Last Update: 7:50 PM ET Feb 20, 2007
Seven airlines filed a joint complaint with the Transportation Department in opposition to new terminal charges at Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX.
The airlines expect the charge to increase airfares for travelers and to have a collective financial impact of more than $1 billion over the next 15 to 20 years.
Charges are expected to increase to $56 million from $20 million in the first year alone, said Alaska Air Group Inc.'s (ALK) Alaska Airlines.
The charge, which was imposed Feb. 1 on carriers operating out of terminals 1 and 3, requires airlines to pay as much as 12 times more per square foot than their competitors at other terminals, the airline said.
Alaska Airlines filed the complaint with AirTran Holdings Inc.'s (AAI), AirTran Airways, ATA Airlines, Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc.'s (FRNT) Frontier Airlines, Midwest Air Group Inc.'s (MEH) Midwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) and US Airways Group Inc. (LCC).
Los Angeles World Airports, or LAWA, the agency that operates LAX, said in a written statement that the seven airlines had leases with LAWA that expired between May 2001 and August 2004 and have been operating without a lease ever since.
"The payments made by those airlines since their leases expired have caused LAWA to subsidize the airlines' operations at LAX. Simply put, the complaint the airlines filed seeks to continue to force LAWA to subsidize their operations at LAX in order to boost their bottom lines," Lawa said.
LAWA also said almost half of the proposed increases are attributable to new security costs.
Thttp://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/alaska-a ... F15C9E3%7D