LAX Drops $3 Facility Charge

Travelers flying out of Los Angeles International Airport will save $3 each beginning Jan. 1.

Since July, 1993, a $3 "passenger facility charge" has been added to every departing passenger's ticket, raising more than $154 million for the city Department of Airports. Changed priorities prompted discontinuation of the fee, said airport executive director John Driscoll, who added that "certainly for the next three years, I don't see any basis" for a reimposition of the charge. The fees, which are added on to the rates advertised by airlines, will continue to apply to tickets purchased in 1995 for travel in 1996.

The millions raised by the facility fees, and $13.5 million in interest they have generated, have gone unspent so far. Airport officials now hope to spend the lion's share of the money--up to $132 million--on construction of a new terminal at the city's Ontario airport, which began in October. (The $3 facility fee is to remain in place for passengers departing from the Ontario facility.)

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