Los Angeles Times
Airline pricing after crash probed
WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Friday his department was opening an investigation into allegations of price-gouging by five airlines after a deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia in May curtailed train service for days in the Northeast.
The Transportation Department was sending letters Friday to Delta, American, United, Southwest and Jet Blue seeking information on allegations they “raised fees beyond what you’d normally expect,” Foxx said. “We have sufficient information to be concerned about it.”
The inquiry is separate from a Justice Department investigation already underway, he said.
The May 12 derailment left eight dead and injured more than 200.
“The idea that any business would seek to take advantage of stranded rail passengers in the wake of such a tragic event is unacceptable,” Foxx said.
Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said that the airline didn’t raise fares after the train crash. American said it added capacity and its fare structure remained the same after the crash. United, JetBlue and Southwest said they were cooperating with the investigation.
Amtrak services between Philadelphia and New York were shut down for five days following the accident. That affected passengers traveling through that region. For example, passengers couldn’t travel from Washington to Boston or New York, or from Boston to Philadelphia or Baltimore.
Amtrak says its service accounted for 78% of the airrail market between New York and Washington and 69% between New York and Boston last year.