Are You MAD AS HELL Today? Some are Not…

While there are people who will protest and express how they are MAD AS HELL today, some do not exactly agree with the campaign itself.

Take Steven Frischling, for example. He writes in his weblog that he does not exactly understand the concept behind MAD AS HELL day or its campaign. In fact, his exact words are that he “still can’t figure it out.” He argues that ancillary fees are not hidden, so what exactly is MAD AS HELL day all about?

That is a good question. While Mr. Frischling is indeed correct that many ancillary fees are clearly shown on airline Internet web sites such as Delta Air Lines and Frontier Airlines — and there will most certainly be claims and complaints about ancillary fees that are “bogus” — there are also fees that are not only hidden but also take unnecessarily more time and effort to find than they are worth — that is, if they can be found at all.

For example, nowhere could we find the ticket change fee for American Airlines — not even here where it is supposed to be located. We believe it is $150.00 — at least, according to this example. Yet, in this example, American Airlines uses $100.00 for a change fee. So which is it?!?

With United Airlines, it takes four clicks just to get to the area which discloses that the ticket change fee is $150.00. That does not sound so terrible if you know exactly where to navigate at the Internet web site of United Airlines — and while it is not all that difficult to navigate, we suspect that not everyone finds the graphic user interface completely intuitive and conducive to efficient ease of use.

On Allegiant Air, one does not even know what are the ancillary fees for snacks, meals, many types of sporting equipment, and alcoholic and regular beverages. Go ahead — we challenge you to definitively find these ancillary fees to be paid on Allegiant Air before booking your airfare and venturing out to travel as a passenger on that airline.

We can furnish other examples, but you probably get the point by now.

The problem is that the ancillary fees are usually not included in the booking process. Why should passengers have to waste valuable time to either scrounge around and research this information at the Internet web site of every airline — or to go through most of the booking process — before they can even see the actual ancillary fees? As experts in the realm of ancillary travel fees, even TruPri¢e had difficulty finding some of these fees just to make it easier for you to find them.

For some, the process of booking a flight is already difficult enough. Airlines need to make the process of booking airfares easier for their customers — not more difficult.

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2 responses to “Are You MAD AS HELL Today? Some are Not…

  1. The change fee for American Airlines, as stated by AA.com varies based upon fare type and market. Given that there are variables in this it would be difficult for AA to note the actual fee for changing a ticket.

    As for the snacks on Allegiant, the costs vary, but it is known it will cost you something, so it is not a hidden fee. You don’t board an Allegiant flight expecting to get a free can of Coke and a hot meal.

    I agree, many fees are annoying and that buying a plane ticket is not as straight forward as it used to be … but the fees are not hidden.

    You want to protest “Annoying Fees” or “Variable Fees” then I am all for it … but protesting “Hidden Fees” that aren’t hidden? That I can’t get behind.

    Happy Flying!

    -Fish
    http://www.flyingwithfish.com
    fish @ flyingwithfish.com

  2. Christopher Muise

    Steven, thank you for the post. But, please see my post from yesterday regarding American’s $150.00 domestic change fee. TruPrice has mined approximately 11,000 fees combined for the airlines and the rental car companies. We’ve become expert on knowing where to look and deciphering the language. As my post states clearly, even with our level of expertise, it took me hours to find this fee. While “hidden” is a strong word and hints of a deliberate action perhaps with nefarious intent; nevertheless, the requirement of hours of research to find a rather substantial $150.00 fee on the world’s third-largest carriers does suggest that very little effort has been made by most carriers to make their ancillary fees easily accessible. Thank you, Chris.

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