• New report says fares rising, fewer flights for flying

    By: Scott MacFarlane


     Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is one of only a few in the nation that has seen an increase in flights.

    A new U.S. transportation department investigation found nearly every airport nationwide has been chopping flights in the past five years.

    On the eve of this frantic holiday travel weekend, the U.S. transportation department released a wide-ranging investigation of U.S. travel.

    It confirms fares are rising and airlines are slashing the number of flights from which you can choose.

    Delta and US Airways in particular have about 15 percent fewer flights since 2007.

    The report also states these aren't "brief" trends, but a "shift in the industry that will remain for years to come."

    "We've lost over 160,000 jobs, a third of our workforce. The economy and lack of national airline policy have made it difficult for airlines to be profitable," said Sean Kennedy, senior vice president for Airlines for America.

    More than anything, the government's investigation of the airline industry finds you are paying more now for baggage fees.

    Airlines earned a $2.7 billion charging you to check baggage. They're also padding their bottom lines by filling more vacant seats.

    The cost airlines pay for fuel has soared. The recession took a big bite out of the business too.

    Federal regulators said those new fees and the cramped flights helped the airline industry survive.

    Like passengers on a cross country flight, they'll be here for the long haul.

    The federal government said the cost of many ticket prices has jumped $50 since 2000, but the industry says prices are lower now if you factor in inflation.

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