Chapter Blog

GBTA and Travelers United to Congress: Don’t Tax Travel Again

Alexandria, VA (November 8, 2017) – Today, the Global Business Travel Association and Travelers United sent a joint letter to Congress urging opposition to a proposal that would increase the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC). In July, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously (31-0) to approve a proposal included in the FY2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act, that would increase the cap on the PFC from $4.50 to $8.50. The estimated cost, $2.6 billion, would be levied on all travelers purchasing airlines tickets.

“This is yet another tax on the cost of doing business in the United States,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “It weakens the United States’ ability to compete in an increasingly competitive global market. It limits the return on investment on business travel – a proven economic driver contributing to GDP, jobs and wages. Additionally, this PFC increase adds an element of uncertainty for our members as they finalize their budgets for the next calendar year.”

GBTA research shows that for every 1 percent change in business travel spending, the U.S. economy gains or loses 74,000 jobs, $5.5 billion in GDP, $3.3 billion in wages and $1.3 billion in taxes. Conversely, taxes and fees associated with travel have the opposite effect.

This is the second letter GBTA has sent to Congress regarding the PFC increase. Prior to consideration of the FY2018 THUD Appropriations Act, GBTA sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee expressing concern regarding the unintended consequences of such a fee increase on the business traveler. GBTA continues to oppose PFC increases ensuring business travelers do not bear an undue burden from ever-increasing taxes and fees.

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Eight Steps to great savings for your travel program

Eight Steps to great savings for your travel program         

  •          Create a strong travel policy

o   Tell travelers what they can spend on accommodations, meal, etc., and offer direction when, where and how they should book their trips

  •          Secure Corporate Rate

o   Push for lower rates with the travel supplier(s) your company uses the most

  •          Educate Your Travelers

o   Tell travelers why it’s important to use your preferred suppliers. Nudge them to take advantage of negotiated perks, like free breakfast or WI-FI at the hotel.

  •          Encourage Advance Bookings

o   Push travelers to book flights three weeks to three months ahead of departure. It can save an average of $150 per ticket.

  •          Embrace Non-refundable fares

o   They’re often hundreds of dollars cheaper than refundable fares. Plus if there’s a last-minute cancellations, most airlines will allow you to apply the ticket’s face value to a new purchase (for a fee).

  •          Don’t Let Unused Air Tickets Go To Waste

o   When trips are cancelled (and not immediately rebooked), contact the airline to get money back or credit for future travel. Consider a ticket recovery tool that does this automatically.

  •          Take Advantage of Rewards Programs

o   Airline and hotel rewards programs can translate to valuable offers whether you or your travelers join.

  •          Don’t Give Up On Lower Fares!

o   Most flights can be cancelled for a full refund up to 24 hours after booking. Monitor rates after booking within the void window to secure better prices. Also, consider a price assurance program that does this automatically.

No matter your role in the industry - novice or seasoned professional – GBTA Kansas City offers a comprehensive array of valuable business resources designed to keep you informed in an ever changing business travel industry. 

We hope you can take advantage of the valuable programs we offer to keep you connected, engaged and inspired for success in the business travel industry. 

Reach out to Info@kcbta.org for information on GBTA Kansas City!

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