This session, members of U.S. Congress can end travel delays for millions of commuters across the United States, and they can do it without using any federal taxpayer dollars.

How? 

By voting to stop the federal government from infringing on a local program that has proven it works, Congress can help airports reduce flight congestion that threatens to make Thanksgiving-day travel conditions the norm. 

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Some call it the Passenger Facility Charge; I just think of it as a program that gives airports a fighting chance to get my flight out on time. 

The PFC is good for business – that’s why major trade groups from the hotel industry to the construction industry support reducing federal limitations on it. The PFC is good for passengers – that’s why the U.S. Travel Association supports reducing federal limitations on it.  And the PFC is good for jobs – that’s why my union supports reducing federal limitations on it. 

New terminal facilities, new runways and other airport improvements supported by the PFC help U.S. airports compete as drivers in the global economy, creating a better experience for passengers and good jobs for more hardworking Americans.  

Unfortunately, the airlines are trying to convince Congress to stand in the way of those benefits, even while they are posting profits projected at over $25 billion for 2015. Increased, independent airport capacity aided by the PFC could mean the possibility of more gates at airports and more flights for passengers to choose from. 

Airports should have the right to determine – without federal government intervention – what fair market PFC rate would balance the needs to keep airline competition high, ticket prices affordable and airport facilities up to the challenge of modern travel.  

Lifting or increasing the federal PFC cap helps local airports help themselves, how they see fit.  It reduces an unwanted federal restriction on airports’ ability to react to the market – and to get their flights out on time. 

An opportunity to increase flight options and reduce delays in air travel, all while creating new jobs?  I bet the airlines would charge a lot more than $8.00 for that.

Taylor is president of UNITE HERE, a union representing 270,000 working people across North America, including airport and hospitality staff.