said that they think airlines should be required to disclose all of their fees in advance on every website that sells airline tickets;
  • When asked to rank the fees they found most annoying, respondents rated carry-on baggage fees the most annoying, with 91% calling those fees "very annoying", followed by seat reservation fees (88% very annoying), checked baggage fees (74%), and telephone reservation fees (67%). [more]