Increased passenger ticket fee may help pay for airport expansions

Ever paid attention to the breakdown of the fees tacked on to your ticket? In addition to the $2.50 9/11 security fee, and a government tax of about $4, you also pay a passenger facility charge (PFC) of $4.50.

This PFC is how the government pays for all the horribly outdated airports in the country. That is right – proceeds from selling $9 airport sandwiches are not enough to maintain and expand airport facilities. And neither is the current PFC – which is why a proposal has been made to raise the PFC from $4.50 to $7.

I’m guessing the government saw how the airlines were raking in the cash from luggage fees, and decided they wanted a piece of the action.

The increase should bring in billions of additional Dollars – an airport like Chicago O’Hare sees 70 million passengers a year, multiply that by $7, and you have a nice chunk of change. Then again, with an upcoming $5.5 Billion expansion plan scheduled for O’Hare, they need all the help they can get.

Thankfully, this $2.50 increase is actually very modest – international airports charge far, far more for the luxury of landing at their airport. Amsterdam charges a $90 “noise isolation charge and passenger service charge”, Glasgow airport charges $145 for the UK PSC. But the real winner here is London Heathrow, with a $155 PSC.

When you fly to these airports in a premium cabin, the fees can be as high as $300. So really, $2.50 seems like a pretty good deal if you ask me (these charges are all averages – some flights can be lower, some higher).

The proposal has been approved by the house, and is currently pending before the U.S. Senate, but chances are, it will become reality very soon.%Gallery-28218%