Americans "overwhelmingly" dislike airline fees charged for checked bags, meals, priority boarding, and other services, according to a new survey of 1,000 people published yesterday by legal website FindLaw.com.
The survey -- which echoes findings of a new U.S. Travel Association report -- found that 84 percent of Americans dislike airline fees and feel "nickel-and-dimed" by airlines. Only 13 percent of Americans said they like airline fees, citing the ability to pay for only the services and amenities they use.
Interestingly: Although a majority of people dislike airline fees, only 53 percent said they would be willing to pay higher air fares in order to eliminate them. Almost as many people (47 percent) said they prefer to pay lower fares with basic service, then pay fees for additional services.
"Airline tickets are essentially a contract between the traveler and the airline," said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor at FindLaw.com. "They involve a number of rules and consumer rights. Various federal regulations, for instance, cover how airlines have to disclose additional fees to consumers during the reservation booking process. In addition, the specific terms of the ticket, as well as government regulations, cover things such as how disputes are to be handled, compensation for travelers for cancelled flights, delays, lost baggage and other incidents. It's important for travelers to know what their rights are, what they are entitled to and what redress is available if problems should arise."
Legislation governing transparency of air fares is currently pending in Congress.