Senate panel investigating US airways’ baggage and seat choice charges

Senate panel investigating US airways’ baggage and seat choice charges

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WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate committee on Monday introduced an investigation into airline charges for luggage, seat choice, ticket modifications and different companies, asking the CEOs of 5 main airways to justify the multibillion-dollar charges. Their annual income.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, who chairs the Everlasting Subcommittee on Investigations, mentioned these charges are sometimes hidden from and complicated to shoppers.

Blumenthal mentioned he wrote to the CEOs of American Airways (AAL.O), United Airways (UAL.O), Delta Air Strains (DAL.N), Spirit Airways (SAVE.N) and Frontier Airways (ULCC.O) searching for job. An in depth breakdown of how a lot they accumulate from every charge, why, and what it prices to offer every service.

Between 2018 and 2022, whole income throughout main U.S. airways from baggage charges rose from $4.9 billion to $6.8 billion, the senator mentioned. Blumenthal additionally cited a report by a journey consulting agency that discovered that eight main U.S. airways final yr collected an estimated $4.2 billion in seat choice charges.

“U.S. airways more and more cost surcharges that obscure the precise price of air journey,” Blumenthal mentioned within the letters.

“These itemized charges are sometimes not disclosed to clients till effectively into the ticket buying course of or after the ticket has been bought, making it tough for patrons to know the true whole price of the ticket and comparability store earlier than buying,” Blumenthal added. .

American, Delta and United referred questions in regards to the Senate investigation to Airways for America, an business commerce group, which didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Spirit and Frontier didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Airline CEOs in 2018 lobbied towards bipartisan laws to impose “cheap and proportionate” baggage and alter charges and persuaded Congress to drop the plan.

The U.S. Division of Transportation final yr proposed requiring airways to reveal baggage charges, ticket modifications and mattress seating the primary time an airline ticket is obtainable. It additionally proposed guidelines in 2021 that may require airways to refund charges for considerably delayed luggage and refund quantities for companies equivalent to in-flight Wi-Fi that don’t work.

The Ministry is scheduled to finalize these laws in early 2024.

Aviation laws has stalled in Congress that, amongst different issues, would stop airways from charging households with younger kids to sit down collectively normally.

Reporting by David Shepardson, Modifying by Will Dunham and Chris Rees

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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