Topic Author
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Ridiculous Government Taxes

Mon Dec 30, 2002 1:46 pm

Qantas (QF) & Virgin Blue (VB) have announced an airfare sale. Here is an example of an airfare I picked up on the QF website in February:

QF - Sydney to Melbourne $123 return + $57.72 = $183.72

I can't believe that 31% of the total cost of this fare is made up taxes & levies, eg, security levy, noise tax, Ansett levy, etc etc.

I thought that people from the tourism industry were complaining over nothing, I now understand their predicament. Why would you fly & incur these charges when you could spend them on other things which are of a direct benefit to you?

Does the rest of the world incur similar levels of tax on flying?
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RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Mon Dec 30, 2002 1:57 pm

MEA the USA also has ridiculous taxes. They claim they are for the improvement of airports and safety, but .....
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Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:23 pm

RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Mon Dec 30, 2002 2:37 pm


Allot of ticket taxes and charges in the USA are based on segments flown rather than the price of the tickets. So they hit price sensitive travelers pretty hard.

Allot of the US revenue goes into a so called "Aviation Trust Fund". Like with other trust funds, the government pockets the tax money that is supposed to go in to them and puts IOU'S in instead. So allot of the US national debt is owed to these trust funds. Comparatively little is actually spent on aviation. Allot of the small part that is allegedly spent on aviation goes into legal bills and pork.

Gasoline taxes are equally outrageous but at least that money is spent on roads, etc. pretty much as it comes in. Not so with aviation. Aviation is the most heavily taxed and least subsidized form of transportation arround.

People who think deregulation caused this industry's problems better think again. ATC congestion, not enough runways, security problems, etc. are ALL the result of GOVERNMENT not doing its job despite having more than enough money to do so.

The parts of the system that are controlled by private industry - Aircraft manufacturing, the airlines, maintanence, are actually doing very well in providing the services they were meant to provide - if not in actually making money while doing so. The shortcommings people cite are nearly all the results of bloated, inneficient and overreaching government policies. Namely, no enough infrastructure, antiquated ATC, and heavy taxes. Yet what solutions do we here people calling for? A passenger's bill of rights. Federalize airport security. In other words, MORE GOVERNMENT. Will we ever learn?
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RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Tue Dec 31, 2002 12:24 am

In Canada it's no better. There is a security tax, a fuel surcharge tax, often airport taxes, a federal tax and a provincial tax among others. In some cases the combned total can almost double the price of the ticket. Airlines here have openly complained there are too many additional charges and some have threatened to advertise them to the public so we see it's not necessarily high prices charged by the individual airlines. The Canadian public complains yet never rallies in any way to do something about it. The Federal (Central) government just dismisses all the complaints and states the taxes are necessary to keep a smooth running safe secure aviation network. The best we get are cries for more competition. Worse still we see cheap American airfares on similar segments which in turn fuels public anger towards the airlines. Boston-Seattle or New York-Los Angeles can be much cheaper than Montreal-Vancouver or Toronto-Vancouver for example. I'm not really sure if there is an easy compromise between cheap travel and a profitable secure network.

RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Tue Dec 31, 2002 1:07 am

Hey that's a good deal.

STR-FRA currently sells for this :

The flight roundtrip is 37,00 € + 50,20 € taxes = 87,20 € total
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RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Tue Dec 31, 2002 1:38 am

Don't start on Government taxes!!

My forthcoming flight to see a friend in NYC attracts a £62.50 tax (about US$90?). The fare itself is only £132, but fare + tax is £195!

That is after they take 40% off my income, charge me 17.5% on every product I buy, and add about 85% tax onto the fuel I put in my car.  Insane

All in all I pay the UK government about £16,500 a year in tax, about £45.50 a day (US$65 a day).

Moving to Dubai... as soon as possible Big grin
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
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RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Tue Dec 31, 2002 1:47 am

I have heard of Canadian air tickets having over $C100 of tax!My flight to CDG in July is about 35pounds of which 20 is tax.I have flown on Ryanair several times for no air fare but around 25 in tax.

Moving to Dubai... as soon as possible
-I hope EK are still hiring UK pilots when I get my ATPL!
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RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Tue Dec 31, 2002 2:12 am

It depends on the air ticket in Canada. Some taxes are flat amounts others are percentages so it can vary. Put it this way, a discount ticket doesn't look very cheap by the time all the taxes, surcharges and add ons are included. Worse still in Montreal and Vancouver they charge you the airport tax as you pass through security making the whole process slower and more complicated.. It can be chaotic at Dorval prior to entering the security zones.

