Guam Delegate Challenges United’s ‘Absurd’ Prices

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Guam Del. James Moylan is seeking more information on flights into and out of Guam, including the reasons behind “absurd” prices for United Airlines tickets in the aftermath of Typhoon Mawar. He has written two letters, one to United Airlines CEO and President John Kirby and the other to Guam International Airport Authority Executive Manager John Quinata.

In his letter to Kirby, Moylan took issue with current prices for flights to Guam, which he said ranged between $4,000 and $7,000. He questioned whether price gouging was occurring and stated that these fares warrant congressional intervention and review from the Guam Attorney General.

“I am writing this letter to express my concerns with the absurd costs for one to travel to and from Guam, especially as we face the aftermath of major natural disaster in Guam, which will surely impact our economic activity in an adverse manner over the coming weeks and months,” Moylan wrote in the letter to United.

He shared that in his search for a flight home, the lowest airfare he could get carried a price tag of more than $5,000. Moylan said the airfare cost to Guam after Typhoon Mawar was also the focus of intense Hawaii media coverage.

“In 2022, mainland flight would cost $2,500 to Guam and now those seats exceed $3,000. We need some answers because these types of fares will certainly warrant congressional intervention and review from the Guam Attorney General,” Moylan stated in the letter to Kirby.
Although the nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives said he understood factors such as demand and supply impact airfare costs, he told United that the company needs “to show some compassion.”

United routes between Guam and the mainland are not subject to market forces. The carrier holds a monopoly on all flights connecting the island to the United States.

“Island residents should not be penalized with absurd costs to travel to and from Guam, which is exactly what’s taking place,” Moylan asserted in the letter. He asked Kirby to look at the airfare costs and work with him on a solution.

In his letter to Quinata, Moylan requested a status update on the airport facility and a definite date for inbound and outbound travel to resume. While GIAA announced the airport would be operational by the end of May, Moylan said he wanted to confirm that time frame with the head of the airport.

There have been “too many stories and theories circulating in the community” about when passenger flights will be back, the delegate wrote.

“While I understand that the scheduled date of May 31 as an opening was previously announced, our office would like to know if this is definite,” Moylan asked Quinata.

United Airlines, which enjoys a monopoly on direct flights from Guam to the mainland United States, has come under fire recently for its inflated ticket prices. In comparison to prices for similar distances, United’s Guam-mainland fares stand out as significantly higher. The problem has been exacerbated in the wake of the super typhoon that hit the island.

United Airlines ticket prices have shown no signs of decreasing. This has significant socio-economic implications for the residents of Guam, many of whom depend on these connections for commerce, family visits, and in times like these, recovery support. The call is out for United to voluntarily lower its fares or congressional intervention to prevent such monopolistic price gouging.

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Guam Delegate Challenges United’s ‘Absurd’ Prices

June 2, 2023

Guam Del. James Moylan is seeking more information on flights into and out of Guam, including the reasons behind “absurd” prices for United Airlines tickets in the aftermath of Typhoon Mawar. He has written two letters, one to United Airlines CEO and President John Kirby and the other to Guam International Airport Authority Executive Manager John Quinata.

In his letter to Kirby, Moylan took issue with current prices for flights to Guam, which he said ranged between $4,000 and $7,000. He questioned whether price gouging was occurring and stated that these fares warrant congressional intervention and review from the Guam Attorney General.

“I am writing this letter to express my concerns with the absurd costs for one to travel to and from Guam, especially as we face the aftermath of major natural disaster in Guam, which will surely impact our economic activity in an adverse manner over the coming weeks and months,” Moylan wrote in the letter to United.

He shared that in his search for a flight home, the lowest airfare he could get carried a price tag of more than $5,000. Moylan said the airfare cost to Guam after Typhoon Mawar was also the focus of intense Hawaii media coverage.

“In 2022, mainland flight would cost $2,500 to Guam and now those seats exceed $3,000. We need some answers because these types of fares will certainly warrant congressional intervention and review from the Guam Attorney General,” Moylan stated in the letter to Kirby.
Although the nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives said he understood factors such as demand and supply impact airfare costs, he told United that the company needs “to show some compassion.”

United routes between Guam and the mainland are not subject to market forces. The carrier holds a monopoly on all flights connecting the island to the United States.

“Island residents should not be penalized with absurd costs to travel to and from Guam, which is exactly what’s taking place,” Moylan asserted in the letter. He asked Kirby to look at the airfare costs and work with him on a solution.

In his letter to Quinata, Moylan requested a status update on the airport facility and a definite date for inbound and outbound travel to resume. While GIAA announced the airport would be operational by the end of May, Moylan said he wanted to confirm that time frame with the head of the airport.

There have been “too many stories and theories circulating in the community” about when passenger flights will be back, the delegate wrote.

“While I understand that the scheduled date of May 31 as an opening was previously announced, our office would like to know if this is definite,” Moylan asked Quinata.

United Airlines, which enjoys a monopoly on direct flights from Guam to the mainland United States, has come under fire recently for its inflated ticket prices. In comparison to prices for similar distances, United’s Guam-mainland fares stand out as significantly higher. The problem has been exacerbated in the wake of the super typhoon that hit the island.

United Airlines ticket prices have shown no signs of decreasing. This has significant socio-economic implications for the residents of Guam, many of whom depend on these connections for commerce, family visits, and in times like these, recovery support. The call is out for United to voluntarily lower its fares or congressional intervention to prevent such monopolistic price gouging.

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Pre-Negotiation Surveys at American Airlines are Now Open

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To all Fleet Service Association Members employed at American Airlines:We are contractually permitted to begin Section 6 Negotiations with American Airlines in September of this year. In preparation for those negotiations, we will be surveying all Association Members...

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