Published: September 2018

Protect consumers from excessive airline fees

Consumer Action joined seven other coalition advocates in urging Congress to support the bipartisan FAIR Fees provision that was included in S.1405, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017. Under the FAIR Fees provision airlines would be prevented from charging flight change and cancellation fees that are unreasonable and disproportionate to the cost of providing the service. The Department of Transportation would also develop standards for helping assess the reasonableness of other common airline fees.

Airlines often claim that the unbundling of fees for services like baggage and cancellation has reduced the cost of flying. However, an independent analysis by the Associated Press has found that base fares have increased by 5% once adjusted for inflation since 2010. Likewise, the Government Accountability Office has found that the cost of flying has increased, once fees for checked baggage are included.

While airlines certainly need to maintain profitability, they should not do so by taking unfair advantage of consumers who must change or cancel travel plans due to unforeseen circumstances. Requiring that change and cancellation fees bear a reasonable relation to the cost to provide the service will improve competition by preventing price gouging and better incentivizing airlines to compete over the actual cost of fares.

Consumers can click here to tell Congress to support FAIR Fees.

Lead Organization

National Consumers League (NCL)

Other Organizations

National Consumers League | Business Travel Coalition | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumers Union | | Travelers United | U.S. PIRG

More Information

For more information, please visit NCL.

Download PDF

Protect consumers from excessive airline fees   (FAA_Reauth.pdf)




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