Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, outlined five (more) reasons to reject any increase in the airport tax, also known as the Passengers Facility Charge (PFC).
Some airport executives, despite sitting on record revenues, want American families to pay more every time they fly. Right now there's an effort to double – or more – the PFC, the tax that air passengers pay on top of airfare, for every leg of their flight. A4A previously outlined five reasons to be against this tax increase. Here are five more:
- Don't rob Peter to pay Paul. Paul's already loaded:
Did you know airports have their own trust fund? Last year the Aviation Trust Fund brought in $15.7 billion, but airports didn't use all of it. There's currently a $7 BILLION surplus in the Trust Fund. With this much unobligated money in the bank, why are airports lobbying Congress to tax everyday travelers even more?
- Don't get left holding the bag:
Buying four airline tickets means paying four times the airport tax. When the average family of four travels, they can currently pay $72 in airport taxes (or PFCs), a cost that airports are happy to hide in ticket prices. If a cap on the tax is doubled, as some have suggested, families will have to dole out $144 just to cover the cost of the PFC on a round trip, one-stop ticket. That's money families would rather be spending at Disney or the beach, not filling airports' coffers with their hard-earned cash.
- Airports are sitting on billions of dollars:
Airports would have you believe they are hurting for cash. Hardly. Though PFC tax collections just reached a new all-time high of $3.5 billion last year, they are just one piece of the airport revenue puzzle. Airports also have access to capital through other taxes, private-public partnerships with airlines and city governments, vendor rent and concessions, and parking fees. They have $14.5 billion in cash on hand, not to mention they raked in a record $30 billion in revenues.
- It's the economy, stupid:
Raising taxes on everyone who flies will have a ripple effect that goes beyond the airlines and airports. Hotels and restaurants will take a hit. Local tourist attractions will take a hit, too. Businesses and their employees who make their livings from the traveling public will feel it the hardest.
- Travelers going to and from smaller and rural areas will pay more:
It's important to note that airport taxes, PFCs, are tacked on each time a passenger boards an aircraft during their travel. Travelers flying to smaller rural communities, which require a layover more often than not, will suffer a disproportionate amount of PFC increases in comparison to the rest of the traveling public who frequently has access to direct flights.
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