The Congress Fiddles While FAA Burns

Aug 01, 2011, 06:00 ET from pleads with Congress to Pass the FAA Bill and put the FAA Back to work!

NAPA, Calif., Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- today called on Congress to move forward on the FAA Reauthorization Bill of 2011.  With the bill stalled in joint committee, the FAA's ability to function has been severely curtailed since July 22.  FAA workers have been laid off, the agency is unable to collect taxes on airline tickets, approval of new aerospace equipment and devices is delayed, and vital airport construction projects are on hold.  Critical airline passenger protections, included in the Senate version of the bill, are delayed.  

Airline travelers are only now discovering that many airlines are taking advantage of this Congressional inaction by raising prices in amounts equal to the 7.5% FAA tax, $3.70 domestic segment tax, and $16.30 international arrival/departure tax not being collected.  While the Airline Transport Association assures us that we should not object, because we are not paying any more.  As they step in to grab a temporary windfall that they should pass on to their customers, they assure us that all is well.

"This public spectacle of Congressional fiddling while Rome burns is an outrage to our 33,000 members," said Kate Hanni, founder and Executive Director of the organization.  "The actions of many airlines, literally snatching money from our hands to their own pockets, further infuriates America's air travelling public, and we applaud Congressman Mike Thompson's letter to the ATA, urging them to cease this disreputable practice."

"Congressional failure to pass the FAA Reauthorization Bill is yet another blow, not only to America's air travelers but to our economy and the long-term viability of our air travel system.  In addition to containing the strongest language for passengers rights, it is also an employment bill that would create over 200,000 jobs when passed." is the largest non-profit airline consumer advocacy group in America.