Airlines dodge legislation aimed at curbing excessive fees
WASHINGTON - A Senate panel has approved an aviation policy bill after a partisan fight over whether airlines are unfairly gouging consumers with fees for basic services like checked bags, seat assignments and ticket changes.
The Senate commerce committee approved by a voice vote a bill to continue the Federal Aviation Administration's authority to operate through Oct. 1, 2017. That authority is currently due to expire on March 31.
The committee's Democrats led by Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., tried to add a provision to the bill to prohibit airlines from setting unreasonable fee prices and direct the Department of Transportation to establish what is reasonable.
The amendment failed on a tie, party-line vote.
Republicans said the provision would be burdensome for airlines and market forces should be allowed to determine fee prices.