Travel Advocacy Groups Fight 'Ridiculous' Airline Fees

Photo via Jonathan Cohen/Flickr.
Photo via Jonathan Cohen/Flickr.

Several travel advocacy organizations — including the Business Travel Coalition, Consumer Federation of America, and National Consumer League — wrote a letter asking Sens. Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid to support the inclusion of the Forbid Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016.

Sponsored by Sens. Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal, the FAIR Fees Act would prohibit airlines from charging cancellation, baggage, or other ancillary fees that are “unreasonable or disproportional to the costs incurred by the air carrier,” under standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The FAIR Fees Act doesn’t look to re-regulate the airlines, but it serves to remedy a systemic violation of the free market system that has been pointed out by both the DOT and the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to the letter.

In 2015, U.S. airlines collected $10.8 billion in ancillary fees, an increase of 24% since 2014, according to a survey by IdeasWorksCompany.

These add-on fees have generated more complaints among consumers. From 2014 to 2015, consumer complaints to the DOT increased by 30%, according to the DOT. And complaints about airline fares are the fastest-growing category of complaints to the DOT (97.93% year-over-year increase), according to the DOT’s Air Travel Consumer Report from February 2016.

“The FAA Reauthorization Act is an important opportunity for you and your Senate colleagues to protect the millions of consumers who depend on the airline industry to provide an affordable, dependable, and safe travel experience,” the letter stated. “The FAIR Fees Act would do much to help reign in the industry’s increasing reliance on ancillary fees, which are unfairly squeezing the pocketbooks of the flying public. We urge you to support this common sense, pro-consumer bill.”

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

Autonomous Vehicles and the Changing Role of the Fleet Manager

With fewer drivers and substantially longer fleet lifecycles, fleet managers will pivot to new job functions.

2017: Fleet Mix Will Be Paramount

Car rental companies are migrating to vehicle segments with better residual values, though not without bumps in the road.

Auto Rental Summit: Five Trend Lines

Taking in the seminars, discussions, and networking at the 2016 Auto Rental Summit, trend lines emerged around shifts in model mix, data protection issues, increasing labor costs, workforce engagement, and new platforms to rent cars.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.