Flying Is a Taxable Event

The potential specter of federal carry-on bag size restrictions has not deterred me from flying. But my jaw nearly hit the floor recently when I saw that I had paid more in taxes and fees than for actual airfare for an international flight.

Click here to see a list of 17 taxes we pay for flying. The September 11th Fee. International Departure Tax. International Arrival Tax. And those are just the direct taxes.

Indirect taxes are also legion. They’re harder to see. But they’re still there. And they, too, increase the price of flying. Airports have to pay an electricity tax to keep the lights on. Airlines have to pay a corporate tax on any profits. Pilots and crew have to pay income taxes. All these also affect the price of airfare. There is far more to taxation than meets the eye.