Lawmaker Calls for Federal Probe of High Airline Fares

airline prices, Naperville business law attorneyIf you to make business-related travel arrangements for yourself or your employees, be prepared to take a hit to your bottom line, especially when you require airline tickets. Depending on the nature of your business and your travel needs, you may struggle to find reliable, inexpensive flights that allow you to conveniently reach your needed destinations.

As a business law attorney, I am acutely aware of the challenges that many owners face when trying to make affordable travel arrangements. With airline ticket prices, for the most part, remaining at high levels, it can be very difficult for you to connect with out-of-town clients and opportunities, and at least one lawmaker wants to know why fares cannot be lowered.

Upstart Competition

Over the last year or so, smaller airlines like Spirit and Frontier have been growing quickly, fueled in part by deeply discounted fares between major airports in big cities. The Big Four in the industry—American, Delta, United, and Southwest—have largely kept pace with the one-way or direct round-trip deals. According to reports, however, the big players are asserting themselves and preventing online ticketing engines from bundling the low fares for multi-city travel, thus increasing these fares by hundreds of dollars per ticket. Airline officials claim that these limits affect a very small number of travelers. Experts counter, however, that business flyers are the most likely to feel the sting.

What Is Going On?

In an example reported by the Chicago Tribune, a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Chicago, then back to Los Angeles booked all at once was priced at more than $1,260. Purchasing each ticket separately—on the exact same flights—reduced the price by more than half to around $450. A similar example found nearly identical results for a trip from Newark, NJ, to Los Angeles to San Francisco, and back to Newark. United States Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, is demanding answers from Anthony Foxx, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

“It shouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars more,” Menendez observed at a press conference last month. “You’re riding the same plane, with the same crew, using the same amount of jet fuel, even sitting in the same seat.” Menendez sent a letter to the Transportation Department asking for a study into the issue, which, as one might expect, airline representatives claim is unnecessary. Officials from the Department have acknowledged receipt of the letter and say that Sen. Menendez will receive a direct response.

Making Smart Business Decisions

While discussions continue regarding the state of the air travel industry, you, as a business owner, must continue to do what is best for your company. The experienced Naperville business attorneys at The Gierach Law Firm can help. Contact our office and we will work with you in developing a strategy for managing your business and balancing your operating budget, even factoring in the uncertainty of travel expenses. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a confidential consultation today.



The Economist

Chicago Tribune