In recent years, we’ve seen a boom in business along with a boom in interest in southern Maine. The Portland jetport’s expansion is indicative of that.

Airports are now saying that they need even more money from travelers to do further infrastructure work, and they want to capture that money with an increased passenger facility charge. Airline passengers are already being nickeled and dimed to death with fees for seat selection, luggage and extra peanuts. Such an increase is just one more cost that already overburdened passengers will have to pay.

The Portland jetport’s expansion cost over $70 million, and that was paid for with the passenger facility charge at its current level of $4.50. It just doesn’t make sense to me now that we would nearly double the charge to $8.

The $8 fee is only one of many fees and taxes paid on tickets by a passenger, and they add up quickly. Additionally, the passenger facility charge is added to flight segments. Maine is just geographically not an easy place to get a direct flight to.

If people are noticing their airline ticket costs starting to jump because they are flying into Maine, they might cut off their vacation travels a little further south and take their money with them. We don’t want that. We want our economy to keep growing, and we want Mainers to be able to travel to see family and friends without taking an even larger hit to their wallets.

An unnecessary increase in the passenger facility charge would just give passengers one more reason to be frustrated about air travel.

Bill Diamond

Democratic state senator

Windham


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