Source: United States Senator for Massachusetts Ed Markey
Provision would have ensured that airline ticket change and cancellation fees are reasonable
Washington (September 22, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, issued the following statement after House and Senate Committee leadership released the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018. The legislative package, which was negotiated by House and Senate Committee leaders, does not include Senator Markey’s Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees provision. The bipartisan provision, which was included in the Senate-passed FAA bill, 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. Both United Airlines and Jet Blue Airways have raised fees for checked bags in the past two weeks.
“Airline travelers are being gouged by exorbitant fees, but the airlines will stop at nothing to protect this billion dollar profit center,” said Senator Markey. “Congress had the opportunity to return fairness to change and cancellation fees by passing an FAA reauthorization that includes my bipartisan FAIR Fees provision. Instead, through an opaque negotiating process, the airlines have managed to kill this important consumer protection provision. No one should have to pay a $200 change fee on a ticket that costs nearly that much. At the same time the airline industry made blocking the FAIR Fees Act its top priority, they have continued to drastically increase fees, and it’s time we put a stop to both.”
Senators Markey, Ricard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) 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. Last week, Senators Markey and Wicker, and Representatives Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Walter Jones (NC-03) sent letters to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee calling for the inclusion of the FAIR Fees provision in the final FAA Reauthorization Act. In May, Senator Markey and Senator Blumenthal reintroduced the FAIR Fees Act.