Airline Ticket Prices

A recent complaint reaching the offices of the Fair Trading Commission indicated that an airline ticket advertised as costing US $194.00 actually cost US $297.00 after taxes, fees and charges were added. That represented a 53% increase to the advertised price.

The Commission felt that consumers were largely unprepared for such levels of increase over and above the advertised price of a ticket, and were effectively being misled as to the ultimate cost of an airline ticket. Under the Fair Competition Act, providers of goods and services are prohibited from making representations to the public that are misleading in a material respect. The total amount payable upon purchasing an airline ticket, like any other good or service, is material information; and airlines are therefore obliged, as far as possible, to set out the TOTAL cost of tickets in their advertisements.

Arising out of discussions between the Commission Staff and all airlines operating out of Jamaica, airline advertisements as of March 1, 2004, will reflect as accurately as possible the TOTAL cost of a ticket. Advertisements will indicate either the range of percentage or dollar figure increase; or the approximate amount of taxes, charges and/or fees which will be added to the advertised price of an airline ticket.

The information set out below provides a guide as to the nature of taxes, charges and fees which are added to the price of an airline ticket:

Local charges added to all tickets:

Description of tax/fee Amount

  • Jamaican airport improvement fee USD 5.00
  • Jamaican passenger service and security fee USD 7.81
  • Jamaican departure tax JMD 1000.00
  • Jamaican stamp duty JMD 600.00
  • Jamaican Transportation Tax JMD 300.00
  • Jamaican Security Surcharge USD 7.00
  • Insurance Surcharge per direction USD 2.00

Note that the amounts quoted in Jamaican Dollars may vary according to the bank rate of exchange at the time of ticket purchase.
In addition to the above, a ticket will attract additional taxes which vary according to travel destination.

On a return trip to Miami, IN ADDITION TO THE LOCAL CHARGES, further charges will include:

Description of tax/fee Amount

  • USA Departure tax USD 26.80
  • US airport improvement fee USD 4.50
  • US Customs user fee USD 7.00
  • US Aphids fee USD 3.10
  • FAA regulated security fee USD 2.50

On a return trip to Canada, IN ADDITION TO THE LOCAL CHARGES OUTLINED ABOVE, further charges will include:

Description of tax/fee Amount

  • Canadian air travelers security charge CAD 24.00
  • Canadian airport improvement fee CAD 12.00 – 20.00
  • Canadian transportation tax – CAD 7% of Can. Transport tax goods and service tax

On a return trip to London, IN ADDITION TO THE LOCAL CHARGES OUTLINED ABOVE, further charges will include:

Description of tax/fee Amount

  • UK departure tax JMD 2005.00
  • UK passenger service fee JMD 628.00
  • Security fee (*Applicable to British Airways only) JMD 484.00
  • Air Jamaica’s Insurance & Security Tax (*Applicable to Air JA only) USD 25.00

Some governments make it mandatory for the airlines to collect taxes when the ticket is issued; others request direct payment by the passenger. Airports will impose a charge for facility improvement and this will vary at each airport through which the passenger travels to his final destination. Some of the charges are charges per segment of travel, so that on a return trip, the passenger may be required to pay double the amount of the charge indicated. It should also be noted that these charges may be subject to change at any time by the respective country.