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Consumer scam of the day: airlines in your pocket

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

imageChain reaction: Congress diddles and lets full funding lapse for the Federal Aviation Administration. Four-thousand workers get furloughed. The bright side for consumers: a variety of taxes (i.e. 7.5% sales tax on domestic flights), take-off fees and other stuff built into the cost of an airline ticket also lapse, meaning a fare break, right?

Add: Wrong. The airlines quietly raise fares to snatch the taxes and fees out of your pocket and into theirs. The culprits: US Airways, American, Southwest, JetBlue, Delta, United. So far, Alaska and Spirit are being good guys. The Wall Street Journal has a (pay-walled) story that lays out the scam.

Bottom line: Those vaunted tax breaks—they go straight to the carriers.
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