Delta Offers Tax Refunds to Passengers, Others to Follow?


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — For the first time in what feels like a long while, Delta (Stock Quote: DAL) is giving consumers money back rather than squeezing them for more.

Delta will provide a tax refund to all travelers who booked a flight before July 23 that departed on or after that date, when Federal Aviation Administration funding officially ran out. Refunding is pending approval from Congress. Since the FAA is responsible in part for collecting taxes from U.S. airlines but is unable to until Congress reauthorizes its funding, carriers no longer need to charge most taxes.

While a few airlines are offering a temporary tax holiday, many including Delta simply jacked up their pretax prices to boost profits. But now the airline is offering some small consolation.

People who did pay taxes on flights that left during this temporary tax holiday because the tickets were booked before FAA funding ran out will be entitled to a modest refund that includes the 7.5% tax on the base ticket price as well as a $3.70 segment tax and, if applicable, international travel taxes. So, for example, if you booked a domestic flight for $300, you could potentially get back at least $25.

The airline is waiting for further instruction on when and how to offer these refunds from the Internal Revenue Service,w hich has hinted that passengers from other airlines may be entitled to similar refunds. Unfortunately, this won’t help passengers from Delta and other airlines who have been forced to pay a higher base rate during the temporary tax holiday.

Congress is expected to go on recess now until Sept. 6, meaning the FAA and airline taxes may be in limbo until at least that date.

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