Dems ask feds to look into airfare price gouging amid Irma threat

Dems ask feds to look into airfare price gouging amid Irma threat
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Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump Tech companies scramble as sweeping data rules take effect Fixing a colossal mistake in the tax bill MORE (D-Mass.) are calling on the Transportation Department to look into possible price gouging by airlines as people seek to leave Florida before Hurricane Irma makes landfall.

In a Wednesday letter, Blumenthal and Markey asked Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoBlankenship third-party bid worries Senate GOP Blankenship to run third-party Senate campaign after losing GOP primary McConnell brother-in-law picked by Trump to lead pension agency MORE to look into reports of skyrocketing ticket prices out of Florida, including one detailing a $3,000 one-way ticket from Miami to New York.

"Airlines certainly have a right to a reasonable return for services rendered and vagaries in pricing are to be expected; but airlines have no right to impose exorbitant, unfair prices on Americans simply trying to get out of harm's way," the senators wrote.

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"It would certainly be offensive if airlines who rely on publicly supported infrastructure and have been bolstered by American taxpayers for nearly a century used this opportunity to impose unconscionable costs on consumers," they wrote.

The suspected price hikes come as Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, barrels through the Caribbean and is set to make landfall in Florida this weekend.

The Transportation Department is authorized to investigate reports of price gouging, and said this week it would look into such reports.