Open Allies reacts to DOT Inspector General’s report on airline industry performance

The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General recently released a detailed report, Aviation Industry Performance: A Review of the Aviation Industry, 2008 – 2011, which found that:

The airlines have also increased revenue by implementing additional fees for services that previously were included in the base ticket price. For example, checking baggage, selecting seats, food, and blankets are now add-on services requiring passengers to pay fees. Baggage fees alone contributed $2.7 billion in additional revenue to the airlines in 2011. Overall, passenger fees have increased by $19 per round-trip (from $3 to $22) between 2000 and 2010, according to the industry association Airlines For America. In addition to charging for checked baggage, some airlines are also beginning to charge for carry-on luggage and seat selection.

Reacting to the report’s findings, Open Allies executive director David Kelly commented:

“The Inspector General’s report once again confirms that fees are a growing reality of air travel.  As a result, it is imperative that consumers be provided with airline fee information in a transparent and purchasable format so they can calculate the true all-in (fares+fees+taxes) cost of their travel.  Unfortunately, the airlines are currently refusing to provide this information to travel agents and online travel sites which account for more than 50% of all air travel booked in the U.S.  It’s time for the Department of Transportation to step in and issue a pro-consumer rule requiring the airlines to share fee information in a purchasable format in all the channels through which they sell their airfares.”

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