JetBlue offering refunds for federal taxes – will others follow?

JetBlue plane at JFK

Image via Wikipedia

JetBlue is stepping up and offering customers a refund for the extra taxes they paid for their airline ticket. Will others follow?

On July 22nd, the Federal Excise Tax expired. If you bought your ticket before July 22nd for travel after July 22, you may be entitled to a refund.

JetBlue detailed the refund process on its blog, BlueTales, and there’s a “Travel Alert” on the company’s main website. Both posts explain how to get a refund for the expired federal excise tax if you have a trip planned in the next seven days. The refund will be for the Federal Excise Tax and other federal taxes travellers paid when they bought their tickets.

JetBlue says to send an email to: dearjetblue@jetblue.com with your name and confirmation number for travel in the next seven days. In the subject line, include “Expired Tax Refund Request.”

JetBlue doesn’t guarantee a timeframe for the refund adding that it will process the request on a first come first serve basis and based on the guidance provided by the Feds.

Of course those of you travelling outside the seven day timeframe are asking what about me? JetBlue says you need to wait. Jet Blue will update you when it has an answer.

American Airlines also has an alert on their main page, but AA is telling consumers to contact the IRS regarding a potential refund for tickets bought before July 22nd for travel after the 22nd.

While AA is sending consumers to the Internal Revenue Service, the tax agency says it doesn’t have a refund policy at this time.

The following statement was issued by the IRS, “The laws authorizing the airline ticket tax and other aviation-related taxes expired at midnight on Friday, July 22. The IRS continues to monitor pending legislation related to this issue. The IRS will continue to work with the airline industry to address issues relating to the collection and payment of the taxes involved. Taxpayers do not need to take any action at this time. The IRS will provide further guidance on this issue in the near future.”

Right now, it’s wait and see for most consumers.

American Airlines does point out that travellers who already began their travel before July 22nd, but still had a leg scheduled after the 22nd are not eligible for a refund. That’s really the only detail in the AA post.

It would be nice to see every airline offer consumers a refund, although refunds are not something consumers are used to with the airline industry. The airlines almost never issue refunds.  Usually it’s the consumer paying lots of extra money in fees to the airline if they want to change their ticket. My message for airlines: renew our faith in air travel and issue refunds. Do the right thing.

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3 responses to “JetBlue offering refunds for federal taxes – will others follow?

  1. Bottom line: All they want is to earn the interest on your money before they have to refund it. Shame on them.

  2. Pingback: JetBlue Offering Refunds For Federal Taxes – Will Others Follow? | The Wolcott Whisper

  3. Pingback: IRS offers guidance on airline refunds | Jenn Strathman