President Biden: Charging For Extra Legroom Seats After Ticket Purchase Is Racist

According to President Biden,

Some airlines, if you want six more inches between you and the seat in front, you pay more money but you don’t know it until you purchase your ticket. Look folks, these are junk fees, they’re unfair and they hit marginalized Americans the hardest, especially low income folks and people of color.

Airlines generally make sure you do know about opportunities to purchase extra legroom seats, and buy ups to first class, before you complete your ticket purchase. They want to upsell you. Online travel agencies do a poor job serving the interests of consumers, though even they are being dragged along by the airlines to generate ancillary revenue along with tickets sales.

The Department of Transportation has proposed new rules over airline fee disclosure. Airlines and travel agencies (including online travel agencies) will be required to display passenger- and itinerary-specific fees. Airlines will have to provide those fees in a format usable by agencies. But what the rule actually does is quite different than the press release, and needs significant improvement before any final rule is adopted.

However the notion that airlines even sell seats with six extra inches of legroom on many domestic flights, as the President suggests, is fanciful. Three inches is far more common. Airline passengers skew quite well off, relatively few marginalized Americans fly regularly. It seems odd to suggest that they are disproportionately harmed (or, for that matter, that they are buying up to extra legroom seats).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m 6’8″ and pretty darn close to being albino. Definitely have to buy the extra room, but what airline is selling 6 inches? Lemme Know Stat Joe!

  2. It’s quite amusing to see all the ad hominem type attacks aimed at Biden when the evidence suggests that Trump is everything that the Lord Trump worshippers try to accuse Biden of being.

    When it comes to those who voted for and/or supported Trump over his Democratic opponents in the general elections for US President, they have a starting disadvantage when it comes to credibility given the history of attacking Biden while ignoring, dismissing or otherwise downplaying the many failings of their racist Lord Trump before, during and after the Trump presidency. The Lord Trump worshippers’ accusations against Biden are a sign of their falling into the trap of moral relativity and ending up being morally depraved enough to not reconcile with the fact that Trump is a scumbag like no other who has been US President in our lifetime.

  3. @GUWonder ad hominem is silly, but “Trump was bad too” (and in many ways worse!) doesn’t excuse the ways in which Biden’s policies have been lawless. Indeed, to some extent, Trump made Biden lawlessness possible. Biden was supposed to reverse that.

  4. And here I thought my favorite self-avowed libertarians want the kind of increased lawlessness that follows from
    ending up with fewer laws and regulations. Pretty much why nearly all of my favorite Club of Growth type fans still prefer Trump to Biden, even as they just wish Trump would disappear so that domestic human trafficking-supporting DeSantis could become leader of the pack.

    “Biden lawlessness”? Come on, it’s nothing like the kind of lawlessness that Trump unleashed on America. January 6th anyone?

    Can’t wait to see Trump’s next tweet that could help liven up this place too. I miss his going after some of the greenwashing done by hotels.

  5. Says a lot about a person who supports a stupid, lazy, nasty, pathologic lying, corrupt, racist, serial sexual assaulter, serial wife cheating, amoral, military service dodging, multiple bankruptcies, tax cheating, con-man like Trump who created the largest deficits in history and added massively to the national debt. Either childlike naivete, complete stupidity or absolute bigotry. There’s worldwide inflation, recession/depression, rising interest rates and gas prices and depression, it’s not Biden’s doing, America is suffering just like all other countries. Typical economic depression at the end of a Republican administration which created massive deficits; Reagan did it, Bush did it, Trump did it. I’ll take a little bit of senility (Biden) over a sociopath (Trump) any day of the week. Oh yeah, he didn’t even know Jeffrey Epstein. Trump said it himself, Feb 23, 2016 after Nevada caucuses “I love the poorly educated.” Without lies, hypocrisy, voter supression and many many stupid voters, the GOPs would NEVER win an election.

  6. @GUWonder, who said “There is no one party rule under Biden. The Republican-stacked Supreme Court…. blah-blah-blah”

    Can’t take seriously any arguments from someone who makes stupid statements like that. Time to repeat Civics 101 class, buddy 🙂

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