Press Release

Castor introduces amendment to cap exorbitant airline baggage fees

Amendment to rein in baggage fees on consumers endorsed by the U.S. Travel Association

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Washington, April 23, 2018 | comments
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) is urging Congress to protect consumers against increasingly exorbitant baggage fees by adopting her amendment to the five-year FAA reauthorization bill scheduled for a vote this week on the U.S. House Floor.
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Castor introduces amendment to cap exorbitant airline baggage fees

Amendment to rein in baggage fees on consumers endorsed by the U.S. Travel Association

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) is urging Congress to protect consumers against increasingly exorbitant baggage fees by adopting her amendment to the five-year FAA reauthorization bill scheduled for a vote this week on the U.S. House Floor.

U.S. Rep. Castor’s amendment would cap baggage fees by the same amount of the passenger facility charge (PFC) and tie any increase to increases in the PFC. The Castor amendment has been endorsed by the U.S. Travel Association.

For more than a decade, airlines have dramatically hiked the cost of baggage fees – forcing consumers to pay higher fees, while U.S. airlines have profited to the tune of billions of dollars - $4 billion in baggage fees alone in 2016. These baggage fees are not subject to the same federal tax as airfares which help fund the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and support the FAA, instead the costs go directly to airlines’ profits.  In fact, baggage fees were the airlines’ highest area of profit growth, spiking 10 percent in 2016 compared with 2015 -  an increase of about $372 million.  Meanwhile, baggage fees are tacked on to ticket prices, costing consumers an additional $25 or more as more bags are checked in. For the average family of four, this means up to $200 more than the original ticket price.

“Families and travelers are being taken advantage of by airlines who tack on outrageous bag fees to their travel, while airlines profit in the billions. My amendment will rein in exorbitant baggage fees and make travel more affordable for everyone, while helping to  keep our airports competitive.”

U.S. Rep. Castor serves as Vice-Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees issues related to the health of the country’s and especially Florida’s economy - tourism, trade, health care, the environment and telecommunications, among others. Rep. Castor led as the committee previously approved the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill that provided funding for Brand USA, a public-private partnership that helps market U.S. destinations – including Florida -  to international travelers at no cost to taxpayers. Rep. Castor has previously championed other airline consumer protections, including the right to cancel flight reservations made within 24 hours without penalty.

 

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