It's hard for a traveler to tell what's going on sometimes in the pot-calling-the-kettle-black wars of the air travel industry. We've covered elsewhere the dispute between the legacy airlines and the Gulf carriers over subsidies and "Open Skies."
The other biggie right now is over the Passenger Facility Charge that's added to all tickets for flights originating in the U.S. Currently it's $4.50, with a maximum of $18 for multi-leg round-trip itineraries.
The airports and their lobbyists want to raise it; they say it's necessary to fund the $75 billion in airport improvement projects they say are needed to bring our airports into the 21st century (and answer all our complaints). They say that air traffic has grown far beyond investment in facilities.
The airlines and their lobby loudly claim that raising the fees will discourage air travel.
To which the airports reply, in essence, "if all your piled-up fees for baggage, for changes, for food, for whatever, didn't turn travelers off, nothing will."
Crowded counters at Tokyo's Narita
Photo: Wikimedia / Nanashinodensyaku