Obama’s new jobs bill and economic recovery plan will also increase taxes (via fees) on the airline passengers, as well as general aviation. In the proposed legislation, airline passengers will be impacted by a raise in the 9/11 security fee from $2.50 per segment to $5 per one way flight, and $10 round trip. In addition, a $1 increase will be added each year from 2013-2017, so by the end of 2017, the fees would be $7.50 and $15, respectively. All for the privilege of either being fried with backscatter X-rays or groped by a TSA agent.
Combined with the excise taxes, airport passenger facility charges and other fees, the equation for short flights may soon tip to be almost the same in taxes and fees as airfare. Wait until Southwest or JetBlue have a $29 or $39 sale, and compare that fare to the final price on the ticket— there are a lot of fees and taxes added in already, and the percentage on a cheap ticket will astound you, especially if these fees are allowed to grow.
Of course, making flying more expensive doesn’t help demand, and lower demand for air travel means fewer flights and fewer jobs. And here I thought this was a bill to increase, rather than decrease jobs! At least this time, unlike the health care bill crafted in secret, some of the onerous elements are emerging in time for folks to think about and talk to their congressmen and senators about — perhaps some of these carefully hidden tax increases that will damage the industry can be rooted out as the legislative process moves forward. Tell your legislators to “just say no” to this bill, which is so flawed and will harm, rather than help, job creation.
The President apparently wants Congress to “pass this bill now” before we realize what’s in it. Let’s hope Congress has some backbone and is able to come up with some better solutions that will preserve and grow, rather than destroy, aviation industry jobs. Call or e-mail your legislators, and ask them to amend or reject this flawed legislation.