“Today’s vote is welcome news for airline customers who deserve to know how much of their advertised ticket price is due to rapidly increasing federal taxes,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “We applaud the leadership of Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Tom Graves (R-GA) in making airfare more transparent by enabling travelers to clearly see how much of their advertised ticket price is in reality going to Washington in federal taxes.”
Calio noted that commercial aviation and its customers pay up to 17 different aviation taxes and fees, totaling more than $19 billion in FY 2013. Following last week’s more than doubling of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Passenger Security Fee, nearly $63, or 21 percent, of a typical $300 domestic round-trip ticket is actually federal taxes and fees in disguise. Under current law, many consumers shop for travel, unaware how the higher TSA fee or the other federally imposed taxes are impacting their advertised airfare prices.
Current law, which requires airlines to include taxes in the base advertised price, makes airfares appear artificially higher and less competitive when compared with other modes of travel, Calio said, which ultimately depresses demand and impacts jobs and the economy. The Transparent Airfares Act would ensure that airline customers know exactly how much of their ticket price is attributable to federal taxes and fees, and still know the full price of air travel before they purchase a ticket. In this respect, the legislation would simply allow airlines to do what virtually every American industry does – advertise the pre-tax price of their products.
“Passage of the Transparent Airfares Act is an important step in delivering the transparency customers need and deserve, while holding Washington accountable for arbitrary tax hikes that unnecessarily drive up the cost of travel,” Calio said.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive nearly $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 11 million U.S. jobs. Airlines for America (A4A) vigorously advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation's economy and global competitiveness. Our member carriers and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic.
America needs a cohesive National Airline Policy that will support the integral role the nation's airlines play in connecting people and goods globally, spur the nation's economic growth and create more high-paying jobs. A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor groups, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.
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