Feds Suspect Airlines Are Ripping Us Off

Justice Department launches investigation into collusion
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2015 3:23 PM CDT
Feds Suspect Airlines Are Ripping Us Off
The Justice Department suspects that airlines are acting in cahoots illegally.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

Because extra fees and delayed flights weren't enough reason to sour on airlines, the Justice Department has added one more: Federal investigators suspect that the airlines are colluding to rip off passengers. The Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation and demanded all communication airlines have had with each other about adding flights, routes, or seats, reports AP. The suspicion is that they're sending each other signals about such things in order to keep seats in short supply and prices high.

A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed the investigation, though the airlines aren't named. The Washington Post reports that United is one of them, and both stories point out that United, American, Delta, and Southwest now handle 80% of all domestic passengers, making the other recipients of the feds' letter not hard to guess. One sign that something isn't right: Domestic airfare shot up 13% from 2009 to 2014, after a series of industry mergers. (Read more air travel stories.)

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