By A 9-1 Margin, Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose Proposal to Raise Airport Tax by 89 percent
Family of Four Flying Round Trip Could See Up To $104 in Airport Taxes Alone To Their Tickets
WASHINGTON, November 8, 2017 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today released the results of a new survey that shows voters overwhelmingly oppose a proposed 89 percent increase to the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), a tax buried in the fare of every plane ticket that is transferred to airports. The nationwide poll was conducted in partnership with Morning Consult.
The Senate Appropriations Committee inserted the tax hike into a spending bill that Congress must vote on by Dec. 8, 2017. For a family of four purchasing round trip tickets, the new tax could force families to pay up to $104 in PFC ticket taxes alone, an increase that 70 percent of respondents said would be a financial burden for their family. Sixty-five percent of survey participants said they would be less likely to travel by air if the PFC was raised.
“This poll makes it clear that passengers and constituents don’t support this tax increase,” said Sharon Pinkerton, A4A Senior Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy. “Travelers shouldn’t have to pay more simply because airports see them as piggy banks. There is no reason to force passengers to pay more when the taxes they’ve already paid are sitting unused.”
The PFC is used to fund airport infrastructure projects and existing revenue streams are sufficient to continue supporting these projects. The Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which finances the country’s Airport Improvement Program, currently has almost $6 billion in unobligated funds, and in 2016, PFC collections totaled $3.2 billion, the highest level in the history of the program.
The PFC increase is opposed across the ideological spectrum by every cohort of voters – 74 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of Independents oppose the proposal, and 58 percent of those surveyed said they would be less likely to vote for their U.S. Senator if they voted in favor of this tax increase.
The survey was conducted from Oct. 24 to Oct. 25, 2017 as an online survey of 1,992 registered voters by Morning Consult on behalf of Airlines for America. The questions on the Passenger Facility Charge were included as part of Morning Consult’s National Tracking Poll. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 2 percent.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 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.