Well, I finally got my fare booked (with Continental, for anyone who is interested), and noticed something rather interesting in the final confirmation.
It would be easy to blame the TSA and 9/11, but the most irksome charge was, curiously, the UK Airport charges of nearly $150. What service, exactly, do they perform that is worth $150 per passenger? At least the TSA offers a free massage…
Most cynical, however, was the airline’s sneaking in a $362 “Fuel Surcharge”. Given that they contract-price their fuel at least six months in advance (and the price of crude is falling) fuel prices should never be a surprise and fees like this should never be acceptable. The honest thing to do would be to simply include it in the price.
Sadly, it appears that the honest thing may too much to expect from some Airlines. So why do they do this?
Simple. False Advertising. They hook you with a low fee and then tack on the surcharge at the end hoping that you don’t know, don’t care, or are too damned tired to look elsewhere.
Is this illegal? No. Should it be illegal? I don’t believe that it should or can be; all the laws in the world won’t make a dishonest person honest. What works is when people turn and walk away.
The total fare is the only thing that matters. For me that was not unreasonable, and I do not feel ripped off. But I wish they would just include it in the fare.
Next time, however, I will be flying with a different airline. But that is another story.