If you feel like your flights are being delayed or cancelled more often these days, you're not imagining things: At United, American, and Delta collectively, the percentage of flights delayed or cancelled increased 88 percent in 2014 compared to 2012, according to a new report published by the Campaign for On-Time Flights, an initiative launched yesterday by airports union UNITE HERE to promote an increase in the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), or airport tax, levied on travelers.
A total of one in four flights were delayed or cancelled in 2014, according to the Campaign, which attributes airlines' poor performance to poor airport infrastructure that could be improved by an increase in the PFC.
"Every airline ticket includes money to make airports run more efficiently and help fund new terminal facilities, new runways, and other airport improvements. Right now, the federal government does not let airports set the Passenger Facility Charge on their own. Instead, the federal government puts a cap on it, and that cap has not gone up since 2000," the Campaign explained in a news release. "Airports are trying to get permission to increase the PFC to keep up with travel demand but airlines and their lobbyists are trying to block it."
Congress is set to consider changes to the PFC this fall as part of legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Among the groups opposing such changes are the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and the airline industry group Airlines for America. Among the groups supporting changes, meanwhile, are the U.S. Travel Association and the airport industry group Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA).
Travelers who favor a PFC increase can voice their support to Congress via the Campaign for On-Time Flights' website: OnTimeFlights.org