After Lufthansa and Delta hiked airfares to pay for new European carbon emission taxes, it was only a matter of time before other carriers followed suit. Indeed, Reuters reports that American, United, Continental, and US Airways have joined the fee fad, tacking $3 each way onto airfares between the U.S. and Europe.
We contacted the aforementioned airlines, and, while we haven't heard back from Continental, United, US Airways and American confirmed that the new surcharge had been added. Airline representatives also told us that ticket fees and the reasons behind them cannot be discussed due to U.S. Department of Justice regulations. However, this flurry of new airline fees was most likely implemented in reaction to greenhouse-gas laws passed by the European Union. The E.U. regulations, which went into effect on January 1, require airlines to pay a tax to offset carbon emissions for flights to and from Europe. Consequently, that tax is being passed on to the consumer.
How will this affect you? Basically, your plane ticket to Europe will be a few dollars more expensive than it once was. As of now, it seems the airlines are incorporating the new fee into the all-purpose "international taxes" that U.S. fliers already have to shell out when heading across the pond, so you won't notice anything different when booking your flight.The $6 fee, after all, is just a few bucks on top of Europe fares that cost hundreds of dollars to begin with.
However, things could change. The U.S. and China have expressed opposition to the new European laws, and the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that would prohibit U.S. airlines from paying the fee. There's a possibility, reports The New York Times, that the EU will compromise and change the new laws in the coming year. But until then, you'll have to fork over the price of an airplane meal the next time you're whisking away to Paris or London.
What do you think about the new fees? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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