Feds Probe Air Travel Costs


SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN INCLUDING HIS DAUGHTER HOW THIS FATHER WAS DEFENDING HIMSELF ON SENTENCING DAY. GOOD EVENING, I’M ALICE GAINER. I’M KRISTINE JOHNSON. JUST AS EVERYONE IS HEADING OUT ON THEIR SUMMER TRIPS A STORY THAT MAY MAKE YOUR BLOOD BOIL. THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS INVESTIGATING WHETHER AIRLINES ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO KEEP TICKET PRICES HIGH. CBS 2’S JESSICA SCHNEIDER REPORTS. Reporter: THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS NOT SAYING WHICH AIRLINES THEY ARE INVESTIGATING BUT UNITED, SOUTHWEST AND OTHERS HAVE RECEIVED SUBPOENAS. THE QUESTION ALWAYS BOILS DOWN TO THIS SOMETHING THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE LOOK AT: DID MAJOR U.S. CARRIERS WORK TOGETHER TO JACK UP PRICES? AIRLINE TICKET PRICES ARE GOING UP. DOMESTIC AIRFARE RISING 13% FROM 2009 TO 2014. THE DOJ THINKS COLLUSION BETWEEN THE MAJOR AIRLINES IS THE CAUSE. A SPOKESMAN SAYS WE ARE INVESTIGATING POSSIBLE UNLAWFUL COORDINATION BY SOME AIRLINES. AIRLINE PASSENGERS ARE REACTING WITH DISGUST. DOESN’T SURPRISE ME. IT DOESN’T SURPRISE YOU WHY? NOT ONE BIT. BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN MAKING A LOT OF MONEY. THAT’S BEEN COMING OUT. AND IT’S HARDER AND HARDER TO GET SEATS SO IT DOESN’T SURPRISE ME THAT THEY ARE BEING INVESTIGATED FOR THAT. Reporter: DOES IT MAKE YOU ANGRY? OF COURSE. YEAH. AND I FLY FAIRLY FREQUENTLY THE COUNTRY TO THE EAST COAST. AND IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO GET FLIGHT. I FLY A LOT AND I WOULD SAY THEY HAVE GONE UP AT LEAST 10 TO 20% OVER THE LAST FOUR TO TRY TO GET ANY FLIGHTS OUT THIS SUMMER INTO THE FALL. Reporter: SEVERAL AIRLINES CONFIRMED THAT THEY HAVE RECEIVED LETTERS FROM THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DEMANDING COPIES OF ALL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN AIRLINE CARRIERS. THE CIVIL ANTITRUST INVESTIGATION IS FOCUSING ON WHETHER AIRLINES ILLEGALLY SIGNALED TO EACH OTHER HOW QUICKLY THEY WOULD ADD NEW FLIGHTS, ROUTES AND EXTRA SEATS BY WORKING TOGETHER. OFFICIALS ALLEGE THEY COULD KEEP SUPPLY TIGHT MEANING AIRFARE PRICES COULD RISE. WITH SEVERAL MAJOR AIRLINE MERGERS SINCE 2008, AMERICAN, DELTA, SOUTHWEST AND UNITED NOW CONTROL 80% OF THE SEATS IN THE DOMESTIC TRAVEL MARKET. IN THE PAST 7 YEARS THESE AIRLINES HAVE PUBLICLY ELIMINATED FLIGHTS THAT WEREN’T PROFITABLE AND HAVE FILLED A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF SEATS. PEOPLE FLYING SAY IF THIS COLLECTIVE EFFORT TO CHARGE HIGHER PRICES IS TRUE, IT WILL JUST BE ONE MORE BLACK MARK FOR THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY. WE’RE AT THE MERCY HELD HOSTAGE IF YOU NEED TO TRAVEL. SO I’M NOT SURE THERE’S MUCH YOU CAN DO. Reporter: SO A LOT OF FRUSTRATED CUSTOMERS OUT THERE. NOWSCH THE GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION WILL CONTINUE. ALL UNDER THE BACKDROP THAT OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, THE COMBINED PROFITS FOR ALL U.S. AIRLINES WAS $19.7 BILLION.

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