Consumer Protection

Are Airline Fees Unfair?

If you’ve had to change an airline ticket or check bags recently, you know that it can cost you a lot. Sometimes the change fee is more than price of the ticket itself. And it’s bad enough that most airlines charge for checked luggage, but it’s hard to understand why the second bag and third bag should cost more to check than the first. Are these and other fees that the airlines are charging us justified? The Business Travel Coalition claims that they’re not. For instance, it says that the typical $200 charge to change a ticket is 6 to 7 times higher than the actual cost to the air carrier.

CFA believes that consumers shouldn’t be gouged at the register or in the skies. That’s why CFA has endorsed legislation introduced by Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal, the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act. If enacted, the U.S. Department of Transportation would establish standards to determine if airline fees are reasonable and proportional to the costs incurred by the air carriers and prohibit fees that are not. CFA is working with Travelers United and other consumer groups to ensure that the cost of flying is transparent and fair.