WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today denounced a Senate plan that calls for diverting funds that airline passengers pay in Transportation Security Administration (TSA) fees and Immigration and Customs fees to pay for the highway trust fund, calling it a misguided policy that harms airline passengers.
As part of the offsets in the Senate Highway bill, the plan calls for using portions of revenue assumed to be collected from TSA fees in years 2024 and 2025 to offset government costs for a highway fix this year. Moreover, the Senate plan would substantially increase the cost of air travel by indexing immigration and customs fees to inflation. In total, the bill makes airline passengers pay $9.2 billion for surface transportation by diverting ticket taxes to the highway trust fund.
“This is bad, misguided policy that completely ignores the rights of airline passengers, who are already overpaying in taxes to the federal government every time they fly,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Like the House proposal, this wrongly diverts dollars airline passengers pay for safety and security to fund the use of highways. To suggest that airline passengers should pay even more in federal taxes for something unrelated to air travel makes no sense and further punishes some two million taxpayers who fly every day.”
On a typical, domestic $300 round-trip ticket, airline passengers can already pay $63 in federal taxes, or 21 percent, a rate that rivals taxes on alcohol and tobacco.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.7 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 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, Congress, the Administration and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.