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Americans Overwhelmingly Opposed to Proposed PFC Increase



Americans are divided when it comes to many issues but a proposed increase of the airport traveler tax isn’t one of them.

According to a survey of more than 1,600 registered voters nationwide conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies (WINS) this past summer, eight out of 10 Americans oppose efforts to increase the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC).

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The PFC is currently capped at $4.50 per flight segment and $18 per roundtrip flight per passenger. However, the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure is considering legislation that would increase the tax and possibly eliminate the cap entirely.

Interestingly, given the current political climate, opposition to proposed PFC increases is bipartisan, with 83 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans disapproving of the proposed increase.

A majority of respondents (65 percent) indicated that they are satisfied with the quality of the nation’s airports at the moment while 85 percent believe that U.S. airports already receive enough in taxpayer subsidies to fund improvement projects, the study found.

“Opposition to increasing the PFC tax is overwhelming and bipartisan,” said Scott Kotchko, President of Whitman Insight Strategies, in a statement accompanying the findings. “The average American thinks our airports themselves are great, that they’re already well-funded, and believes that congress should focus on improving our crumbling roads and bridges instead of taxing families to give more money to airports. It’s the transportation version of the rich getting richer.”

WINS’ survey results suggest Americans would rather see improvements made to the country’s roads, bridges, railways and public transportation systems. After all, fewer than one-half of survey respondents indicated that they are satisfied with the quality of the aforementioned infrastructure.

What’s more, most Americans (56 percent) believe that the quality and condition of the country’s roads and bridges has gotten worse over the past five years, with 82 percent saying that they’d prefer to see the government spend time and resources funding road, rail and port improvements rather than focusing on airports.

The results are significant in that more and more people are taking to the skies each year. In July, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed that global airlines airlines/iata-reveals-airlines-carried-44-billion-passengers-in-2018.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>carried approximately 4.4 billion passengers last year, which signaled an increase of 6.9 percent from the previous year.

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Airlines Scaling Back On Some In-Flight Services Due to Coronavirus



A few airlines, including those already affected by the coronavirus outbreak, have begun scaling back on some in-flight services as a way to help fight the virus.

The Points Guy writes that Singapore Airlines – obviously based in Asia, where the coronavirus has been most dangerous after originating in China – recently sent its frequent fliers an email about such changes.

Singapore advised its customers that some in-flight amenities will be discontinued, such as hot towel service, after-takeoff drink service, removal of reading materials from seat-back pockets, and suspension of in-flight sales.

Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research, said that Chinese and Taiwanese carriers have taken similar precautionary steps based on government guidance, including removing pillows and blankets on some flights.

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“They’re changing their cabin service procedures, so the passengers will notice this,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy.

But Harteveldt also remained optimistic that passengers wouldn’t pitch a fit given the circumstances.

“Passengers will accept (the reduction in services) because they’re being done in the interest of health and wellness,” he said.

As the virus, now known as covid-19, continues to expand globally, it remains to be seen if other airlines – including those based in the U.S. who offer international travel – adopt the same practice.

The aviation industry is quite often a copycat business, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some similar changes put into place.

“As adults, we have to be logical and rational when we experience these inconveniences,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy. “This isn’t cost-cutting, this isn’t random, this is in the best interest of public health.”

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