Taxation Without Transportation
Ever tried to cancel an airline ticket, only to discover that all the taxes, fees, and other annoying tacked on charges aren't refundable? Turns out it's just the U.S. government that keeps taxes for services not rendered.
European airlines refund taxes and fees, even when the ticket itself is nonrefundable. "For airlines, refunding the taxes and fees actually showcases to consumers what a large percentage of tickets those expenses are—an issue that airlines have been harping on for many years."
And we're not talking chicken feed here. From The Wall Street Journal:
Last year, taxes and fees on U.S. domestic flights averaged $50 per ticket, with an effective tax rate of nearly 16%, according to a study by the aviation division of Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H. (The average domestic ticket cost $363 last year, including the $50 in taxes and fees, the study found.)