Delta Air Lines is offering rebates to some travelers who were charged a fee for checking a second bag. The rebate will affect travelers who booked a ticket before the airline announced the fee but were charged the fee.
Capacity cuts will not be enough to help airlines offset the surging cost of jet fuel, according to industry officials. The Air Transport Association is among the groups calling on lawmakers to reign in rampant speculation in the oil market that has contributed to the increase in fuel.
Testifying before Congress today, Northwest Airlines CEO Doug Steenland urged Congress to increase regulation of commodities trading and close loopholes in trading. Steenland noted that fuel is nearly 40% of airlines' operating cost. "If the current pricing dynamic does not change, our industry will be severely challenged and will continue shrinking -- to the detriment of customers, employees and the communities we serve," said Steenland.
A bill designed to close regulatory loopholes that allow commodity speculators to push oil prices upward and profit from the increase was introduced by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., last week. Stupak notes that his bill is in the best interest of consumers, saying that high crude oil prices have devastating effects on the economy.
Seeking to cut fuel costs and carbon emissions, the EU this week will start overhauling its aviation management system. The EU will release proposals on Wednesday. They call for European countries to create larger air traffic control units by 2012.