Back to Squawk list
  • 28

Biden Wants To Crack Down On Airline Fees To Increase Competition In The Industry

The Biden administration wants to crack down on extra fees and require refunds if your bags arrive late or the Wi-Fi doesn't work. As NPR's David Schaper reports from Chicago, it's part of a broader effort to try to increase competition in the airline industry. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Bob Pope 13
I'm more upset with the fees hotel charge after the fact like Valet only parking $39.00 per day resort fee for stuff I'm not using
Larry Easton 10
It is a wonder that you don't have to insert money to open the bathroom door! Wait! that might give airlines an idea.
alex hidveghy 4
Ryanair of Europe already tried that one! Needless to say, it didn’t exactly go down well……
matt jensen 1
We used to have to do that! I remember putting a dime into the slot and turning the knob to enter.
alex hidveghy 1
Ha, not on an airliner, you didn’t!!🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🙄
For $69, Freddy Laker flew me from HNL to SFO. 'Nuff said.
Did Sir Freddie fly that route? I thought the Skytrain pretty much stuck to the Atlantic routes. Anyway, $69 in, say, 1976 (during the height of Sir Freddie's empire!) is equivalent to about $340 today. I just looked up an HNL-SFO roundtrip on Hawaiian for $358. So it can still be done.

Ah, Laker Skytrain... I'm getting all nostalgic now lol
D Kaufman 1
That's why they went backrupt.
ImperialEagle 2
Uhhh, no, they went bankrupt because of "Corporate and Government Warfare". Neither their competition and their lobbyists, nor the IATA Consortium and their lobbyists were going to allow Laker to exist for long and the DC-10 debacle was their "perfect-storm".
djsailor 7
Actually, it is the airlines that are out of control and need to be controlled. When I buy a ticket at a said price, I then find out it is actually $100 or more for taking two bags each way. Let alone all the fees for headsets, Wi-Fi for entertainment, etc. I need to fly from point A to B and back. I have to use an airline since I don’t want to take a few weeks on a ship. All the airlines jumped onto the ‘fees’ bandwagon since these fees are also not taxed. It is pure profit for them. It is a way of cheating the tax system also.
chugheset 5
The airlines only charge what the market will support. Sorry bud, but you've got to read the fine print (and for God's sake don't fly Spirit).
Ohio2Montana 4
If the public only new what it really costs to run a a legacy airline....they can cut payroll,hedge fuel prices, after that most everything is a crapshoot especially during bad weather,even the heat causes many problems with revenue.

I don't mind the alacart pricing if it keeps the base fare lower, I can choose to add the extras if I want.
Yeah, get the government involved. They always make things cheaper...
alex hidveghy -1
There are definitely things they do better and should do. Without regulation you would have nothing but anarchy.
Nic Tanner 2
Name one thing the bloated federal government can manage and run "better" than the private sector businesses can themselves. If government were a business, it would have been bankrupt LONG ago.
Ohio2Montana 6
Ahem,,,Get rid of the govt taxes!!
Not seeing all that promised infrastructure with the new taxes.
Kinda like telephone taxes ...supposed to give everyone better internet!!! Years have went by,,,tax payer money wasted on everything else.

[This poster has been suspended.]

planeguy53 6
$40. BS try adding ALL the taxes, TSA, Landing, etc. more like over $100!

[This poster has been suspended.]

matt jensen 1
Oh you just didn't pay for the fuel surcharge yet
steve carter 8
The Government is totally out of control
EMK69 8
The Feds seriously need to stay the hell out of the private sector's business. Supply and demand will take care of this not more Gov Intrusion.
Mike Bogue 23
When was the last time you had an issue with an airline and tried to get a refund for undelivered services? Supply and demand doesn't work when the major players are in lockstep with each other.
saso792 -7
When was the last time you had an issue with the Federal Government and tried to get a refund for undelivered services? Maybe Biden and the government should lead by example. Remember his hype of, "everyone will get $2,000 if I'm elected".
boughbw 7
Did Biden hold-up COVID payments so his name could appear on the check? Which guy did that?
You may have a point. I never got a refund on the Iraq War I didn't order.
Russ Nelson -2
They can only be in lockstep with each other because the government reduces competition by demanding that everybody does the same thing, like cut extra fees and requiring refunds if your bags arrive late or the Wi-Fi doesn't work.

Yes, there isn't enough competition, but reducing the differences between airlines is absolutely the opposite thing to do. Biden is Opposite Man (not that Trump was any better).
Alain Duncan -1
Right on the money, Russ.
boughbw 10
This is capitalism. When you upset enough consumers that they turn to the government to regulate businesses, it is absolutely capitalism.
James Eaton -7
The less government has to do with regulating anything to do with how a commercial operation is conducted the better, otherwise any interference is actually socialism.
Allowing competition to flourish (without governmental interference) is the hallmark of capitalism.
David Rice 15
Absolutely. Let’s let airlines set their own safety protocols without having them meet government set standards, aka “regulations”. I’m sure none of the commercial air carriers will skimp on maintenance, right? /S

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

alex hidveghy 3
As did Boeing a few years ago with the B737 MAX,
How did that turn out? Why did their CEO resign and Boeing have to pay out a few million bucks for cutting corners and coming up to the agenda by using their very own inspections to approve certain processes?

