I guess it was bound to come to this.

As everyone knows, Congress could not agree on a 21st extension of FAA’s authorization. Not only will FAA have to cut off investment in infrastructure and facilities and research, but the ticket tax paid by air passengers to finance the trust fund has expired and won’t be collected.

So….you might expect that airlines would pass the savings along to the passengers. If you expected that you must have been living under a damn rock. Of course the airlines won’t pass that along; they will just raise fares and pocket the difference.

It must be executive bonus season at the airlines.

One analyst estimates that the airlines will collect $25 million PER DAY!!!! ¬†That might cover an executive bonus or two. They certainly won’t use it to hire customer service agents.

For 4 full years, most of the aviation community has been working hard to pass a reauthorization. Not so the airlines. They never lifted a finger, didn’t even sign any of the industry letters urging a bill. Maybe they figured this day would come, and they could collect that money.

At the same time, airlines have been fighting the idea that airports should be able to use a mechanism to fund infrastructure, a tool that is being used around the world to beat our brains in — namely a user fee or passenger facility charge. They said it would bring them to ruin somehow.

Yeah right.

Even more, they went around and told congressmen and senators that if the PFC cap was raised they would remove service from communities around the country. Delta is especially adept at this, and it has an intimidating impact. Even though it was complete horse poop. Now, with Congress not contemplating raising the cap, Delta has announced it is removing service from 24 small communities. How do you spell loyalty?  Certainly not a-i-r-l-i-n-e.

So, they do nothing to get a bill passed, nothing! When it expires they reach into passengers’ pockets to extract every cent they can; the idea of passing the savings along never seems to have occurred to them if you read their comments. And after BS’ing communities around the country with threats to pull service if the PFC was raised, they go ahead and pull the service anyway.

If you ever doubted for a moment that airlines have a view that the purpose of air transportation is to line their own pockets (forget all that moving people and goods stuff) these developments ought to disabuse you.


  1. I think you sir might have been the one living under a rock. What did you expect? I think you are forgetting that a corporations sole purpose is to increase profits and reduce costs. Airline companies are corporations! They will do whatever they can to make more money. Don’t forget America by definition is a capitalist country, capitalism means MONEY OVER EVERYTHING.

  2. thanks for telling it like it is. Once again the people get the shaft.
    I understand that it’s business’ business to make money, I get it, but the double standard of screaming about any new tax that will stop the public from flying and therefore hurting their industry, to turn around and raise the fares by the offset of the uncollected tax, is greed and hubris. The airlines are no different then the telecom’s , the banks, and all other “service” industries. It’s like bringing a bull in to “service” a cow, in this case the public is the cow and we’re getting well and truly “serviced”.

  3. So it’s okay for the government to “reach into passenger’s pockets to extract every cent they can” but it’s awful when those greedy airlines, most of which haven’t made a profit over the past decade, dare to do it. After viewing your resume and seeing that you’re a career, democratic, government employee who apparently has never worked for a private business, it’s no wonder you have such a socialistic attitude. Isn’t it those same greedy airlines that pay your salary through the landing fees paid to ACI-NA members? Your vitriolic rhetoric and lack of business acumen reinforces the danger of having career government employees.

  4. National news this morning gives Alaska Airlines credit for doing the right thing; special kudos to Alaska for passing on the uncollected tax to the travelling public.

  5. Well done, Greg. However it would be interesting to hear Mr. Parker’s defense as in the Phoenix discussion from a few months ago!

  6. Maybe it is time to re-regulate the airlines. There is no real competition anyway–otherwise the extra fees would never be collected. If they start to tax baggage fees, then airlines will come up with another gimmic to stick it to the public without paying taxes.

    They are allowed to use their monopoly power to dictate the costs since there is inadequate competition into major markets.

  7. I don’t live under a rock and I have been a government employee for but a third of my career. I don’t begrudge airlines charging what the market will bear and have actually defended their right to charge fees for bags and other things. I also don’t believe government solutions are always best and have been fighting to remove airports from government economic regulations, limits and control that have become onerous

    Here’s my point. Airlines have opposed our efforts to reduce government economic regulation of airports. If we reduce government economic regulation of airports we can reduce federal spending and taxes, build infrastructure and save the airlines and passengers time and money. But the airlines oppose this because they want to control airports and limit competition. It is a form of special interest rent seeking

    What airports want is what any prudent conservative business person wants (or any Tea Party member): less federal regulation and control and more economic freedom. Airlines oppose us on this because they want to control airports — even though airline rents and landing fees pay only a small fraction of the cost of running an airport. And they use specious arguments that are belied by their behavior on this tax issue

    If they want to raise fares to make more money off this temporary suspension of the ticket tax they have every right to do so, and deal with the reaction. But they should not be arguing against granting economic freedom to airports using arguments that fly in the face of their own actions

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