(WTNH) — Millions of Americans are getting ready to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. For many, that means also getting ready to pay some hefty airline fees.
One local politician is calling for more a reduction in what airlines can charge you.
It happens so often. You pay for your ticket, but then you get to the airport and you have to pay again.
“All too often, consumers come to the counter and they learn they’re going to be charged an extra amount for bags, or to sit next to their kids,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D – Connecticut).
Blumenthal is one of about 16 members of congress backing what’s called the FAIR Fees Act. That stands for Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous Fees. Blumenthal says many of the fees charged to passengers are unrelated to airline costs
“Like putting a passenger next to his child. That costs nothing,” Blumenthal said. “That’s just a fee meant to increase the profits of airlines.”
Other fees include cancelling your flight, changing your flight and those bag fees. A statement from Senator Blumenthal says travelers get blindsided by exorbitant charges at checkout caused by unexpected fees for basic aviation services.
The amount of money the airlines collect from fees has grown from a little over a billion dollars a year in 2007 to more than $35 billion last year. The FAIR Fees act would direct the Department of Transportation to review all fees charged by the airlines and would tie the amount of the fees to what those things actually cost the airline.
“What we’re saying the airlines is: Charge the fees, but only if there is an actual cost, and then, only the amount of that cost,” said Blumenthal.
Blumenthal even goes so far as to call what the airlines are doing right now “price gouging.” The senator says the industry is on track for another record year for fee totals this year.
WEB EXTRA: Press conference on proposed legislation combating exorbitant airfare fees