Proposed Airline Fee Hike Gets Mixed Reaction from Travelers

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SACRAMENTO -- Every time you book a flight out of Sacramento International Airport, a "passenger facility fee" is included in that cost.

The fee is $4.50 but there's a proposal in Congress that would up the fee to $8.50.

"The passenger facility charge is for infrastructure, so it goes to improving taxi ways, runways, terminal improvements," Sac International spokesperson Laurie Slothower said. "All the things you need to give a good passenger experience."

John Grech was waiting Tuesday morning for two friends to fly in from Brazil when FOX40 spoke with him. He knows they spent a lot of money for their flight to Sacramento.

Grech says he doesn't mind spending the extra money, just as long as it helps customers in the long run.

"I would pay $4 extra for a more civilized experience. By that, I mean plenty of seating, faster security checks," Grech said.

But others aren't convinced.

"If the rates are at $4.50 now and they want to go to $8.50, what's next? $10.50?" passenger Ken Dandrea said. "I think it should be put on each individual city where the airport is located. Pass a bond (measure), not put it on every passenger who is flying."

Airlines of America, a lobbying group representing top airlines, said they are also against the proposed fee hike:

"Airline passengers already pay over $20 billion a year in taxes for the tickets they purchase. Adding another $3.2 billion tax hike on American travelers simply cannot be justified."

But Sac International said the increased fee would be welcome because it would help pay off its debt and investment in airfield improvements.