Says bipartisan legislation restoring the passenger security tax round-trip cap now awaits further action by the President
WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2014 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today applauded Senate passage of bipartisan legislation to protect airline customers from higher passenger security taxes.
Last year, as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 2013 to reduce the federal deficit, Congress simplified the passenger security tax structure by establishing a flat $5.60 fee per one-way trip, regardless of the number of enplanements. Notwithstanding the intent of Congress, statutory language and long-standing regulatory precedent, the Administration, since July 21, 2014, has imposed the $5.60 tax for each stopover (a break in travel of more than four hours between two domestic flights), which has disproportionately hurt consumers from small and rural communities who must often use more one-way trips to reach their final destination. In September, the House unanimously (423-0) passed companion legislation (H.R. 5462) to restore the round-trip cap on the tax, thereby saving passengers over $60 million annually.
The federal government is already collecting an additional $1.2 billion in passenger security taxes annually – on top of the near-record $2 billion in security taxes paid last year.
“Today’s vote is a significant win for the traveling public, and we thank Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD) for their leadership to protect airline customers,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “As key drivers of jobs and economic growth, U.S. airlines agree with the bipartisan majority of Congress that keeping the round-trip cap in place will benefit the millions of customers who rely on safe, efficient and affordable air travel in communities across the country.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. Airlines fly more than 2.2 million passengers and 50,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) 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.
A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor groups, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.