Senator Ed Markey working to “ground” airline fees

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – Ticketing fees, cancellation fees, and baggage fees; the extra fees attached to flights can add up quickly.

Salvador Landa of Atlanta told 22News, he just expects it when he goes to the airport. “Everything is getting more expensive, especially as you try to travel. You get charged here, you get charged there for certain things, changing your seats, or changing a flight, or checking a bag. Anytime you’re not going to be charged more for things you’re buying as a consumer, it’s good,” he said.

Airline fees have risen significantly in recent years. Three airlines increased their baggage fees by nearly 70% between 2009 and 2014. In that same time period, four airlines increased their cancellation fees by more than 30%,

In 2016, airlines took in a total of $4.2-billion in baggage fees alone, and $2.9-billion in change and cancellation fees.

U.S. Senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, are now fighting to ground the soaring fees.

A bill called the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous Fees Act, or FAIR Act, would prohibit airlines from imposing fees for checked bags, ticket changes, and cancellations.

Eleanor Eichner of Connecticut told 22News, lowering the fees would be a victory for consumers. “I think that’s pro-consumer, and I think the airlines are nickel and diming people,” she said.

Other passengers, like David Lapointe of Connecticut say, they think the bill is too good to be true. “If the airlines have to give that up, would they increase fares? It sounds like a good thing, but if it’s more expensive maybe it’s not,” he said.

The bill may have trouble in Congress, which hasn’t been involved in airline pricing since the Airline Deregulation Act was signed in 1978.