Washington D.C. – While overall inflation is slowing and costs are coming down for American consumers this year, many corporations from the airline to food distribution industries are desperately fighting against this trend this holiday season in order to pad their profits, an Accountable.US analysis finds.

Corporations’ own stuffed profit reports show airline fees and food prices do not need to be so high this holiday season, but too many CEOs simply can’t help themselves and give in to their greedy impulses. It’s a reminder why conservatives in Congress should be helping the Biden administration combat junk fees and corporate price-gouging, not giving thanks to their industry donors who nickel and dime everyday families,” said Accountable.US’ Liz Zelnick.


AIRLINE INDUSTRY: The 2023 holiday season in the United States is expected to be the “busiest ever” with an estimated 30 million passengers expected to fly between November 17 and November 28, 2023. The International Air Transport Association—a trade association representing 83% of total global air traffic—forecasted the industry would see nearly $10 billion in profits during 2023, up from $4.7 billion forecasted in December 2022. 

Meanwhile, online platform NetVoucherCodes found in August 2023 that Americans pay on average $78.04 on hidden or deceptive fees on flights, significantly higher than European counterparts who pay $57.79. This comes at a time when the Biden administration aims to hold greedy companies accountable, with the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Transportation proposing rules aimed at ending airlines’ and other companies’ deceptive practices siphoning money from American consumers. 

FOOD INDUSTRY: The price of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is expected to be the second highest on record, according to an annual survey taken by the American Farm Bureau Federation. American families can expect to pay on average $61.17 for a dinner for 10, up a staggering 25% from 2019. Meanwhile, a roundup of recent earnings shows that grocers and food companies are doing quite well, lining shareholder pockets at the expense of American consumers, including Walmart, Target, and Kraft Heinz: 

  • Walmart—the largest U.S. grocery chain controlling over 25% of the market—has hiked prices on its “Great Value” food brands and saw its net income climb by over 93.2% to over $10.5 billion in the nine months ending October 31, 2023, as it rewarded its shareholders with over $5.9 billion through a combination of share buybacks and cash dividends.
  • Targetcontrolling 3.5% of the market—saw its net earnings climb to over $2.7 billion during the nine months ending October 28, 2023, a 44.7% increase YoY, while giving its shareholders just over $1.5 billion in dividends.
  • Kraft Heinz—maker of popular food brands Stove Top and Kraft Mac and Cheese—rewarded its shareholders with over $1.4 billion in dividends as the food maker raked in over $2 billion in profits in the first nine months of 2023, a staggering 41% increase from 2022.
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