Federal taxes on airline tickets too high?

If you were to place airline tickets on a political scale, it would probably land near the bottom, simply because when you think about airline tickets you don’t think about controversy.

There are many supposedly controversial claims that have been made about plane tickets. For example, PolitiFact has stated that the federal government runs a background check on you whenever you buy an airline ticket. That’s more than likely false.

Gary Kelly, the chief executive officer of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, has come up with a new claim for airplane tickets. Southwest airlines carry the most domestic passengers in the United States and a majority of the passengers at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport.
Kelly made a bold statement in a column that he wrote on February 2013 in the in-flight magazine of Southwest and AirTran Airways. He said that federal taxes and fees turn out to be about 20% of a normal $300 round-trip domestic ticket. Kelly continues by saying that that’s higher than federal taxes on products like tobacco, alcohol and firearms.

Spring break is right around the corner, and alcohol, firearms and tobacco are always a factor, we shall see if Kelly’s claim is true or not.

Kelly’s claim is focused on federal taxes on airline tickets and other products. The source he used for the taxes on airline tickets is coming from Airlines for America, a trade group that advocates for the airline industry. Airlines for America announced in December of 2012 that they would put into effect a campaign to persuade lawmakers to reduce federal taxes on airlines.