Senators Markey and Blumenthal Decry New Increases in Checked-bag Fees by United and JetBlue
Call on Congress to pass legislation to ground rising airline fees
Washington (August 31, 2018) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today called on Congress to pass legislation to ground exorbitant airline fees in light of skyrocketing checked-bag fees. Earlier this week, JetBlue Airways raised prices for the first checked-bag from $25 to $30, while also increasing fees for the second and third checked-bags by $5 and $50 respectively. Today, United Airlines also increased fees for the first checked-bag from $25 to $30 and the price of a second checked-bag from $35 to $40.
“Airline passengers excited to visit family and loved ones this busy Labor Day weekend could be met with an unsuspecting surprise – skyrocketing airline fees,” said Senators Markey and Blumenthal. “When passengers check their bags, they shouldn’t have to check their bank accounts to make sure they have enough money to cover these new exorbitant fees. It’s time to ground this fee gouging and restore sanity to air travel. It’s time to pass the FAIR Fees Act.”
Senators Markey, Blumenthal and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) introduced the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees amendment, which was included in the Senate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. The legislation passed the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in June. As modified, the Senators’ provision would ensure that change and cancellation fees are reasonable. It would also direct the FAA to establish standards for assessing whether baggage, seat selection, same day change, and other fees are reasonable and proportional to the costs of the services provided. In May, Senator Markey and Senator Blumenthal reintroduced the FAIR Fees Act.