'Mad As Hell' Site Unites Airline Fee Foes - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Mad As Hell' Site Unites Airline Fee Foes

(CNN) -- "Mad As Hell Day" falls on Thursday, according to a group of consumer and professional travel organizations that have banded together to oppose hidden airline fees.

To mark the day, the American Society of Travel Agents, the Business Travel Coaliton and the Consumer Travel Alliance plan to submit a petition with thousands of signatures collected via MadAsHellAboutHiddenFees.com to the Department of Transportation in support of a proposed rule that would require airlines to clearly inform consumers about fees for optional services.

Thursday is the last day of a public comment period on a series of enhanced airline passenger protections proposed by the agency in June. The DOT expects to issue a final rule in spring 2011.

"It is absolutely imperative that consumers have the opportunity that they've had in the past to make comparative price decisions, to understand the total cost, the all-in price," said Paul Ruden, ASTA's senior vice president for legal and industry affairs.

The Mad As Hell group also supports the DOT's proposal to require airlines to provide the same information about optional airline fees to the distribution systems used by online and brick-and-mortar travel agencies. Fifty to 60 percent of airline revenue earned in the United States comes through these independent distributors, Ruden said.

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