How to Spot and Report an Airline That Is Price Gouging to the Government

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How to Report Airline Price Gouging to Government

Airlines may take advantage of a natural calamity or a global pandemic like the Coronavirus and charge their clients exaggerated high prices to gain from their plight. Most states in the US have set rules that limit price gouging and allow you to .

Amid a crisis, the last thing anyone needs from an airline is daylight extortion through price gouging. But, how do you report an airline to the government for price gouging? While this might be a daunting question to most people, the harder part is to provide solid proof of the price gouging claims.

provides an easy way out as they help you get the evidence you need, get more details on the case through the chatbot, and draft a demand letter for you to help you get started.

What Qualifies as Price Gouging in an Airline?

In general, price gouging is when merchants take unfair advantage of consumers during an emergency or disaster by significantly increasing the prices for essential consumer goods and services. They try to profit from vulnerable consumers who have no choice but to pay these absurdly high prices.

Price gouging can happen anywhere, including merchants like:

When this happens, you must know the steps to take to get it solved.

Today, it's common to hear complaints of people who have had to buy overly expensive air tickets in an attempt to catch the last flight to their destination. This might make the impression that the airline is taking advantage of their situation to charge more.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people were rushing to return to their countries before the lockdowns that would prevent traveling between countries. Some airlines would take advantage of such a rush-hour situation to charge their customers more.

With these arguments, you can tell that an airline might be guilty of price gouging if they hike the prices unfairly to benefit from an emergency or a serious situation facing their consumers.

How Do You Spot Price Gouging in Airlines?

to compensate for empty flight costs when they have been flying without passengers. However, there are cases where they hike prices to meet the rising demand for tickets. This is what people may call price gouging.

There's yet no clear way to identify price gouging in an airline, but there are obvious signs you can look out for. You'll know its price gouging when you notice any of the following:

  • Unreasonably High Prices

While some airlines charge higher than others depending on the quality of their services, there's a range at which they are expected to remain. Pricing the tickets at three or more times higher than other airlines offering the same quality can be price gouging.

  • The Demand for Travel Is Due to an Emergency or Disaster

If an airline takes advantage of the consumers' need to travel urgently and spike the prices unfairly, that can certainly qualify as price gouging.

  • Significant Price Increase Within a Short Time

Someone claimed to have booked a flight at $800, but the prices significantly rose to $4500 on the return ticket. This ridiculously high price on the return ticket could qualify as price gouging.

Other telltale signs that may indicate a business is involved in price gouging:

A significant increase in the prices of essential goods

While businesses can increase their prices for necessities during an emergency, it is against the law to raise the prices excessively to take advantage of the situation.

A vast difference in prices between two similar products

When you compare two similar products, significant increases in prices may indicate price gouging. For example, if one hand sanitizer costs twice as much as identical goods, it may be considered price gouging.

What Should You Do if an Airline Is Price Gouging?

If you notice that an airline is illegally price gouging, you can take one of two actions:

  1. Report the airline to the government. Once your report is filed with the transportation department, they will start an investigation and prosecute the airline.
  2. Sue the airline or start a class action. Depending on your state, you may be entitled to a refund for the purchase and restitution, and damages.

How to Sue an Airline for Price Gouging Using DoNotPay

As mentioned earlier, following through with a price-gouging case might be quite hectic and bear fewer fruits if you don't have solid proof of price gouging. Simply put, if you must sue an airline for price gouging to the government, you must be sure to provide enough evidence because the airline will come out strongly to defend their price increase.

Through , we'll help you collect evidence against the merchant by generating a fake credit card that you can use for the transaction. We'll then help you file a demand letter with the evidence requesting compensation.

All you have to do is:

  1. Open the Price Gouging Protection product on DoNotPay
  2. Generate a fake credit card to use with the merchant
  3. Complete the transaction with the fake credit card
  4. Save a photo of the transaction as evidence and start the demand letter process
  5. Answer a few questions through our chatbot about the merchant and transaction

And that's it! DoNotPay will generate the demand letter with the evidence on your behalf and request monetary compensation from the merchant!

Why Use DoNotPay to Sue an Airline for Price Gouging?

It's frustrating when you have to sue an airline for price gouging, yet you are not sure whether your evidence will hold or not. DoNotPay is a great choice for such instances because it is:

  • Fast – When suing an airline, the faster you get the results, the better because if it delays, you may not get the justice you need. DoNotPay gets it done in a short time.
  • Convenient – DoNotPay helps you get the evidence you need, and you can use it conveniently for your case.
  • Reliable – You can count on DoNotPay to help you through the process until you get a refund for money lost to the airline.


If an airline is practicing price gouging, it should be reported to the government, and action should be taken against it. If you are wondering how to get started, check out DoNotPay's price gouging product page for the information you need.

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