Sometimes simple questions demand simple answers, and this is one of those times: If the cost of fuel is going down, why is my goddamn plane ticket so expensive?
Senator Chuck Schumer does not currently have an answer to that question, but he's determined to find one. In 2010, a barrel of oil would set you back $100. This year, however, prices have plummeted to just $60. Airline tickets have gone up more than 10 percent over the past five years. Huh.
"The No. 1 cost for an airline is fuel, and fuel prices are way down,” Schumer said. “Why are ticket prices still going up? Why isn’t the consumer getting some benefit here?”
Thus, Schumer has called for an investigation by both the Department of Justice and Department of Transportation, positing that perhaps airline mergers have contributed to the increasing cost. If that's not it, he would like to know why airlines are profiting so handsomely from consumers—the industry is expected to net $19.9 billion in 2014 and $25 billion in 2015, up from $11 billion in 2013.
“With so little competition, will the consumer never get a break?” he said. “It is outrageous.”