August 4, 2010 | Deleted Users Posts For Immediate Release Contact: Kate Hanni (707)337-0328 August 3, 2010 FlyersRights Lauds Introduction of Webb Bill to Address Runaway Fees Charged to PassengersMeasure would Bring Much Needed Fairness, Clarity for Consumers Napa, CA (July 13, 2010)—Flyersrights.org, the nation’s leading voice for airline passengers, praised a bill introduced today by Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) entitled “The Airline Baggage Transparency and Accountability Act.” The bill would establish rules to assist consumers to compare airfares and other costs applicable to tickets for air transportation and would require airlines to pay taxes on such fees to fund modernization and maintenance of the U.S. Air Transport System. “One of the main reasons airlines have made our skies the Land of the Fee, by imposing so many fees on passengers to pad their bottom line, is that they have not had to pay taxes into the Aviation Trust fund for them as they do with other revenue,” said Kate Hanni, Founder and Executive Director of FlyersRights.org. “By closing this loophole the airlines will likely reevaluate how many fees they impose on us, and when they do at least a percentage will be going to improve and maintain our aviation system.” The bill creates transparency by providing that any fees for checked baggage, seating assignments, and optional in-flight goods and services, and other fees that may be charged after the ticket is purchased will have to be displayed to ensure that all consumers are able to easily and fairly compare airfares and other costs. Additionally, Carry-on and Checked Baggage fees will now be considered as an amount paid for taxable transportation. “For years the airlines have not been required to fully and plainly disclose what the true total cost of a flight is including all the fees and extra charges, keeping passengers in the dark and distorting the marketplace,” added Hanni. “The Webb bill also brings needed clarity for passengers on fees as they make their choices for air travel and brings the airline sector into line with recent efforts requiring full and fair disclosure by credit card companies to consumers about fees.” For more about FlyersRights ongoing fight to protect consumers go to: www.flyersrights.org. CRA10412 S.L.C.111TH CONGRESS2D SESSION S. llTo establish rules to assist consumers to compare airfares and other costsapplicable to tickets for air transportation, to amend the Internal RevenueCode of 1986 to provide that fees charged for carry-on and checkedbaggage on passenger aircraft are subject to the excise tax imposedon transportation of persons by air, and for other purposes.IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATESllllllllllMr. WEBB introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referredto the Committee on llllllllllA BILLTo establish rules to assist consumers to compare airfaresand other costs applicable to tickets for air transportation,to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986to provide that fees charged for carry-on and checkedbaggage on passenger aircraft are subject to the excisetax imposed on transportation of persons by air, andfor other purposes.1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,2CRA10412 S.L.C.1 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.2 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Airline Baggage Ac3countability and Greater Security Act’’ or the ‘‘Airline4 BAGS Act’’.5 SEC. 2. NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS WITH RESPECT TO6 THE SALE OF AIRLINE TICKETS.7 (a) IN GENERAL.—The Office of Aviation Consumer8 Protection and Enforcement of the Department of Trans9portation shall establish rules to ensure that all consumers10 are able to easily and fairly compare airfares and other11 costs applicable to tickets for air transportation, including12 all taxes and fees.13 (b) NOTICE OF TAXES AND FEES APPLICABLE TO14 TICKETS FOR AIR TRANSPORTATION.—Section 41712 of15 title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the16 end the following:17 ‘‘(c) NOTICE OF TAXES AND FEES APPLICABLE TO18 TICKETS FOR AIR TRANSPORTATION.—19 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—It shall be an unfair or de20ceptive practice under subsection (a) for an air car21rier, foreign air carrier, or ticket agent to sell a tick22et for air transportation unless the air carrier, for23eign air carrier, or ticket agent, as the case may24 be—25 ‘‘(A) displays information with respect to26 the taxes and fees described in paragraph (2),3CRA10412 S.L.C.1 including the amount and a description of each2 such tax or fee, simultaneously with and in rea3sonable proximity to the price listed for the4 ticket; and5 ‘‘(B) in the case of a ticket for air trans6portation sold on the Internet, provides to the7 purchaser of the ticket information with respect8 to the taxes and fees described in paragraph9 (2), including the amount and a description of10 each such tax or fee, before requiring the pur11chaser to provide any personal information, in12cluding the name, address, phone number, e13mail address, or credit card information of the14 purchaser.15 ‘‘(2) TAXES AND FEES DESCRIBED.—The taxes16 and fees described in this paragraph are all taxes,17 fees, and charges applicable to a ticket for air trans18portation, including—19 ‘‘(A) all taxes, fees, charges, and sur20charges included in the price paid by a pur21chaser for the ticket, including fuel surcharges22 and surcharges relating to peak or holiday trav23el; and24 ‘‘(B) any fees for checked baggage, seating25 assignments, and optional in-flight goods and4CRA10412 S.L.C.1 services, and other fees that may be charged2 after the ticket is purchased.’’.3 (c) RULEMAKING.—The Secretary of Transportation,4 in consultation with the Administrator of the Federal5 Aviation Administration, shall prescribe such regulations6 as may be necessary to carry out section 41712(c) of title7 49, United States Code, as added by subsection (b).8 SEC. 3. FEES FOR CARRY-ON AND CHECKED BAGGAGE9 TREATED AS PAID FOR TAXABLE TRANSPOR10TATION.11 (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 4261(e) of the Internal12 Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end13 the following:14 ‘‘(6) AMOUNTS PAID FOR CARRY-ON OR15 CHECKED BAGGAGE.—Any amount paid by an air16line passenger to check baggage for transit on the17 aircraft carrying such passenger or to personally18 carry baggage into the cabin or overhead storage19 compartments of the aircraft carrying such pas20senger shall be treated for purposes of subsection (a)21 as an amount paid for taxable transportation.’’.22 (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment may by this23 section shall apply to transportation beginning on or after24 the date of the enactment of this Act.5CRA10412 S.L.C.1 SEC. 4. AUTHORITY OF AVIATION CONSUMER PROTECTION2 DIVISION WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS RELAT3ING TO LOST AND STOLEN BAGGAGE.4 (a) IN GENERAL.—The Assistant General Counsel5 for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings shall, acting6 through the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, have7 authority to carry out consumer protection compliance and8 enforcement activities relating to claims by passengers9 with respect to lost, stolen, and damaged baggage.10 (b) RESPONSIBILITY OF DIVISION.—The Aviation11 Consumer Protection Division shall also have authority to12 do the following:13 (1) INFORMATION COLLECTION.—Collect infor14mation from each air carrier operating under part15 121 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, with16 respect to the air carrier’s procedures and perform17ance relating to lost, stolen, and damaged baggage.18 (2) PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION.—Make the19 information collected pursuant to paragraph (1)20 available to the public on the Department of Trans21portation website.