Republican and Democrat Team Up to Tackle Airline Prices

Photo by Pascal Meier on Unsplash

( – The Airport Gate Competition Act introduced by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is seeking to reduce prices for consumers while also increasing competition in the airline industry. 

The bill was introduced on Tuesday and is looking to increase the number of common-use gates that airlines can use. Supporters of the bill have argued that this is going to give smaller air carriers more chances to compete with the “big five” airlines. 

The giant airlines, or “big five” are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. 

In a statement, Warren pointed out that often those airlines will lease airport gates for decades at a time in an attempt to reduce competition. As she pointed out, this results in leaving gates empty while reducing the chances of smaller low-cost airlines running their operations in those airports. She continued by arguing that not only were these actions by the dominant airlines wrong but they were also increasing the costs for flyers. 

The larger airlines are able to have control of a high number of gates at their hub airports while also negotiating better prices for the purchasing of airplanes. 

The legislation is going to increase the common-use gates available to small airlines, which would in turn reduce their operating costs while increasing their ability to utilize their share of gates. In a statement, Hawley argued that the new Act is going to open up the doors to make flying cheaper and easier. He added that the consolidation in the airline industry was just leading to higher costs for Americans while benefiting large corporations. 

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