When the Federal Aviation Administration’s authority to collect a tax on airline passengers expired the other night, a lot of experts predicted a windfall for travelers with airfares dropping slightly without the tax.
What were they thinking?
Instead, the airlines raised their fares an equal amount. The traveling public has seen nothing out of the deal. It’s the airlines who are reaping the benefit of the failure of Congress to pass an FAA budget.
Keep in mind, the tax that expired was not a tax on airlines, it was a tax on the passenger. In some cases, the tax was as high as 10 percent.
The airlines argue it’s no big deal because the passenger is paying the same amount of money as before, it’s just that the money that was going to the federal government is now going to them.
“One of the major airlines could have said, `Hey, at least for a week we’re going to give this money back to the consumers,” said Rick Seaney, who tracks prices as CEO of FareCompare.com. “I’m surprised no one made promotional hay over this.”