U.S. Senate Investigates Hidden Airlines Fees

On Monday, a U.S. Senate committee launched a probe into the fees charged by airlines for services such as baggage, seat selection, and ticket changes. The committee, led by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, has asked the CEOs of five major airlines to explain these charges, which bring in billions of dollars in revenue each year. Blumenthal stated that these fees are often hidden and confusing for customers. 


He has written to the CEOs of American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines, and Frontier Airlines, requesting a detailed breakdown of each fee, its purpose, and the cost of providing each service. According to Blumenthal, revenue from baggage fees across major U.S. airlines increased from $4.9 billion in 2018 to $6.8 billion in 2022. 


He also mentioned a report by a travel consultancy that estimated that eight leading U.S. airlines collected $4.2 billion in seat selection fees last year. Blumenthal criticized the airlines for charging ancillary fees that make the actual cost of air travel unclear. He added that these fees are often not disclosed until late in the ticket purchasing process or after a ticket has been purchased, making it difficult for customers to compare prices. American, Delta, and United directed questions about the Senate investigation to Airlines for America, an industry trade group, which did not immediately respond. 

Save Money 728x90

Spirit and Frontier also did not immediately respond. In 2018, airline CEOs lobbied against legislation to mandate "reasonable and proportional" baggage and change fees and convinced Congress to drop the plan. Last year, the U.S. Transportation Department proposed requiring airlines to disclose fees for baggage, ticket changes, and family seating when an airfare is first displayed. It also proposed rules in 2021 to require airlines to refund fees for significantly delayed bags and refunds for services like onboard Wi-Fi that do not work. Both of these regulations are scheduled to be finalized in early 2024. Legislation that would prevent airlines from charging families with young children for sitting together in most instances has been stalled in Congress.

ANJ Hotels

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3
EN - 728x90