BY Mike Cameron |

Airline Ancillary Fees

There is a lot of uproar going on in the travel industry surrounding ancillary fees.   How much are the airlines collecting in ancillary fees? Amadeus Reports Airline Ancillary Fees Totaled $22 Billion in 2010
I personally think the basic concept of treating special services like a “toll road” makes sense, in general. I would prefer to pay a lower price, if I bring a small carry-on bag, than the person who is bringing three giant luggage trunks that look like they are designed to hold enough clothing to move to the new location permanently.
The main issues relating to the uproar are:

  • What is the definition of an Ancillary Fee?
  • Consumer protection and regulatory rules
  • Travelling corporation’s reporting requirements
  • GDS technology for booking of the ancillary services

What are some of the ancillary fees that are causing all of this industry uproar? Time magazine breaks the “Extra Fees” down into nine categories, in this interactive visual description.
On the Consumer protection and regulatory side, The Department of Transportation recently proposed a rule requiring airlines to report all ancillary revenue to the DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The Global Travel Business Association (GBTA) has taken the lead to find an industry solution for reporting ancillary airline data. This article provides an update on where they are at.
American Airlines has been in a dispute with the providers of the travel agent’s booking systems (known as the global distribution systems, or GDSs.) American has threatened to pull out of the GDS and require travelers to book their airline tickets directly with them. They have used “the marketing of ancillary services” as the main reason for wanting to do this. American recently made a settlement with Travelport to extend their existing full-content agreements for Travelport’s three GDS platforms – Apollo, Galileo and Worldspan. They have not come to an agreement with Sabre or Amadeus.