Travelers who paid all federal airline taxes when they bought tickets on or before July 22, 2011, for travel beginning on or after July 23, 2011, now might get a refund since the taxes have expired. The refunds are due after Congress failed to pass legislation funding the Federal Aviation Administration and stopped collecting taxes that expired at midnight Friday. Until things are resolved, airlines can’t collect the taxes on tickets sold after July 23, and the government isn’t authorized to collect the taxes on tickets sold before that time if people who bought those tickets travel during the shutdown period.
The IRS is asking airlines to handle the refund process, but they aren’t required to, and most are directing customers directly to the IRS, which says it is still working on a procedure for handling refunds. Jetblue is the only major airline accepting requests for ticket tax refunds.
In the meantime, CBS News reported that instead of passing the tax savings (on new ticket purchases) onto the consumer in the form of lower ticket prices, most airlines have raised their fees to make up the difference. Only Alaska, Hawaiian, and Spirit Airlines seem to be sticking to their normal pricing.
Here’s some more travel news you can use:
- JetBlue is selling a three-month pass for unlimited flights to help win business passengers after the peak season ends for U.S. vacation travel. The so-called BluePass covers trips from Boston or Long Beach, CA to certain markets from Aug. 22 through Nov. 22 with no blackout dates. Prices range from $1,299 to $1,999 for three service options based on origination and destination airports.
- If you’ve ever been interested in traveling to destinations outside of the U.S., now may be your opportunity to do it without breaking the bank. Air New Zealand is currently offering incredible rates on round-trip flights originating from Los Angeles and San Francisco. There’s also stellar deals on round-trip flights to destinations across Europe that will be expiring very soon. Or if you’re interested in Hong Kong or Beijing, there’s discounts available if you book by August 1st.