View from the Wing posted an incredibly detailed explanation on an extension for airline taxes that expired last night at midnight. Due to this, it seems as though right now you can purchase some tickets without having to pay all of the taxes, resulting in a fare reduction of about $20-$30.

Essentially, some federal taxes, including the 7.5% U.S. federal excise tax on domestic travel, a $3.70 domestic segment tax, and a $16.30 international arrival/departure tax are no longer valid and cannot be collected by airlines.

I checked many airline’s websites and thus far only JetBlue and American Airline have addressed this situation. Both these airlines are allowing customer to collect a refund on taxes paid (different criteria for each):

American:
“The U.S. excise tax on airline tickets for domestic and certain international air transportation expires at midnight, July 22, 2011. Until Congress provides otherwise, tickets sold by American Airlines after July 22, 2011, will not include these U.S. ticket taxes. Passengers who paid U.S. ticket taxes on or before July 22, 2011, for travel beginning after July 22, 2011, may be entitled to a tax refund. If travel commenced on or before July 22, 2011, U.S. ticket taxes are not eligible for refund even if a portion of the travel occurs after July 22.”

JetBlue:
“We have yet to determine how the recent expiration of the Federal Excise Tax, and other taxes, will impact our operation. As we work with the Federal Government to make this determination, we ask that you please follow the guidelines below:

    • If you are scheduled to travel with us within the next seven (7) days, and would like to request a refund on the recently expired taxes, please email us at dearjetblue@jetblue.com with your name and confirmation number. Please also include “Expired Tax Refund Request” in the subject line of your email. We will then process your request in the order in which it was received based on the guidance provided by the Federal Government.
    • If you are scheduled to travel with us outside of the next seven (7) days, and booked your reservation prior to July 23rd, we ask that you check back on jetblue.com at a later time. Updates will be made as more information becomes available.

Please note: Expires taxes will not be applied to newly booked travel on/after July 23, 2011″

Also, remember that if you purchased a ticket yesterday, many airlines allow you to cancel and rebook within 24 hours. Defiantely worth calling the airline and seeing if you can get the extra tax reimbursed.

Feel free to let me know if you see any other airlines addressing the situation and reimbursing customers.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

  • deltagoldflyer said,

    Not anymore. Ah how we love our airlines:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Airlines-are-taking-savings-apf-1533581816.html?x=0

  • Gary said,

    Hah, American is telling folks to get their refunds from the IRS!

    “At this time, passengers may direct their refund requests to the IRS.”

    http://www.aa.com/i18n/reservations/refunds.jsp

  • Mrs Deale said,

    So if I booked and traveled on the 19th of July, I dont get anything is that correct? I am so surprised they dont even offer bereavement flights any longer. Flew home due to an unexpected death of my grandmother and paid $1600 for three tickets. Crazy ridiculous!

  • dealswelike said,

    @ Mrs Deale – Unfortunately that is correct.

    I 100% agree with the reduction in bereavement flights. The major carriers (American, Delta, United, US Airways, etc.) still offer these fares, but it is shocking to see how expensive these fares can be! The low cost carriers (Southwest, JetBlue, AirTran) do not offer any discounted rate. Typically, the last minute fare on those carriers are still less expensive than the bereavement fares on major carriers. Hotels sometimes have bereavement rates as well, so keep that in mind if you ever need (hopefully not though).

  • Karen Fuller said,

    Southwest airlines is directing people to IRS.gov although there is nothing on the site regarding how to get a refund. I’ve bought 21 tickets for a family trip and the tax refund would be over $800. Worth my time pursuing! Southwest published a memo to their employees about how to respond to questions but clearly they have no idea how to respond.

  • dealswelike said,

    @ Karen – oh wow, that is a huge refund! Not surprised that Southwest employees have no idea how to respond. I have been incredibly disappointed with their customer service over the past 8 months. I would try to get in touch with a supervisor at Southwest and not even entertain speaking to a regular agent.

    Let me do some research and see what I find for you as well!

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