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GRE Verbal 4 Question 8
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Author:  questioner [ Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:32 pm ]
Post subject:  GRE Verbal 4 Question 8

US airlines have been suffering financial strain recently and are looking for new profit generators. The newest item of business: make ticket pricing complicated, so consumers have trouble figuring out what their trips actually cost.

The Department of Transportation has been bombarded by airlines asking for advertising rules to be changed so that some costs are not factored into the base price of a ticket. Instead, costs like fuel surcharges would be calculated later, making the original advertised price deceptive.

It’s true that quoted fares have not been exact fares for quite some time now. Airlines are allowed to split out some government-imposed fees and taxes, but these costs must be shown in advertisements. Now, airlines want their own surcharges to be withheld from advertisements, and instead to present them only near the end of the purchasing process, where consumers may not have enough time to carefully consider prices.

If advertising rules change, fictional surcharges will surely emerge aimed at “lowering prices,” obscuring the actual cost of fares. Competition among airlines for low fares could come to be based on surcharges, resulting in airlines falsely making their tickets appear cheaper than those of their competitors. In the end, consumers will lose the ability to make informed choices.

The author’s purpose is to

A) argue for airline business practices that are fair to consumers
B) suggest a way to adjust consumer purchasing power
C) defend airline business practices in a time of financial strain
D) express a need for creating better incentives for air travel
E) present a clear picture of the reasons behind a conflict

Correct Answer: A

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Can you explain how the author is arguing for more fair practices? I
did not see any persuasive language to support this. The tone seemed more factual to me. It says that (E) is wrong because it doesn't sum up the author's PURPOSE because it doesn't mention bias. Must the purpose for an author's writng always involve bias? Please explain, if possible. Thank you.

Author:  Nick [ Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Test 4 Verbal Question 8

An author's purpose does not always need to express bias, but in this case the author is "biased" in favor of consumers. This is revealed most clearly in the following sentences:

Quote:
"Now, airlines want their own surcharges to be withheld from advertisements, and instead to present them only near the end of the purchasing process, where consumers may not have enough time to carefully consider prices.

If advertising rules change, fictional surcharges will surely emerge aimed at “lowering prices,” obscuring the actual cost of fares."

...

"In the end, consumers will lose the ability to make informed choices."


These statements show that the author is worried about consumers being victimized by "fictional surcharges" that will obscure the true price of fares and deprive them of "the ability to make informed choices." If the author were simply stating the facts behind a conflict (as choice E suggests), s/he would not express this concern for the well-being of consumers. Nowehere does the author suggest a similar concern for the airlines. In fact, s/he is essentially accusing the airlines of deception. Choice (A) accurately reflects the author's viewpoint that airlines should not be allowed to separate their own surcharges because that practice is unfair to consumers.

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