Airline ticket buyers can save some money on ticket purchase since they won't have to pay federal taxes on tickets. Since Friday midnight airlines no longer have the authority to collect federal excise ticket taxes since Congress adjourned Friday without approving an FAA funding measure.
The Federal Aviation Authority will lose about $200 million a week it collects in federal ticket taxes that is used for funding various FAA programs.
The stalemate is in the Congress over the legislation that authorizes the operations of the FAA. A full re-authorization bill for the FAAC hasn't been passed since 2007. Instead the Congress has passed short-term extensions the 21st of which ran out on Friday midnight. The current disagreement is over provisions added by the House Republicans in the bill that include a $16.5 million cut in subsidies to 13 rural communities. The Senate Democrats refused to accept the cuts in subsidies and both parties refuse to compromise.
While this impasse in the Congress has collateral advantages for the buyer of airline tickets, it spells doom for thousands of employees in the FAA. Due to the Congress' inability to agree on a measure that would provide funds to the agency the FAA will be forced to furlough almost 4,000 employees starting Friday at midnight as its federal funding runs out.
Our flights will operate but long-term aviation operations will suffer. This will affect our airlines who are involved in mergers as the FAA's ability to move forward on plans for awarding single operating certificates will be delayed. And immediately, this will be devastating for US workers who will lose their jobs, The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) International President, Veda Shook said.
However, the nation's air travel system will not be affected as air traffic controllers will remain on the job and airlines will continue to operate normally.