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June 10th, 2015

AY Tax increase causes problems in GDS

U.S. September 11 Security Fee (AY TAX):

AY TAX is U.S. government assessed fee of $5.60 per one-way trip with a U.S. enplanement for security costs, and it may be charged multiple times for itineraries with stopovers. This fee is paid directly to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

On 21-July-2014 AY TAX increased from $2.50 to $5.60. Before, passenger was charged $2.50 for each segment per enplanement, and he could not get charged more than $5 each way or $10 round trip. Now, passengers is liable for $5.60 for each segment per enplanement. If a passenger purchases a ticket before 21- July- 2014, and changes the original itinerary after 21-July-2014, the carrier must treat the itinerary change as a new purchase and charge the revised September 11th Security Fee (AY TAX $5.60).

However, if passenger purchases a ticket before 21- July- 2014, and the air carrier changes the original itinerary (ex: involuntary re-route) after 21- July-2014, or if passenger changes the amenities  of that ticket (ex: seating changes, meals) after July 21, 2014, then the carrier must not treat the transaction as a new purchase (AY TAX $2.5).

If an air carrier does not properly collect the fee form the passenger, then the air carrier is still solely liable to TSA for the fee.

In many cases, travel agents use Saber to auto price exchange/reissue of the tickets, but the AY Tax is not collected properly. The automated reissue process by Sabre should have been collected the difference in fee.  This GDS mistake resulted in issuance of many Debit Memos to travel agents. In these instances, since payments were warranted, Sabre will cover the difference in AY Tax excluding service fees or administrative fees because these fees are not covered in Sabre’s fare guarantee.

Posted by: Yana Nibelitsky

References:

1.       http://www.tsa.gov/stakeholders/tsa-security-fee-frequently-asked-questions

2.       http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/21/travel/tsa-passenger-fee-hike/