WASHINGTON, July 28 (UPI) — Airlines should give fliers a break while federal taxes on plane tickets are not being collected, U.S. Transportation Secretary Raymond LaHood said Thursday.
But the secretary, appearing at a White House briefing, said the government has no power in the era of deregulation to keep airlines from raising fares by the amount of the tax.
“Well, I have talked to the largest aviation association here in Washington that represents all the airlines, and I have told them that I am not happy about the fact they continue to add to citizens’ ticket price — now, these are people who are planning vacations, who are planning to fly, people who live on a budget,” LaHood said. “They’re collecting this money and it’s going to their bottom line, and I think that is not right. And I simply think its not fair for them to do that, and I’ve made that known to them.”
Congress has failed to agree on a bill temporarily reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration because Democrats have refused to support changes Republicans made in the legislation. LaHood, who served seven terms in Congress as a moderate Republican from Illinois, called on Republicans to support a “clean bill.”