That sure worked out fine for everybody, didn’t it? Let’s have completely unfettered capitalism since it works so very well. just ask all those very airlines how they loved their fleet being grounded for over 2 years losing revenue when they could least afford it and Boeing’s reputation severely tarnished.

Sounds great to me! Let’s do it again, I’m sure it will work fine in the end…..
Alain Duncan -1
Alex, nobody is forcing you to fly on a 737 Max. You can make my own choices about what planes to fly on. You don't need Mommy Government to tell you what to do.
Alain Duncan -1
To the downvoters, what gives you the right to tell me who I can hire to fly me to a given destination? Please tell me...
boughbw 10
Not at all. Democracy is capitalism in governance. People choose the government and laws they want. If commercial capitalism engages in monopolistic tendencies (which happens when there are limited choices such as we have now in the airline industry) that degrade competition and abuse consumers, then consumers have recourse by implementing laws through government constraining abusive practices.

If I want to fly to Europe for a vacation, I have a limited range of choices and a smaller number of times I might choose. If an airline sells me goods and services it doesn't intend to deliver and does not deliver, then it will not feel the absence of my dollars from choosing a different airline the next time I vacation in Europe, if that occasion ever arises. More to the point, it will have profited from me paying for goods and services that went undelivered. Under the present system there is no downside for the airlines abusing consumers.

Take your argument now: The airlines should not be responsible for refunding customers' luggage fees if their luggage is lost or arrives later than is reasonable? Why not? If the airline sells customers wifi, why shouldn't they refund their money if it doesn't work? If the government does not take consumer complaints seriously and enforce basic principles of commerce (you should get what you pay for) then there is no incentive for any airline to ever deliver a good or service for what has been purchased. And what are you going to do -- buy a ticket with a different airline clipping its customers the same way? It is a race to the bottom among airlines that has produced the present system, not burdensome regulation.
alex hidveghy 4
Sure, no regulations or rules, right?

Let’s have a free for all with airlines doing whatever they want, no questions asked, right? Let’s not license the pilots or mechanics, right? No need is there? Anyone can put on a uniform and fly a B787, right, no training, no standards required, right?

You live in fantasy land. This is not about politics, it’s about safety and having a viable concern. I can tell you straight, any airline that fails to meet the required standards will not last long and will be grounded quicker than you can say socialism!!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

loubearr 6
Remember so many years ago when the Airlines got the temporary $25 fuel baggage surcharge? THAT WAS SUPPOSE TO BE TEMPORARY. It's still there. The Government has given the Airlines BILLIONS of dollars in bailouts but the temporary $25 fuel baggage surcharge is still there.
Why is it still there and why aren't we the flying public demanding that it be removed. What's wrong with us?
ADXbear 6
Has this administration done enough economic damage having out trillions more in handouts? They do need to stay out of private business, it creates its own competition.
boughbw 7
Businesses were the direct beneficiaries from the stimulus checks. People spent the money.
How many people flew Uncle Sam Airways anyway?
Robert Cowling -8
Many other countries treated their citizens like real people, and provided monetary support during the pandemic, but not America! America treated their citizens like leeches, like parasites, like ungrateful animals who should be grateful that they are ALLOWED to continue to exist in this country.

Unemployment cuts are disgusting! People are being thrown out of their homes, and are having to choose between working and taking care of their children, and between working and being exposed to the virus, and being safe, and not becoming sick.

I am disgusted at the complete lack of empathy and respect the government of this country (primarily republicans!) has shown for people, citizens' trying to survive this hellacious self created mess. IF the politicians had taken this pandemic more seriously, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now! I'll repeat that for you: IF POLITICIANS HAD TAKEN THIS PANDEMIC SERIOUSLY, WE WOULDN'T BE IN THE MESS WE ARE NOW!

The pandemic effected the 'economy', and it will continue to negatively effect it for the next few years! Supporting the citizens of this country is WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS FOR! If the government (republicans mostly) can't wake the hell up and realize that's why there IS a government, they need to be forced out of office.

The pandemic is real, it's killing thousands, again, a day. Vaccines work! Masks work! Providing unemployment coverage WORKS! Respecting human beings WORKS!

And if you knew how many TRILLIONS are given to industries that pollute and sicken us, I would hope you would be just as furious.
Phil Howry 8
Passion-driven, finger pointing, blind bias inherently creates problems and blindly accuses others of wrong doing; while never presenting solutions and/or accepting responsibility. When you point your finger at others, three fingers are pointing back at you.

