Travelers at Palm Beach International Airport share thoughts on Biden push for Junk Fee Prevention Act

'It's a problem, especially as we go through inflation and all these other things,' traveler says
Posted at 1:39 PM, Feb 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-23 13:39:38-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Travelers at Palm Beach International Airport who spoke to WPTV this week are hopeful Congress passes a law that would cut down on airline "junk fees."

For frequent flyers with a tight budget, extra fees that come with the purchase of an airline ticket are becoming a big burden.

"It's a problem, especially as we go through inflation and all these other things that are problematic for us these days," Mark Cheeks, a traveler from Virginia, said.

These fees, often called "junk fees," are sometimes hidden, additional charges that can come from a range of lenders. They are often not included in the initial price of a transaction but are tacked on at the time of a payment.

"(I paid) $50 for an exit row seat, per seat," Curtis Carby, a traveler from Chicago, said. "You know, I can understand sometimes you need to do a little bit of a fee, but a little too much is what we're seeing recently."

Cheeks agreed.

"I'm hoping that we have, at some point, some regulation that will manage it and bring the cost down," Cheeks said.

Mark Cheeks, traveler from Virginia, hopes for regulation of airline 'junk fees'
Mark Cheeks, a traveler from Virginia, hopes for some regulation of airline "junk fees"

Bringing the cost down is exactly what President Joe Biden's administration is now trying to do.

"We're making airlines show you the full ticket price up front, refund your money if your flight is canceled or delayed," President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address.

Biden is urging Congress to pass the Junk Fee Prevention Act, which would cut down on "junk fees" from not only online airlines, but banks, hotels and other service providers as well. It would also slash excessive credit card late fees.

"There was a day when you didn't get charged for these things," Carl Gould, a business analyst and president of 7 Stage Advisors, told WPTV.

Gould said that's why this is a move that consumers want.

"The traveler feels like they're being nickled and dimed. Like, really? 'Every time I want something, your hand is in my pocket. I thought I was buying a point A to point B ticket, only to find out that it's not,'" Gould said. "I find it hard to think that this is going to make it all the way through and they're going to stop. … I think what they're going to have to do is they're going to likely tell the airline industry, 'Police yourself and we're going to see how you do there, and don't make us come in and define what is a value-added service versus what is a nuisance service charge.'"

To read more details about the Junk Fee Prevention Act, click here.