There was hope and outcry last week after news broke that as part of its partial shutdown, the FAA wouldn’t be collecting the fees that it assesses against domestic airline tickets. Looking forward to a tax holiday, many travelers started searching for tickets only minutes after the tax break went into effect — only to learn that airlines had raised their ticket prices to wipe out any savings — effectively pocketing the difference in price.
The outrage has slowly been trickling through the media and into the political ranks of our government, most notably in a letter to Delta from Aviation Operations, Safety and Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV).
Believe it or not, the airlines may be listening. Just this afternoon, Delta Air Lines announced that they would be the first major carrier to refund extraneous hikes imposed by the airlines, provided that the IRS puts plans into place. You can read the full release over on their website.
Lets hope that the other airlines make the right decision and follow suit.
update: Delta Corporate communications got in touch to clarify the refunds:
“..what we’re refunding are the taxes customers paid on tickets purchase before the FAA shutdown, for travel during the shutdown period. The IRS has said that customers who travel during this period, who already paid those taxes, were technically overtaxed and may be eligible for a refund. Delta announced yesterday that to help facilitate those refunds, we’ll provide them directly to our customers so that they don’t have to file a claim with the IRS.“
[flickr image via Refracted Moments]