Air Traveler Groups Join Airlines in Opposition to the Proposed Airport Tax Hike

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2015 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today announced that the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) have joined with Travelers United and others in A4A’s opposition to the proposed near doubling of the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) – or Airport Tax.

While the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) is promoting their “premier legislative fly-in” taking place this week to lobby Congress to increase taxes on travelers, traveler groups have come out against an increase in the Airport Tax.

ACTE: “We object to any increase in the PFCs, especially considering the huge income streams currently available to airport operators and authorities across the country,” said ACTE Executive Director Greeley Koch. “What is the point of increasing the PFC, a user’s tax, when billions of dollars remain uncommitted and unspent?”

GBTA: “Some groups want to increase the PFC to $8 per boarding. That, along with other taxes and fees, means that a business traveler could see an increase of $58.20 for a round-trip ticket,” said GBTA Executive Director & COO Michael W. McCormick. “Travelers don’t need to be the piggy bank. Beyond the investments made by airlines, airports have more than $11 billion in unrestricted cash and investments while bringing in more revenue every year – a record-high $24.5 billion in 2013.”

Travelers United: “For all of the weeping and wailing about the need for more taxes, we found an airport financial ecosystem flush with cash. Unlike our highway systems where potholes are not filled and bridges crumble, the airport system is state-of-the-art,” said Travelers United Chairman and Founder Charlie Leocha. “For passengers taking off and landing at airports, this proposed hike is an unfair subsidy and an unnecessary one when the infrastructure banks are brimming with billions of dollars of uncommitted cash.”

A4A agrees. “Since 2008, more than $70 billion of airport capital projects have been completed, are underway or are approved by U.S. airlines and their airport partners at the nation’s largest 30 airports alone, and development is also robust at smaller airports, including Dayton, Sioux Falls and Greenville-Spartanburg,” said A4A SVP, Legislative and Regulatory Policy Sharon Pinkerton. “Airports have plenty of resources and passengers are already taxed enough.”

The proposed hike comes at a time when airline customers are benefitting from affordable airfares having not kept pace with inflation. U.S. airlines continue to be very competitive at numerous key cities across the United States and every U.S. airline is increasing capacity with year-over-year growth in available seat miles that average 5.6 percent from second quarter 2014, compared to the same period in 2015. This improving financial strength has enabled airlines to reinvest in our product, people and airports at a rate of $1 billion monthly, the highest capital investment in 14 years.

For more information on the PFC and to voice opposition to this tax hike, visit www.StopAirTaxNow.com.  For more information on how airlines and their airport partners are already investing in infrastructure and customer experience enhancements, visit www.airlines.org/invest.

ABOUT ACTE
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives is a non-profit education and research organization serving the global business travel industry in 102 countries. Since 1988, ACTE has provided unique programs for travel managers and innovative policies that improve conditions for business travelers, while substantially increasing corporate revenue. ACTE currently leads the business travel industry with 70 events worldwide, managed through offices in Asia, Australia, Canada, the U.S. and Europe, with representation in Latin America, South America, and Africa. No other travel trade association can make that claim.

ABOUT GBTA
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives business growth, visit gbta.org.

ABOUT TRAVELERS UNITED
Travelers United is the only non-profit, membership organization that represents all travelers.Founded in 2009, they work every day in Washington, DC, visiting congressmen, meeting with travel regulators, testifying before committee and discussing consumer issues with travel associations that represent airlines, hotels, bus companies, car rental companies, airports, travel technology providers and travel agents of all kinds.

ABOUT A4A
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.

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