Members of the Senate are currently considering a new fee on airline passengers as part of an omnibus appropriations bill, which would fund federal agencies through the remainder of FY2014. This proposal would increase the immigration user fee on international flights from $7 to $9. This misguided proposal to raise the cost of air travel comes just weeks after Congress passed a $1 billion fare hike on all airline passengers by doubling the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passenger security fee, and is in addition to the billions in taxes and fees that the U.S. government already unfairly imposes on U.S. airlines and their passengers, suppressing demand and slowing growth.
ALPA strongly opposes this fee hike and urges Congress to stop using U.S. airlines and passengers as a bottomless piggy bank. Instead, Congress needs to advance pro-aviation policies that level the playing field – for example by using the omnibus to block taxpayer funding for a planned pre-clearance facility in Abu Dhabi that benefits Etihad airlines at the expense of U.S. aviation workers.