BALTIMORE (WJZ)–The government has opened an investigation into five major airlines following allegations involving price gouging during the deadly Amtrak derailment in May.
WJZ’s Rick Ritter has more on the bombshell allegations.
It’s destruction that’s still hard to take in when Amtrak 188 derailed in Philadelphia killing eight people, including three people from Maryland.
Now, stomach turning allegations after reports of airline fares as high as $2,300 between New York and D.C. prompting an investigation by the Department of Transportation.
That $2,300 ticket is more than five times what that same flight costs today, even if booked at the last minute.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says there is sufficient information to be concerned about.
In a letter, the Department of Transportation instructed five major airlines to turn over fare records for flights between 11 airports from May 12th to May 17th. Those were the days that service was interrupted on Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor after train derailed.
“I’ve been tracking airfares on that route for over 20 years I’ve never seen fares that high,” said George Hobica.
George Hobica is the founder of the website Airfare Watchdog. He says his team noticed the fares spike after the crash.
“I think that the airlines are always trying to get as much as they can for a seat, and in this case I think they maybe went too far,” Hobica said.
All 5 airlines tell CBS News they will fully cooperate. American and United Airlines denied any wrongdoing.
Delta, the airline accused that $2,300 fare says it “Did not increase air fares following the crash” adding it lowered prices, honored existing Amtrak tickets and increased seat capacity.
The investigation will try and determine whether those sky high air fares were a pre-existing part of the airlines fare structure.
The Department of Justice is also conducting an investigation into this incident.