I'm not sure what the solution is. The average traveller who's actually paying from their pocket wants to fly as cheaply as possible. At the same time we want all the comfort of knowing the whole process will be safe and secure so money has to be spent by the government, airlines and airports to ensure that. I guess if I knew a fuel surcharge really goes towards paying additional fuel costs and airport fees goes into improving the airport I'd be more comfortable paying it. At Dorval (YUL) they are building new concourses but at the same time they have no money to paint many of the loading bridges so I scratch my head.. Unfortunately in Canada at least this money leaves our hands and goes into the appropriate hands and we have no clue what's really done with it. When we later hear the government mismanaged several billion dollars in revenue you have to wonder about the whole process. The media says little and the public is ignorant and doesn't care... so in the end we get what we pay for.
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RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Tue Dec 31, 2002 3:28 pm

One idea is to do what Virgin Blue did when it thought an airport landlord was trying to scam them - they painted the side of their planes with a sign that said "______ stop the Sydney airport rort". "Rort" means, roughly, "scam". I'm not sure what the name of the offending company was.

Airlines ought to paint their planes signs that say things like....

"Where's Free Flight? Time is flyin' and fuel's a burnin"

"The Jerk who sued to stop the runway expansion......" on the top of the windows.

" advised to travel under an assumed name." bottom of the windows.

"To start the planes flyin' STOP THE LAWYERS SUING".

"Stop politically correct security."

" Aviation Trust Fund, Where Did the Money Go?"

" Sorry for the noise ........." - above the windows in large type ....

"....Of the whinning spoiled brat NIMBY's and their political hacks." - below the windows, in smaller type.

Or have a picture of an airliner with bricks tide to its back. One would be labeled "taxes". Another "fees and taxes". Another "yet more taxes". A passenger would be walking, no stumbling to the airliner. He would be barely able to move because of a huge brick tied to HIS back - labeled "ticket taxes". This would make quiet an impression, either as a picture you see on the plane before boarding or as a closing screen after you make a reservation.

Of course the airlines don't take it this far because they have to keep on good terms with allot of the bad guys. But maybe they have gone to far bending over backwards. They have gotten taken again and again and again by the lawyers, NIMBY'S , so-called environmentalists, etc. They need to get rid of the MR and MRS nice guy, feel good, please everyone PR types they have and hire someone who knows how to fight a knock-down, drag out political fight. Someone like Carl Rove or Dick Morris. Don Carty and Gordon Bethune are admirably frank but they don't know how to say the truth in ways that people will listen- it takes a different kind of professional to fight this fight.

The healthcare industry succeeded when they went negative to fight Clinton's health plan. The automakers succeeded in fighting CAFE. I don't want to argue about the merits of either case. THE POINT IS THEY FOUGHT HARD. THEY GOT NEGATIVE. THEY GOT TO THE GRASSROOTS. AND THEY WON.

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RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Tue Dec 31, 2002 3:33 pm

I bought an award ticket today, and it cost me $10 in security fees.

Honestly, I'm all for it. If I'm paying it the airlines don't have to.

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Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:23 pm

RE: Ridiculous Government Taxes

Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:21 pm


If it is charged as an add on to the ticket, it matters little who's name is on the bill. The point is that the fee is there and that for the most part the money is being wasted.

The airline could have charged you ten dollars more and kept the money if the charge was not there. The demand would have been the same for the flight because the REAL price to YOU would not have changed. That adds up to allot more money spread over a planeload of people.

Alternatively, if the charge were dropped and the airline did not raise the fare, demand would go up without the airline having to do anything. This is because the REAL price to the consumer would have gone down 10 bucks while what the airline actually gets remains the same. The price decrease causes more people to fly, which goes streight to the bottom line if (and there usualy are) empty seats are available.

You buy an airline ticket for the total price you are willing to accept, taxes and fees included. The airline gets the money you pay, minus the taxes and fees. Whether the bill goes to you or the airline, the result is the same from the airline's point of view.

This is how cutting ticket taxes WOULD help the airlines, especially in the short term. But, of course, all taxes and fees are paid by the consumer in the end.

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