Biden goes after fees levied for flights, hotels and tickets

Biden goes after fees levied for flights, hotels and tickets

President Joe Biden swept airlines and hotels on Wednesday as he called on Congress to limit some additional fees they impose on consumers.

“These unfair fees add up,” he said, speaking just before a meeting of the White House competition committee.

Biden said Congress should cap airline seating fees imposed on families trying to sit together, so-called resort fees that many hotels are now adding to the bill, excessive service charges on tickets to concerts and sporting events, and change or cancellation fees. Internet service, cable or cellular.

“Some airlines charge extra for choosing your seat, including for parents who just want to sit next to their child on a plane,” Biden said. “They charge extra – you don’t know that though – and it’s not.”

A spokeswoman for Airlines for America, a trade group that represents America’s largest carriers, said its members – including American, United, Delta and Southwest – do not charge family seat fees, although some airlines at low prices do.

Major airlines “make every effort to accommodate customers traveling together, particularly those traveling with children, at no additional cost, and consumers are presented with a range of choices at the time of ticket purchase, including various seating options,” spokeswoman Marli Collier said. .

Congress has previously asked the Department of Transportation to review airline seating policies and consider how to ensure children under 14 are seated with an older family member at no additional cost. The ministry issued guidelines last July urging airlines to do so “where possible”.

Biden also took aim at hotels for adding resort fees, “which can exceed $50 per night, upon departure.”

A spokesperson for the American Hotel and Lodging Association said 94% of hotels do not charge resort fees. For those who do, “it covers unique and tangible amenities such as food and beverage credits, special events, access to pools and beaches, transportation and spa services,” the gatekeeper said. -word, Curt Cashour.

On ticket fees, Democrats and Republicans on a Senate committee last week called for more transparency after Ticketmaster canceled a general public sale for Taylor Swift concerts.

Separately, Biden touted a new regulation proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that he said would limit credit card late fees from an average of $31 to $8.

The White House argues that legislation approved under the Obama administration allows the bureau to regulate excessive credit card charges, while Biden’s other proposals would require congressional approval, which could be difficult due to the opposing commercial interests.

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