Bill Would Exempt Alaska, Hawaii From Increase in Air Travel Fees
News from Honolulu Civil Beat:

Sen. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, Democrats of Hawaii, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican of Alaska, introduced legislation Wednesday that would exempt Hawaii, Alaska and “communities that rely on essential air service as subsidized” by the U.S. Department of Transportation, from the increase in air travel fees included in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2013.

“This exemption would protect interisland flights in Hawaii and intrastate flights in Alaska from increased air travel fees, which have more than doubled from $ 2.50 to $ 5.60 per,” according to a press release.

“Raising air travel fees puts an unfair burden on the people of Hawaii for whom air travel is essential and I will continue to oppose such increases,” Hirono said. “Hawaii residents and visitors have no real alternative to commercial interisland flights to meet their everyday transportation needs, from flying to receive health care, visit family, or on business. …”

Said Schatz, “Air travel is a necessity, not a luxury, in our island state. Rising TSA fees put an unfair burden on Hawaii residents who depend on air travel for work, health care, and to visit family. …”

Hawaiian Air…………… continues on Honolulu Civil Beat

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Related News:

Improving US Economy Boosts Spring Air Travel
News from NPR:

Air travel is projected to reach a 7-year high this spring. A major travel organization predicts longer lines and larger crowds. It is calling for airlines to improve airport infrastructure.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Get ready for longer airport lines. Airlines are forecasting a big increase in air travel this spring. Profits are up as well. But as NPR’s David Schaper reports, do not expect airfares to drop anytime soon.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: This is a good time to be an airline, as the number of people wanting to fly somewhere for work or play continues to rise. John Heimlich is chief economist for the industry group Airlines for America.

JOHN HEIMLICH: An expanding U.S. economy, more jobs and rising consumer sentiment are driving increased demand for air travel, with us projecting a 2 percent increase in volumes over the March and April period to its highest level in seven years.

SCHAPER: Air travel hasn’t been this brisk since peaking in 2007, says Heimlich. And demand is so strong, airlines are hiring more workers and adding seats after years of reducing both.

HEIMLICH: Jobs are up. Seats are up. And every carrier – every U.S. carrier – is growing in 2015……………. continues on NPR

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