The Travel Trolley

Airlines offering refunds during FAA shutdown

ATLANTA — To charge or not to charge?

Since the FAA partially shut down on July 23, passengers travelling shouldn’t pay certain federal taxes. However, according to published reports, many airlines simply upped their fares. But Delta Air Lines this week said “it will process tax refunds for customers traveling during the suspension of non-essential services of the Federal Aviation Administration.”

U.S. Airways has since followed Delta’s lead, USA Today reported.

“Funding for the FAA expired on July 23. At that time, Delta stopped collecting several taxes imposed on ticket sales, including a 7.5 percent tax on the base ticket price, a $3.70 segment tax and facilities taxes on international travel and travel to and from Alaska and Hawaii,” the airline said in a statement. “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has advised that travelers who paid for tickets on or before July 22, 2011, for travel beginning on or after July 23 and prior to the reinstatement of FAA funding, may be entitled to a refund of those taxes.”

The airline also said it is “awaiting guidelines from the IRS on the process of providing refunds. However, in order to streamline the process, the airline will process refunds directly for customers once an agreement is reached with the IRS on the procedure for doing so.”

Concurrently, Spirit Airlines is among the airlines which passed along the tax as a “savings” to its customers.

“Congress could reverse this tax holiday at any time, so Spirit encourages customers to take advantage of these tax savings while they are available now,” Spirit said in a statement.

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