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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excise tax on domestic travel, a $3.70 domestic segment tax, and a $16.30 international arrival/departure tax are no longer valid and cannot be collected by airlines.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):
“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.”
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.