Senators Markey and Blumenthal, and Rep. Cohen Query Airlines About Skyrocketing Fees


Request for information comes on the heels of JetBlue Airways and United Airlines increasing their airline fees


Washington (September 6, 2018) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today sent letters to eleven major airlines inquiring about their airline fees. In their letter, the lawmakers note that while airline fees are on the rise, there appears to be no appreciable increase in the costs of the services provided that may justify these higher fees. In fact, a 2017 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that few airlines consider a service’s costs when they set the price of ancillary fees for that service. In their letter, Senators Markey and Blumenthal and Congressman Cohen ask the airlines to break down the costs for the airlines of checked bags, and if they intend to increase their checked bag or ticket change and cancellation fees in the next three months, as well as how customers will be notified of any increases.


“As airline fees rise, passengers’ frustration with the modern flying experience continues to grow,” write the lawmakers. “After being enticed by artificially low airfares, passengers are bombarded with a rash of airline fees that can drastically increase the overall cost of flying — fees that the GAO found confusing and poorly communicated to consumers. Passengers deserve relief from this fee gouging.”


Copies of the letters to the airlines can be found HERE.


Last week, JetBlue Airways raised fees for a passenger’s first checked bag from $25 to $30, while also increasing fees for second and third checked bags by $5 and $50, respectively. The airline also raised change and cancellation fees from $150 to $200 for certain flights. Shortly after, United Airlines also raised fees for the first checked bag from $25 to $30, and increased the fees for a second checked bag from $35 to $40.

Letters were sent to the following airlines: United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Allegiant Air, and Sun Country Airlines.