Big Taxes To Visit Big Sky Country

Friends of ours who moved to Virginia from Montana a few years ago are planning a father/son camping trip in Big Sky Country this summer. I’ve always wanted to visit that part of America, especially Glacier National Park, and my son Anthony is close friends with John, one of the sons of our friend Mike who is organizing the trip.

Lord willing, we’ll be making the trip. I booked our flight to Spokane, Wash., this morning. It’s the first flight I’ve taken on our family dime since we brought our youngest daughter, Catie, home from Guatemala in 2005. Now that I’m blogging about taxes, I’m more aware of just how much more it costs to fly because of the government.

Here’s the tab for taxes and fees on our Southwest Airlines flight: $91.76 in U.S. taxes; $35 in “passenger facility charges” (fancy terminology for the head tax airports impose for infrastructure projects); and $20 for the security fees imposed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The bottom line: Our father/son trip will cost $146.76 more thanks to the bureaucrats.

I’m happy to pay the security fee if it keeps us safer while traveling (though I’m not convinced that it does). But it’s infuriating to see just how much money governments get every time someone gets on a plane.

And it was downright sad to learn that airline ticket taxes are such serious business that there’s even a project that tries to make sense of them.


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