During the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden spent a good amount of time talking about removing hidden fees from the entertainment and travel industries.
“I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it. Not anymore. We’ve written a bill to stop all that,” Biden said.
With the Junk Fees Prevention Act, Biden hopes to help the average American have the power to make the best choices of where to spend their money and spur more healthy competition among big companies.
The act was introduced in October 2022 by primarily targeting airlines.
What are ‘junk fees’?
“Junk fees,” Biden said in his address, are “those hidden surcharges too many companies use to make you pay more.”
“These fees can also create an uneven playing field for businesses, making firms that price in a fair and transparent manner seem more expensive than their rivals,” the White House said in a release in October 2022.
Things like luggage or the ability to choose a seat are fairly common fees that airlines charge on top of the ticket price, per Deseret News.
“Baggage fees are bad enough — they can’t just treat your child like a piece of luggage,” Biden said in the State of the Union address.
“Americans are tired of being played for suckers,” he continued.
Which industries will be affected by the Junk Fees Prevention Act?
Specifically, the Junk Fees Prevention Act is targeting hidden fees in three areas.
The White House mentioned that airlines, hotels and resorts, as well as large termination fees for cellphone, TV and internet providers, will be targeted, along with entertainment tickets, like sporting events or concerts — which are currently under public scrutiny, as reported by The New York Times.
“Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy but they matter to most folks in the homes likes I grew up in, like many of you did.” — President Joe Biden.
The most recent update from Biden from Tuesday is the move towards reducing credit card fees and bouncing check fees to save Americans $9 million across the board, per the White House. Individually, this will reduce the average late fee from $30 to $8.
“Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy but they matter to most folks in the homes like I grew up in, like many of you did,” Biden said Tuesday.