FAA Shutdown Means Huge Tax Break for Airlines

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Airlines across the country just got a major tax break. The legislative stalemate in Washington over the budget has forced a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Consequently, no one is available to collect the taxes from consumer's airline tickets.

Many are now wondering where all that money is going.

"Instead of going into consumers' pockets or the government's pockets, it's all going to go to the airlines pockets," said travel expert Rick Seaney, co-founder of FareCompare.com.

"The airlines rank below the IRS in customer satisfaction, so the guy who has your taxes isn't going to give to it you anyway!" Seaney explained.

Airlines like American, United, Continental, Delta, US Airways, Southwest, AirTran and JetBlue have all hiked their fares. 

"We adjusted prices so the bottom-line price of a ticket remains the same as it was before ... expiration of federal excise taxes," American spokesman Tim Smith said.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood expressed outrage over the situation.

"If they can't collect the tax, those charges should not be on an airline ticket! It's not fair to the flying public," he exclaimed.

The airlines stand to make $200 million a week because of the FAA closure. They say they need that money to help improve service.

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