Taxpayer, Consumer and Air Travel Advocates Agree: Raising Taxes on Air Travelers Just Won’t Fly

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2019 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, highlighted that taxpayer, consumer and air travel advocates agree – airports are flush with cash. In fact, airports are collecting record revenues. Bottom line: airports don’t need more tax dollars; travelers don’t want a tax hike. Yet some airport executives want to double – or more – the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), the airport tax travelers pay on every leg of a trip. See what others are saying:

NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION: NTU: Airports aren’t starved for cash

“Supporters of uncapping the PFC believe airports are in desperate need of more revenue to fund critical improvements to airport infrastructure. A deeper look into the financial statements of nationwide airports indicate a more complex financial picture. US airports have $14.5 billion in unrestricted cash on hand, according to FAA Form 127 filings. Additionally, the Aviation Trust Fund is at its highest level since 2001, with an uncommitted balance of nearly $7 billion.” – Pete Sepp, National Taxpayers Union

TRAVELERS UNITED: Airports have ample resources to meet their infrastructure needs

“Airline travel is at an all-time high, airports are collecting record revenues, and infrastructure upgrades are booming across the nation. Right now, Los Angeles International Airport, O’Hare International Airport, and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport are undergoing multi-billion dollar renovations to modernize terminals and improve the passenger experience.” – Charlie Leocha, Travelers United

AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: Air travel is already taxed too much 

“With so much cash on hand and record levels of airport revenue, there is simply no case to be made that our publicly controlled airports are desperate for infrastructure funds. Taxes already make up over 20% of the cost of an average domestic flight, our lawmakers shouldn’t be adding to this burden by hiking the PFC. Investing in our nation’s air travel infrastructure is certainly an important cause. However, it is unfair and illogical to ask air travelers to pay more when there is already plentiful funding for important infrastructure projects.” – Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform

GLOBAL BUSINESS TRAVEL ASSOCIATION: PFC hike will have drastic impact on business travelers

“Infrastructure and, in particular, airport infrastructure is vital to the business travel industry. However, the need for increased fees to pay for the infrastructure has been hotly contested. With business travelers taking to the skies on over 144 million trips a year, an increase in the PFC will have a drastic impact. If business travel decreases, the overall economy will suffer. GBTA research shows that for every 1 percent loss in business travel spending, the U.S. economy loses 74,000 jobs, $5.5 billion in GDP, $3.3 billion in wages and $1.3 billion in taxes. That’s too big of a risk to take.” – Shane Downey, Global Business Travel Association

IATA: Increased travel costs mean decreased travel, consequences for economy

“An increase in overall cost of air travel for passengers will – all else remaining constant – result in decreased travel. This impact will also ripple out through the broader economy along the air transport supply chain, through the tourism sector and via decreased wage spending from industry employees on goods and services they consume privately.” – Economic Impact from Hiking Passenger Facility Charge, International Air Transport Association

AMERICAN CONSUMER INSTITUTE: A rise in the PFC could scare off travelers, hurt economy

“These higher costs would have an immediate impact on price-conscious consumers. In a recent analysis by the American Consumer Institute, we calculate that raising the PFC would reduce the number of air passengers in the U.S. by 7.5 million in 2019 and cause an annual $3.1 billion decline in consumer welfare.”- Liam Sigaud, American Consumer Institute

To learn more about the PFC, visit


Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.

A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at

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