Airlines Only Like Fare Hikes When They're The Ones Instigating Them

It’s all well and good when airlines institute their own price hikes, but when someone else does it, suddenly they’re all concerned about consumers? Not buying it. New proposed legislation wants to charge airlines a higher security tax, a fee which would then be passed on to the customer.

The L.A. Times reports on the proposal from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Republican, which would change the Sept. 11 security fee from $2.50 for every trip segment to $5 each way, no matter how many stops there are.

Trade group Airlines for America says the proposed tax is disappointing and shortsighted and would hurt the industry, and claim they’re really thinking of passengers.

“We cannot continue to put more taxes on airline passengers — who already pay more than $60 in taxes on a typical $300 round-trip ticket — with this disappointing and shortsighted approach that ultimately will discourage business travel and tourism,” said Nicholas E. Calio, chief executive of the group.

The Obama administration also proposes a fee increase in its 2013 budget, but the funds would help pay for airport security costs.

If airlines are so against raising prices for consumers, then why have they instituted two of their own hikes this year? The difference is that the increases by carriers can be used to improve services, whereas government hikes just serve to discourage travelers from flying. Unfortunately, any way you slice it, a hike is a hike.

Airfares are on the rise but who’s to blame? [L.A. Times]