US Senate Launches Investigation Into Airline Fee Transparency

The United States Senate announced a probe into airline fees for baggage, seat selection, ticket changes, and other services.

According to Democratic Senator and Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations chair Richard Blumenthal, fees are perplexing and frequently hidden.

Blumenthal and his team have asked the major airlines in the United States, including American, Delta, Frontier, Spirit, and United, for a detailed breakdown of why the fees were implemented, how much they make each carrier, and the cost to supply each service.

"U.S. airlines increasingly levy ancillary fees that obscure the actual cost of air travel," Blumenthal told.

Blumenthal discovered data indicating that the top eight airlines in the United States collected around $4.2 billion in seat selection fees during his research. Furthermore, between 2018 and 2022, total revenue from baggage fees increased from $4.9 billion to $6.8 billion.

The United States Transportation Department proposed new rules last year that would require airlines to disclose fees for baggage, ticket changes, and family seating from the first time an airfare is displayed onsite.