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Are airline and airport taxes and fees making you sick? If so, the Air Transport Association is right there with you, as they’re plastering their message on the side of airplane barf bags.
Airline fares and fees are already high enough, and now the industry is speaking out in opposition of plans to hike security taxes and other charges. The new air sickness bags are pretty direct with their message, as they pretty much tell you where to place your stomach-turning displeasure.
Baggage Fees: just one extra seeing price hikes
Forgive us for reminding you of the old saying "the only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes," but it just goes so well with the news that travel taxes are crazy high and going higher.
For your summer travels, Forbes takes an excellent look at what airports charge the most taxes for extras like car rental. Thus we learn never to rent a car from Boston-Logan, as they lob a 25% tax onto your rental bill.
We’re not going to get all uppity about what is fair and what is not on Tax Day. We pay our fare share to Uncle Sam, and in return, we just hope that he lets us stay around for another year. However, there’s a lot of people expected to voice their opinion today at a Tax Day Tea Party. There's expected to be over 2,000 events around the country, so if you want to protest, go for it.
If you’ve been laid off this year or are just sick and tired of shelling out the cash to programs you don’t believe in, here’s a couple places you may want to express yourself. Just leave the bullhorn at home—we’ve run out of painkillers and have nothing to relieve a potential migraine.
Airline Fees / Taxes / UK Travel / → All Tags
Normally we'd let something as dry as a British budget speech coast under our radar, but this year the pollies said something we didn't like: They're making every flight out of Britain more expensive.
The departure tax that they call "air passenger duty" was already doubled last year, but now it's going up again. Low cost carriers like Ryanair are complaining that the last thing the travel industry needs is even higher charges for cost-sensitive customers.
Rather than applying just two taxes--short and long haul--the British government is now dividing destinations up into four zones depending on distance and applying higher charges for further distances. Australians for one are not happy about being on the D-list, which means an extra £85 ($130) for flights longer than 6,000 miles.
And the worst bit: The UK government is pretending it's all a green tax. Which means when we whine about it, we sound like we don't care about the polar bears. But we do!
[Photo: Abraham C]
Wine / Paris Travel / Taxes / Wine Travel / → All Tags
It's not very elegant--in fact we think it's downright un-French--but there is at least one restaurant in Paris serving house red wine in baby bottles. And since this unusual practice apparently circumvents tax laws on glasses of wine, we can only imagine that there are other places offering the same.
Intelligent Travel alerted us to the existence of the Le Refuge des Fondus in our favorite neighborhood of Paris, Montmartre. This is the place to go when your budget is running low: They'll serve you a fondue meal including an appetizer and desert and a "bottle" of wine for a highly reasonable 17 (US$26).
The baby bottle certainly makes drinking a lot easier, if also a little less classy, and the price is something we're more than happy with. We're thinking this is something that would also work well in other situations. You'll see us grabbing a bottle on our next turbulent flight.
Alex Salkever is the editor of Hawaii travel blog Hawaiirama.com and a general travel maven on all things Hawaii.
With $9 watered-down Mai Tais, hotel charges for junk greeting gimmicks like cheap leis, and a nasty 7.25% hotel accommodations tax, Hawaii is hardly a cheap. Throw in a $350 for a decent hotel room and you have Manhattan in the Pacific. So, pray tell, could Hawaii possibly become even more expensive?
Yes, and you can thank the state and local governments for that. Effective January 1, 2007, Hawaii's state gas tax goes back up by 11 cents per gallon, reversing a previous reduction put in place to take strain off drivers paying record highs at the pump. Me, I love high gas taxes, They encourage less driving which is fine. But if you're on vacation, you don't have much choice, particularly in Hawaii where you need a rental car for every destination save Waikiki.
Even more damaging will be the .5% in the General Excise Tax, which is essentially the Hawaii state sales tax. That means you can expect your $10,000 Hawaii vacation to cost $50 more than it would have before. So there you go. It IS possible for Hawaii to get more expensive.
Beer / Alcohol / Regulations / Taxes / → All Tags
Czech and German brewers are incensed over European Commission plans to increase taxes and regulate the sale of beer in the EU. The EC commissioner said the tax hike in the Czech Republic would be 16 percent, a sizeable amount when you consider the low cost of beer at present. What's more, beer would be sold through licensed shops only.
The Czechs are not amused. Here's our favorite quote, from the director of the Czech Union of Breweries:
"Should the EC push through all of its intentions, the new regulations would infringe on basic human rights and freedom."We couldn't agree more. The EU can't manage to integrate immigrants into the society of their member countries, but apparently they can raise alcohol taxes without breaking a sweat. What a waste for all parties involved.
[Image via racingsquirrel/Flickr]
· Beer Fears [Prague Post]