US Wants to Ban Junk Fees: Here’s How It Would Impact Travellers

US Wants to Ban Junk Fees: Here’s How It Would Impact Travellers

In his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden stated that his administration is cracking down on “junk fees” across multiple industries which include banks, hotels, airlines and other service providers.

Junk fees have been controversial for several years and they are prominent in the travel industry. Odds are consumers have been asked to pay a small convenience fee when making an online transaction or credit card payment but these could be coming to an end.

President Joe Biden is proposing new legislation aimed at eliminating or limiting junk fees which industries pass onto customers' bills, often unexpectedly.

Unexpected Fees

Junk fees are additional, often hidden charges that can come from a range of industries. They are not typically included in the initial price of a transaction but are tacked on at the time of payment.

These fees, which about 85% of Americans have encountered, are often tacked onto credit card bills and the cost of concert tickets and air travel in the form of convenience or service fees at the time of purchase. 

According to reports, US hotels made billions in 2018 for “resort” or “destination” fees that are often imposed for specific amenities such as free internet service, gym entry etc. 

Many airlines also charge a fee if passengers want to select a particular seat in advance. For peace of mind, families travelling with young children might find themselves paying a lot of money just to make sure they can sit together. 

A lot of travellers find these fees frustrating because hotels and airlines often keep them hidden or added at a later stage when confirming the booking.

What It Means To Travellers

With the new legislation aimed at eliminating junk fees, the Department of Transportation will ensure airlines and online travel agencies disclose all fees upfront, like those for cancellation, changes and baggage.

Hotels and their booking sites would likely have to disclose all costs to consumers.

These new moves could bring some welcome relief for travellers, at a time when it may seem like there are hidden costs everywhere you look. 

However, some people believe that eliminating these fees will just drive up hotel and airline ticket rates.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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