Washington D.C. – Rather than prepare to do the right thing for their customers, major players from the U.S. airline industry—including American, Delta, and United Airlines—are now suing the Biden administration to block a final rule requiring carriers to be transparent about bagging, flight change, and cancellation charges. The Department of Transportation’s action cracking down on these surprise junk fees is expected to save consumers over half a billion dollars a year. Government watchdog Accountable.US called the lawsuit an unsurprising response from an industry notorious for nickel and diming families with unnecessary hidden fees to help fuel executive compensation and bonuses. 

“Information is power when it comes to saving consumers money, always has been. Yet big airline CEOs who pay themselves millions of dollars claim consumers don’t need to know too much in advance about what they’re really being charged. All the families that wound up paying hundreds more than they expected in recent years might disagree. With each new Biden administration action cracking down on hidden junk fees and lowering costs for everyday families, there’s always greedy corporate executives eager to sue, from big airlines to big pharma to big banks. Instead of price-gouging families more, these CEOs could always pay themselves a little less.”

Accountable.US’ President Caroline Ciccone


  • American Airlines: CEO Robert Isom made nearly $4.9 million in total compensation in 2022. In 2023, American Airlines reported record revenue of approximately $53 billion
  • United Airlines: In 2022, CEO Scott Kirby made over $9.7 million in total compensation. In 2023, United Airlines reported profits increased 255% to $2.6 billion. This profit came after the company saw operating revenue increase 19.5% to $53.7 billion, with “other operating revenue” increasing 15.4% to nearly $3.2 billion
  • Delta Airlines: In 2023, Delta Airlines CEO Edward Bastian made over $34.2 million in total compensation — $24.6 million more than 2022.
  • JetBlue Airlines: In 2023, CEO Robin Hayes made over $10.7 million in total compensation — over $7.3 million more than 2022. 
  • Hawaiian Airlines: In 2023, CEO Peter Ingram made over $4.5 million in total compensation, over $1.5 million more than 2022.
  • Alaska Air Group: In 2023, CEO Ben Minicucci made over $10.3 million in total compensation, over $3.8 million more than 2022.


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