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John L. Mica

Airline consumer abuses: Action trumps disclosure

In Washington these days, some lawmakers and pundits seem to view "disclosure" and "transparency" as solutions to all consumer abuses. Although both can be extremely important, they're not always enough to prevent serious consumer abuse: Announcing in advance that it's going to gouge consumers doesn't stop an airline from gouging them. Sometimes the only solution is to issue new rules with enforcement teeth.

A case in point is the recent staff report, The Unfriendly Skies: Consumer Confusion Over Airline Fees, prepared by the Minority Staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Of the seven recommendations, three actually call for...