Major Airlines Use FAA Shutdown To Line Their Pockets

American Airlines

Photo: andrew morrell photography via flickr

The Federal Aviation Administration partially shut down Friday night after Congress left town for the weekend without solving a political dispute over new funding legislation.The shutdown is costing the government an estimated $200 million per week in airline taxes — or roughly $61 per domestic ticket, according to CBS News.

Airline passengers this weekend barely registered the shutdown, however, as nearly every major U.S. airlines bypassed consumers and took the opportunity to line their own pockets.

The AP reports that American, United, Delta, U.S. Airways, Southwest, AirTran, and JetBlue all raised fares to offset the tax expiration. Only a few smaller airlines — including Virgin America, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Alaska Airlines — passed the tax break on to passengers.

The airlines that decide to keep the money could take in an extra $25 million a day during the tax holiday, JP Morgan analyst Jamie Baker told the AP.

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