Airlines Accused Of Price Gouging As Amtrak Continues Service Suspension

Via the New York Times:

A check of Delta Air Lines fares at La Guardia Airport at 10 a.m. on Thursday found that a ticket on the 12:30 p.m. shuttle to Washington could be found — for $2,309. But a ticket on the noon shuttle cost $554. Even under ordinary circumstances, airfares can seem something of a mystery, but veteran travelers said that Thursday’s price swings were more extreme than anything they could recall. George Hobica, the founder of, said that while buying a ticket on the same day of travel is always the most expensive option, the fare increases on Thursday were extreme. By raising fares as demand grew, he said, the airlines were “making hay while the sun is not shining.” Fares for Friday shuttles, typically around $250 for a one-way ticket from New York to Washington, cost nearly twice that much if purchased Thursday.

Via The Hill:

A Democratic senator is suggesting that airlines might be gouging passengers with high prices for flights in the Northeast after a deadly Amtrak crash near Philadelphia this week. Reports of high fares “raise questions about whether airlines are increasing prices to unjustifiable levels after this week’s devastating train derailment in Philadelphia,” Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) said Friday. “The airlines should know that they’re under the microscope as those in the Northeast struggle to cope with the fallout of the crash,” he added. “I will follow up with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to ensure that airlines are not gouging travelers whose trains were cancelled.”

Amtrak says that limited service might resume by Tuesday. On Wednesday a House committee approved a Republican measure that would slash 2016 Amtrak funding by nearly $100M. Average weekday ridership on Amtrak’s northeast corridor is about 120,000.