Not everyone has felt the pain


Aug 20, 2002
I was reading the Sept/October issue of _Airline Pilot_ Magazine and I came across an article by D. Worth with the following airline tax information:
1. A passenger who buys a single connection ticket roundtrip for $200 can expenct to pay 25.6% of their ticket charge to the Federal Government.
2. The ATA says the Federal Government levies a passenger ticket tax of 7.5% of the base ticket price, a $3 tax for each domestic segment, a passenger security surcharge of $2.50 to a max of $10, a passenger facility charge of $4.50 to max of $18, an international departure tax of $13.20, and international arrival tax of $13.20, an Immigration and Naturalization Service user fee of $7, a Customs user fee of $5, a cargo waybill tax of 6.25%, a frequent flyer tax of 7.5%(I never have heard of this one), a jet fuel tax of 4.3 cents per gallon, a LUST fuel fee of 1 cent per gallon(what does LUST stand for?) and now a new proposal for an air carrier security fee of $20 per passenger.
As you can see this all adds up. Last year the Feds extracted $11,000,000,000 (billion) dollars from the airlines...a year when they saw terrible losses and terrorism.
My point is, the Employees of U (and soon to be at UAL and AMR and the rest) have had to suffer give backs, the creditors of US Airways and anyone else associated with the airline have had to give...but the Federal Government keeps on extracting large sums of cash from the cash cow. Is the Federeal Government killing the goose which is laying 11 billion golden eggs per year?
Very gross misreporting.All these taxes, (except for the last 3 mentioned,Freq flyer and LUST never heard of), are paid by the consumer as part of their tkt price.A typical 198 r/t nonstop within US will have 7.5 %US tax already figured into the 198,(thats 13.81) then addt'l $5.00 security total, $6.00 seg fees(2) and maybe 3.00-4.50 Psgr facility chg(PFC) per airport departure or as little as zero PFC.This example, top end taxes would be approx. 34.00 or about 18 percent of the base fare.Low end taxes would be 25.00 or 13pct of base. The more connections you have the higher the taxes, even at $40 tax thats a 21pct rate of the original base.
Gotta love the media.
On 9/22/2002 7:03:36 PM RealityCheck wrote:

Very gross misreporting.All these taxes, (except for the last 3 mentioned,Freq flyer and LUST never heard of), are paid by the consumer as part of their tkt price

Are you saying they don't affect the Airlines because the consumer pays the tax? If so, YGTBSM!! When I buy a ticket (or used to buy a ticket) I wanted to know how much. I didn't care if some of the money went to some orphanage, I looked at the TOTAL cost and if it was too high, I either drove or didn't go. These taxes are DESTROYING the industry!! Throw a few more taxes in the pot to. Large landing fees and gate rentals at stations like DIA, State fuel taxes, the list goes on.
I find it intresting that so few passengers seem to understand just how much in taxes they pay for each trip they take. Has anyone forgotten the fact that its after tax dollars too? Not only have you paid the huge tax on the ticket when compared to other purchases, but you have paid tax twice. Once on your ticket itself and once from your wages through income tax that you use to pay for the ticket.

Why? Thats easy enough to answer, it's an easy tax!!! Just like the tax on booze and cigarettes are easy targets. Booze and cigs are bad for you so tax it to death. Airline tickets buyers are rich folks and companies, so tax 'em big time too. While you and I both know its not only rich folks and rich company's who buy tickets, the stereotype sits well with most of the public and that makes it an easy target.

The fuel tax?? Well gotta pay to burn it right?? Makes the tree environmentalist happy to tax it twice or more.

The security tax?? Can't be too safe now can we?? Lets pony up the cash for safety's sake.

The bottom line is we are ALL taxed way too much as an industry to pay for all the politicians plans and programs. They just forgot who's money it is in the first place, your's and mine!

Ailrine taxes are looked at as no different than the sin taxes or the luxury taxes. The higher the better is the tax man's mantra!
For those who missed the point, my reply had to do with clarifying the source of the taxes paid to the govt, not whether they are JUSTIFIED or not. The original poster heavily implied that the monies for these taxes were being paid for out of the airline's pocket. My response was to show that this, as well as the percentages quoted,were not true.
I was agreeing with you autofixer, our industry is way over taxed. Regardless of how you call it, the customer pays the tax through his ticket purchase.

Lower the tax rate and MORE folks can afford to fly. More passengers means more revenue - means possibly more profits and more jobs and more stability in a very unstable industry.
All, I am only pointing out the fact that the Federal Government extracts 11 billion dollars per year from the airline a year that the industry suffered awful losses due to a breach in National Security and a soft economy. They (We the people) have far more to lose than any other entity if the industry fails. Just like the tobacco industry. The National Government has a lot to lose...revenue. I am not implying anything. The National Government has no money...they extract it from anyplace thay can. Does it really matter if the airline or the customer pays the tax? NO! I did not hear any of our elected representatives call for any tax relief for the airlines. They did offer government backed, a safety net for the banks.
On 9/22/2002 11:15:32 PM autofixer wrote: As you can see this all adds up. Last year the Feds extracted $11,000,000,000 (billion) dollars from the airlines...a year when they saw terrible losses and terrorism

P.S. Reality Check, Info Only...ALL taxes are paid by the consumer. Trust me I know, I am a business owner. PEACE!

Sorry I misunderstood your 1st sentence in this quote.If you had said the money was extracted from the taxpayer/general public, I likely would not have misconstrued your point. As it is literally written I assumed you meant the airlines paid it out of their sole pockets.The 25pct figure cited in that article is still very inaccurate as per my example.
Gas taxes are over 30 cents a gallon in most places, has never stifled the demand though.
I remember hearing on the radio a few weeks back that airline tickets are now taxed at a higher rate than cigarettes. However, I think we're just seeing the long term effects of deregulation. Someone has to pay for that stuff, and since the airlines can't compete and include that in their bottom-rock fares, the government pretends to pick up the tab and provide airport security, etc - but the customer ends up paying $25 in taxes on his $45 Southwest ticket.

There's been talk about privatizing ATC. Imagine when the air traffic control surcharges hit? I don't think its outside of the realm of possibility, either.

Jon C.
JonC, It would be interesting to see how Canada's Air Traffic Control system is funded, since it is privatized. I have read some articles on how far advanced they are over the U.S., especially over the North Atlantic.
Although taxes are outta this world
The true point is that if a passenger paid 275.00 after taxes for a 175.00 fare the airlines could have made 100.00
dollars more on the ticket without all the taxes or better yet thet would have made 11 billion more last year wow and duh