Airports Are Pushing To Increase Flier Fees
Just when you thought that the airlines had pulled every trick in the book to nickel and dime travelers with extra fees, charging passengers for everything from paying for each bag checked to extra fees for preferred seating in coach, now the airports want to increase flier fees even more.
Cheap flights and hotels offering outstanding values remain plentiful at this time. But with the way airline ticket fees keep increase, you have to wonder how much longer air travel will be affordable to the average American.
Pointing to increasing construction costs, airports are lobbying Congress to increase the allowed maximum on passenger facility charges that travelers now pay as part of their airline tickets. If the airports have their way, fliers will only have to pay a couple more dollars per trip in 2010. Right now passengers pay $4.50 for each leg of a trip, up to a maximum of $18 per round trip which pays for the construction of terminals, runways, and gates.
A bill is pending in the House which would raise the per leg fee to $7. The American Association of Airport Executives argues that they are only trying to keep up with inflation, claiming that the value of the facility charge has fallen by 50% since 2000. Funny, but most economists would not look at the last decades low inflation rate and say that one dollar today is only worth 50 cents a decade ago.
This small increase in passenger facility charges would only increase the annual taxes that fliers pay by a mere $2 billion.
US airports have received more than $27.5 billion in facility charges since 1992. When is enough going to be enough?