Ahead of Holidays, Schumer Slams High Cost of Flying (Video)

Schumer wants to know why airlines are adding a fuel surcharge with fuel prices on the decline. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

How does a senator spend his only off-day during the end-of-session holiday rush? If you're Charles E. Schumer, you go home to New York and hold a news conference about the high price of airline tickets.  

"What adds insult to injury is a lot of the airlines, when prices were going up added a surcharge, a fuel surcharge. Well, that fuel surcharge is still on the tickets even though prices are going down," said Schumer, the No. 3 man in Senate Democratic leadership.  

"At a time when the cost of fuel is plummeting and profits are rising, it is curious and confounding that ticket prices are sky-high and defying economic gravity," Schumer said in a statement. "So I'm urging the feds to step in and do a price investigation on behalf of consumers who must buy holiday travel tickets that can break the bank."  

Specifically, Schumer is seeking investigations from both the Justice and Transportation Departments. He wants those probes to include a look at any effects of mergers in the airline business on commercial airfares for consumers, as WPIX reported.  

The Senate was in session until late Dec. 16 to clear the more than $1 trillion catch-all spending bill keeping the government funded. Senators also faced a marathon session of votes, working through procedural votes to lay the groundwork for confirmation of a couple dozen of President Barack Obama's nominees starting Monday evening, giving Schumer plenty of time to travel to New York and back.