A US Senate panel is launching an investigation into fees charged by US airlines for baggage, seat selection and other services.
Put an end to the abuse of additional fees
A US Senate panel is calling on America’s five largest airlines to justify all the fees they charge passengers for baggage, seat selection and other services, generating billions of dollars in revenue each year. The approach is to put an end to the abuse of additional costs and is reminiscent of that of the MEPs for Europe. The chairman of the permanent investigative subcommittee, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, believes that “these fees are often hidden and confusing for consumers.”
Baggage and seat selection: nearly $12 billion in revenue in 2022
Senator Richard Blumenthal therefore requests “a detailed breakdown of the amounts collected under each fee, the reason for these fees and the cost of providing each service”. Between 2018 and 2022, the total revenue of major US airlines from baggage fees increased from $4.9 billion to $6.8 billion, said the senator, who also cited a report from a travel consulting company “which revealed that eight major US airlines collected fees last year estimated at $4.2 billion for seat selection. In total, nearly $12 billion in revenue in 2022.
Avoid charging families to sit together
“American airlines are increasingly charging incidental fees that mask the true cost of air travel,” said the senator, adding that “these detailed fees are often only disclosed to customers at an advanced stage of the purchasing process.” of the ticket or after purchasing the ticket, making it difficult for customers to know the true total cost of a ticket and to compare prices before purchasing. The objective is to put an end to the excesses of a system of additional costs put in place by low-cost airlines to compensate for very low ticket prices, a formula adopted by traditional carriers. To the point that some carriers are wanting to “charge families with young children to be seated together”.