GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

About GBTA Government Relations

GBTA advocates for policies that better the business travel industry, representing travel buyers and the travelers they manage. Business travelers are a consistently underrepresented constituency, despite the fact that the business travel industry represents $1.3 trillion in business travel and meetings expenditures annually. Business travel is also a major driver for jobs and the economy, responsible for 7.4 million jobs in the United States, 1.2 million jobs in Mexico and nearly a half million jobs in Canada. With more than 9,000 global members, regional partners, 39 local chapters and affiliates, and a network of 30,000 business travel and meetings professionals, GBTA is the voice of the global business travel industry. GBTA actively speaks out on policy issues across the globe and frequently meets with representatives in Washington, D.C. and Brussels in an effort to advance the business travel industry.

What We Do

Government Relations advocates policies that benefit the business travel industry. Along with GBTA members across the country, we educate members of Congress and governments abroad, their staff, and executive branch officials about:

  • How business travel stimulates economic and jobs growth

  • Pro-Business Travel Government policies

  • Benefits of efficient travel buying and selling

  • Government policies and taxes that discourage or impede business travel

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Re-instate Cap on 9/11 Fee - Senate Needs to Take Action

In September, the House unanimously passed legislation to require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to re-instate the cap on the 9/11 Aviation Security fee. TSA’s new interpretation could add $20.00-30.00 in new fees to your airline ticket. Prior to the passage of the 2013 Budget Deal, the fee was $2.50 per leg of a connecting flight. The fee was capped at $5 per one way trip and $10 per round trip. Now it will be a flat rate of $5.60 per one way trip, $11.20 per round trip. However, those taking a domestic flight with layover longer than 4 hours or an international flight with a layover longer than 12 hours will be treated as a separate flight and will cost an additional $5.60 for each leg.

While the increased fee will generate an estimated $16.9 billion over the next 10 years, the kicker is that close to $12 billion of that will go to the Treasury Department, to pay down the national debt – once again the government using the business travel industry as a piggy bank. Contact your Senator and ask them to pass the House bill and re-instate the cap on the 9/11 Aviation Security fee.

GBTA Pleased Congress Heard Message That PFC Increase Would Harm U.S. Economy

PFC Increase Left Out of Omnibus Spending Bill

Alexandria, VA (March 21, 2018) – Tonight, Congress released the details of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending bill, which would fund the government through September. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) was pleased to see that attempts to increase air passengers’ flight costs were rebuffed. Congressional leaders rejected a proposal from Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to increase the cap on passenger facility charges (PFC) from $4.50 to $8.50.

Currently, PFCs are capped at $4.50 per flight segment with a maximum of two PFCs charged on a one-way trip or four PFCs on a round trip, for a maximum of $18.00 total. If the increase had gone through that maximum would have jumped to $26, meaning an estimated $2.6 billion would have been levied on all travelers purchasing airlines tickets.


The impact of the rejected PFC hike would have been drastic:

  • A reduction of $2.74 billion of airline tickets sold in the United States

  • A decrease of $3.5 billion in U.S. GDP

  • Job loss by nearly 500,000 jobs

“Congress has again recognized that such a large increase of the PFC is simply unwarranted,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “Travel in general, and specifically business travel, is greatly impacted by increased taxes and fees. Rejecting this increase, is a positive step towards continued business travel growth, which drives lasting economic growth.”

GBTA research has found that for every 1 percent change in business travel spending, the U.S. economy gains or loses 74,000 jobs, $5.5 billion in GDP, $3.3 billion in wages and $1.3 billion in taxes. Taxes and fees associated with travel typically lead to a negative effect.

Travel Coalition Supports the TSA Modernization Act

Alexandria, VA (October 24, 2017) – Today, a coalition of travel associations sent a letter to the Senate Leadership urging support for S. 1872, the TSA Modernization Act. A copy of that letter can be found here. The TSA Modernization Act would advance the deployment of new technologies at security checkpoints, mitigate risks to public areas at airports, and reduce delays in air travel. The bill would also give the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) additional tools to expand TSA PreCheck, a valuable trusted traveler program that increases security at the checkpoint while providing for expedited screening.

The following statement may be attributed to Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO.

“The TSA Modernization Act is a step in the right direction. When it comes to business travel, we need to adopt policies that support our business travelers and help the industry grow. The bill would give TSA increased flexibility to mitigate future threats and safely facilitate travel. Specifically, the bill would provide TSA with new tools to securely expand PreCheck and drive enrollment, a key goal for the travel community.”

Take Action!

DONATE TO PAC

Please join GBTA in furthering the legislative goals of the business travel industry by contributing to Business Travel PAC. Your generous contributions will go directly to pro-business travel candidates for federal office. NextGen air traffic control modernization, expanding TSA Precheck and CBP's Global Entry and lower taxes and fees are among the policies GBTA's government relations team is championing for you on Capitol Hill. 

Business Travel PAC is the collective voice of the business travel industry. Be a part of the voice and donate today!

WRITE TO YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE

Online advocacy is very effective! We want to directly link you to your representative on Capitol Hill, your state legislature and your city council. As various issues arise, you can quickly send an online letter about the issues that matter to you and to the business travel industry. It's easy - just a few clicks and your voice is heard.

You can email the letters as is or personalize them to include information about how a particular issue impacts you and the business travel industry. Learn more