Proposal would increase fees on passengers at airports nationwide

ATLANTA — A proposal currently under consideration would increase the Passenger Facilities Charge (PFC) at airports nationwide from $4.50 to $8.50 for departing flights, a move that would cost travelers millions annually.

If approved, the charge would bring in an additional $3.2 billion in taxes. It would increase from $63 to $78 the fee on an average $300 round-trip ticket.

“Airline passengers already pay over $20 billion a year in taxes for the tickets they purchase. Adding another $3.2 billion tax hike on American travelers simply cannot be justified,” Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said in a statement. “The truth of the matter is that airports are flush with cash. It is disingenuous at best for Congress to repeatedly saddle traveling families and businesses with tax-hike after tax-hike while airports are sitting on billions in unused funds.

“Congress has access to over $7 billion in unobligated tax revenue sitting idle in the aviation trust fund that could be used instead of raising taxes,” Calio added. “Choosing to increase this tax is a completely unnecessary poke in the eye and wallet of air travelers. We urge Senators on both sides of the aisle to stand with the 2.4 million people who fly every day by sending a message that tax hikes simply won’t fly.”

In a statement, Delta Air Lines said it “strongly opposes the proposal.”

“A record $3.6 billion in airport PFC taxes is already forecast to be collected this year; an additional tax increase is not only unnecessary but also harmful,” the airline said. “Studies by the U.S. Government Accountability Office repeatedly conclude that for every $1 increase in the PFC, passenger demand declines by more than 1 percent.

“Delta has invested more than $7 billion in airport projects in the last decade, and it will invest an additional $12 billion in the years ahead,” the statement continues. “Other major U.S. carriers are making significant investments of their own. In light of these and other resources already available to airports, hard-working Americans should not have to abide another tax increase on their plane tickets.”

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