President Joe Biden took time during his recent State of the Union address to announce his new Junk Fee Prevention Act, aimed at curbing the use of hidden fees by companies across a range of industries. These fees, which can add significantly to the cost of a product or service, often catch consumers by surprise and leave them paying more than they bargained for.
The proposed act targets businesses that use these fees and would require them to disclose all fees upfront, creating a more transparent and fair playing field for consumers and businesses alike. Beyond saving consumers money, the administration hopes that the act will create a level playing field for businesses and reduce the practice of companies using hidden fees to boost profits.
Edie Antelli, a customer who recently experienced a seat fee while booking a flight with United Airlines, stated, “The seat is included unless they want you on the wing outside. It’s crazy.” Jared Gavin, who has faced unexpected fees while traveling by air, added, “If it’s not necessary, then it doesn’t need to be there. Having that transparency would be really nice.”
The Junk Fee Prevention Act will be introduced to Congress and is expected to have a significant impact on the use of hidden fees in industries such as airlines, sporting events, and concerts. Jeff Marsha, General Manager of the Kodak Center, said, “The industry will just find another way around it or do something different,” but Antelli is in favor of the proposed act, stating, “The airlines have gauged us since COVID and they have all this excess money that they’ve made from these fees. I think, get rid of them.”
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