LAX Ordered to Pay Millions to US Air Carriers

The Transportation Department overruled several new and increased charges in place at Los Angeles Airport according to Travel Weekly, forcing LAX to refund millions of dollars to major U.S. airlines.

The airport has been collecting higher fees since January 1, 2006 in order to raise money for security and improvements. Last Friday, the DOT labeled some of the rates for long-term lease airlines in terminals 1 and 3 discriminatory, because the same charges did not apply to airlines in other terminals with 40-year leases.

AirTran, Alaska, ATA, Frontier, Midwest, Southwest and US Airways, seven of the airlines that operate in terminals 1 and 3, joined together to protest the price changes at LAX. They hope the DOT’s ruling will help create a more equitable relationship between the airlines and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), according to the Travel Weekly report.

The DOT will decide in 30 days the exact amount of money LAX needs to return to the airlines. Currently LAX has set aside almost $24 million for potential refunds.

The article did not state how or where LAWA will look to recoup its lost funds to pay for the improvements.

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