No Brain in Governing Body: Congress Whines That Airlines Raised Fares After Fees Were Expired

Members of Congress are now speaking out against airlines for raising fares instead of passing the savings from recently expired fees back to consumers. Two memebers, John D. Rockefeller IV, D-West Virginia; and Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, said:

Airlines should “put all of the profits that they are making” from the tax lapse into an escrow account so they can transfer it to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) when Congress reinstates the taxes. “If the industry is unwilling to protect the integrity of the AATF, at a minimum, it should pass the savings onto the consumers…”

Airlines are unwilling to protect the integrity of the AATF? Didn’t Congress let the fees (that benefited the AATF) expire? Why should the airlines pass savings on to consumers? Why is Congress telling the airlines how to run their business?

It’s not just Democrats. Rep. John Mica, R-Florida said airlines should “either [hold] the money for the trust fund or not [rip] off the consumer.”

Rip off the consumer? The consumer is charged the exact same amount. And what is ripping them off? And even if they did raise fares, how is that ripping off consumers? How pathetic is it that members of Congress can’t make any tough decision around the debt ceiling (or the FAA, for that matter), so they’re bashing airlines like some hack comedian. Please.

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  1. Aside from really needing the money (jet fuel up 47% in a bad economy), wouldn’t the airlines risk a huge problem if they had let airfares fall 8% and then have to raise them when the tax is reimposed? Wouldn’t airfares then look “expensive” to consumers and demand could fall? I think it was a no-brainer to take the money. The alternatives could have been ruinous.

  2. absolutely a no brainer. why wouldn’t they have kept it for themselves? What business would have turned down the revenue?

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