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A4A Applauds Committee Approval of Shuster-DeFazio Legislation to Restore Transparency of Airfare Taxes

April 11, 2014 Association No Comments Email Email

Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today applauded the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s passage of legislation ensuring airline customers are aware of exactly how much of their ticket price goes to federal taxes and still know the full price of travel before they purchase.

The Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, bipartisan legislation introduced by Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), would end the ability for the government to bury ticket tax hikes in advertised prices by reversing the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) misguided Full Fare Advertising (FFA) Rule. The DOT fundamentally changed U.S. airline price advertising practices in 2012 when it imposed the FFA rule requiring that federal taxes and fees be included in the base price of an advertised fare. This reduces transparency and treats airfare advertising differently than advertising for virtually all other consumer products, rendering air travel less price competitive when compared with other modes of travel.

“Air travel remains one of the best bargains for consumers, but that affordability is imperiled by rising government taxes and fees,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “We thank Chairman Shuster and Representative DeFazio for their leadership in promoting government transparency, protecting customers and holding Washington accountable for the taxes they impose on air travel.”

Calio noted that commercial aviation, which helps support more than 10 million jobs, is already shouldering an excessive tax burden that has increased nearly thirtyfold since 1972. The 17 different taxes and fees imposed on aviation and its customers totaled more than $19 billion last year alone. On a typical $300 roundtrip domestic ticket, customers pay $61 in federal taxes, or 20 percent of the ticket price. That number will increase to $63, or 21 percent, in July when the TSA passenger security tax more than doubles – from $2.50 to $5.60, costing passengers more than $1 billion annually.

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