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Failure In Congress Means Windfall For Airlines; Could Delay O’Hare Expansion

United Airlines at O'Hare (ORD) Airport
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Some budget wrangling in Congress means a big windfall for U.S. airlines, but don’t expect the airlines to pass any of the savings on to you.

As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, the airlines are paying less in federal taxes because of Congress’ failure to extend the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The failure by Congress to pass the legislation could also delay the expansion program at O’Hare International Airport.

But on a bigger note, the airlines could pass their tax savings on to customers. But only three American carriers have done so.

The rest are keeping fares at the same amount as before, while pocketing the money previously collected for the government.

It could turn into a windfall for airlines if the stalemate in Congress drags on. The government estimates that the expiring taxes total $200 million a week.

With jet fuel prices much higher than last year, the Associated Press reports, airlines can use the cash.

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