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Published: November 2021

The FAIR Fees Act to curb outrageous airline fees

Consumer Action joined other consumer advocates and air traveler rights groups in applauding the introduction of the FAIR Fees Act as a way to protect consumers from being nickel-and-dimed by airlines. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Congressmen Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) reintroduced the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act—legislation that would prohibit airlines from charging fees, including cancellation, change and bag fees, that are not reasonable and proportional to the costs of the services actually provided. The bill also directs the Department of Transportation to review any other fees charged by airlines.

Airlines worldwide took in nearly $110 billion in fee revenue in 2019, up 400% from the $22 billion in 2010 fee revenue. And while the issue predates the pandemic, fees are especially burdensome as many families prepare to fly for the first time since the pandemic began. The Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act would give the U.S. Department of Transportation the authority to regulate airline fees and prohibit air carriers from imposing charges that are not reasonable and proportional to the costs incurred by the air carriers to provide the services.

“Airline ticket cancellation, change and bag fees are out of whack, and Consumer Action is pleased to support the reintroduction of Sen. Markey’s FAIR Fees Act to protect airline travelers from gouging,” said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities for Consumer Action. “It’s not fair that consumers must ante up ridiculously high fees when their travel plans change—even when they made an innocent mistake in booking travel and don’t notice it right away! Consumer Action wholeheartedly supports the FAIR Fees Act to make airline fees reasonable and proportional.”

Other Organizations

National Consumers League | Consumer Reports | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | U.S. Public Interest Research Group | Travelers United | Business Travel Coalition | Flyersrights.org | Airlinepassengers.org

More Information

A copy of the FAIR Fees Act can be found here.

For more information, please visit Senator Markey’s website.


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