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Friday, March 03, 2006

Travel Rage and Changes Ahead for Surcharges in America

Travel Rage

The other day I mentioned an example of travel rage at an airport. Of course drivers are not immune and road rage is increasingly common. I was reminded of this while walking at rush hour. A bus driver sat on his horn for 10 minutes despite seeing perfectly clearly that the car in front could not move more than a foot due to the traffic. What did he hope to achieve? Did he really think a gap would miraculously open up in the clogged road just because he tooted his horn?

In the space of a couple of hours I saw several other cases of drivers who showed signs of anger at other road users. Its no wonder society is becoming more stressed if every second of time and every foot of space is so tightly contested for no purpose.


Changes Ahead for Surcharges in USA

Travellers in Europe have long known to watch for promotional airfares that can be as low as €0.01 or 1p only to be hit by surcharges that increase the fare to €100 or £100, or more. At the moment travellers in USA have the benefit that advertised fares must include all surcharges, except any true taxes.

As reported in many blogs (including as a couple of examples Upgrade: travel better and Christopher Elliott), the US Department of Trade is considering relaxing the advertising rules.

This is a step backwards and against the trend in some other countries which have, or are in the process of, tightening the rules so that airfares advertised are inclusive. An incomplete list of some countries that are increasing consumer protection in this way:

Unless I've missed news of it, strangely the European Commission doesn't seem to have misleading advertising on its agenda with the current Directive having been in place since 1984 and last amended in 1997.

Here's hoping the US Department of Trade does not decide to relax the current rules.

1 comment:

Better Living Through Miles said...

Wholeheartedly agree. The issue of surcharges has gotten a bit more press in the United States lately. FWIW, a followup on the issue:
http://upgradetravel.blogspot.com/2006/03/weakening-airfare-advertising.html