Fair-minded, intelligent, discussion of issues produces informed analysis leading to constructive solutions.
Greg S 8
Hey, Robert, thanks for putting the dunce cap on again. It looks right on you, and it's a perfect fit!
Mike Mohle 7
Our CDC has ONE JOB, and they failed at it (Disease Control and PREVENTION), and in fact, had a hand in initiating what become the "Pandemic". Govt boobs cannot solve problems, only make them worse. And worse yet, they rarely get fired. Same with this issue, govt needs to stay out of it. Additionally, we are told daily that WE are problem with new COVID infections, while at the same time, our own govt is actively importing illegal aliens WITH The Covid and distributing them around the county -- could there be a connection Mr. Nacelle?
Tom Bruce 2
aw Robert...I've missed your tirades...
ksmith610 2
There are an awful lot of trumpanzees here, proving their stupidity and arrogance, and by garsh I bet none of them are vaccinated because “freedom.” But it’s ok because doing so makes the gene pool cleansing that much more effective and efficient.
waynej007 -2
none of your business whether or not i'm vaxed! prove masks work! by garsh, looks like controlling the voter public since another election coming up (can't come soon enough!). biden can be relegated down to the basement where the administration wants him so he "doesn't get in trouble" by answering questions on his own.

only thing I want gov't to regulate is airliner safety. bring back the old flying model from 70's / 80's.
Yes, Please! When the government regulated fares! The airlines couldn't compete on price (they all had to charge the same fare for the same route), so they competed on service. "We have the widest seats in the sky!" "Free Champagne!" And in some cases, "Hot Stewardesses!" (it was the '70s, after all lol). These days, I just fly First Class. Today's prices in First are about the same or less than Coach tickets were pre-deregulation. As for flying Steerage, at least one has the choice these days. Back in the '70s, one either paid the equivalent of today's First Class prices, or, if one couldn't afford that, the only other choice was Greyhound.
Russ Nelson -5
You mean the same government which told doctors not to prescribe Ivermectin?
The same government which tried to create its own vaccine and utterly failed?
The same government which told people to wipe everything down, then two months later changed its mind but forgot to tell people "wiping things doesn't stop COVID because it's an airborne aerosol"
The same government which forced people to wear masks which aerosols easily penetrate?

Yes, yes, that government.
Ivermectin lol.
Mike Murphy 0
Let's spend more trillions
Caleb Helmuth 0
Were you trying to break the record amount of downvotes?
Greg S 3
Naturally, since it's NPR, there is no questioning or explaining the central premise: that interfering in private companies' fee decisions increases competition. *How* does it increase competition? Answer: it doesn't.

Fees may be annoying but they are a way for airlines to charge people who use services while not charging people who don't. Without fees the basic ticket price will have to go up, and people who don't use, say, checked bags, will end up subsidizing those who do.
Bruce Horwitz 5
Greg - Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. The marginal cost of the "services" is nowhere near the fee charged. In fact, sometimes there is no marginal cost... like paying to pick your seat instead of having it assigned at flight time. What the airlines are doing is more akin to extortion... essentially saying "Hey buddy, if you don't fork over the seat selection fee then you will end up in the middle seat against the lavatory bulkhead and your spouse will be 10 rows away sitting between two obnoxious strangers."
alex hidveghy 0
Gee, Bruce, I have no idea how the airlines managed WITHOUT all the nickel and dining fees some 20 PE 30 years ago!

Do you??
Russ Nelson -2
Exactly, and the marginal cost of a hardcover vs softcover is nowhere near the price difference charged. It's a way to extort more money from the reading public... essentially saying "Hey buddy, if you don't fork over the hardcover fee, you're going to end up with a softcover book, and you don't want THAT, do you?"

By "Kool-Aid(tm)" do you mean orthodox economic understanding? Sadly, yes, you do.
Bruce Horwitz 5
Really? Price aside, many people prefer softcover (or ebook or audiobook) over heavy hardcover and are happy to pay less for those other forms. Publishers want to sell more books so they offer these different forms to meet consumer desires. (for example, I have rarely purchased a hardcover book but have purchased paperbacks because I toss most paperbacks after I've read them.)

Airlines do not offer seat selection and assigned seats as a way to sell more tickets. They realized that something they had to do anyway (assign seats) could be monetized at no marginal cost by playing on the "fears" of passengers that they would be assigned crappy seats. Selling something to allay a fear that you created is what extortion is all about.
Russ Nelson 0
It's called "price differentiation". Same reason you can get the same book in hardcover form or softcover form or ebook form or audiobook form.
chugheset 1
Maybe they should just concentrate on reducing the fees they charge (security, tax, COVID tests) rather then telling the airlines what to charge.
SkyAware123 1
The whole checked bag fee thing needs to go. This will reduce the crowded overhead bins that always fill up since the checked bags bs started. And it's true, there is no competition anymore.
Don De Pol -1
Screw Biden. He does everything wrong. He will kill the airlines. Spend money on infrastructure and airspace.
alex hidveghy 2
Explain. Explanations with details usually help credible posts…..


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.