Airport Fees and Charges

Have you ever wondered what makes flying so expensive? There’s much more than fuel that factors into the price of your plane ticket. Airport fees are charges for landing, take-off, noise, emissions, parking, the use of passenger facilities, crew salaries, and more. The professionals at Sheffield aeronautics school further explain the reasoning behind these fees below.


Government fees on flights may include:

  • Passenger Facility Charges. PFC. This price depends on the itinerary.
  • Federal Excise Tax. A federal excise tax of 7.5% is charged on airfares.
  • Segment Fee. A segment fee up to $4 applies per flight segment, as in one takeoff and one landing.
  • September 11th Security Fee. $5.60 per one-way flight. Additional fees can be assessed if the trip includes a domestic layover of more than four hours.
  • U.S. or International Departure and Arrival Charges.


Taxes and Charges for the biggest proportion of the ticket include:

  • Landing Fee. A charge that every airline must pay the destination airport
  • Domestic Passenger Ticket Tax.
  • Segment Tax (above)
  • September 11th Security Fee (above)


The crew salaries and other non-flying factors include:

  • Administrators
  • Executives
  • Software engineers
  • Marketers
  • Consultants
  • Customer service personnel
  • Public relations agents
  • Janitors
  • Rent
  • Benefits


Additional fees on flights may include:

  • Baggage Fees. Checked or carry-on bags can range from $15-200 per flight segment.
  • Heavy Fees. Airlines can charge for baggage that weighs more than 50 pounds.
  • Shipping and Handling Fees.
  • Itinerary Change Fees. Whether you’re simply changing your itinerary, cancelling, requesting a refund, etc., the airline can charge a fee up to $500.
  • Visa Fees. If you’re obtaining a tourist visa, you may need to pay a fee.


Although it may be overwhelming, the cost of levies, taxes, charges, maintenance, and more, are necessary to include in the pricing of your ticket. In various ways, airline passengers are helping to pay for the services provided by these entities.

When you purchase a ticket from an airline, you’ll see a “breakdown” of where your money is going. They’ll typically provide you with the price of the base fare and then they’ll include the taxes and carrier-imposed fees that our aeronautics school has mentioned above. This will bring you to the total fare, which is the base fare, airport charges, government taxes and fees, carrier-imposed charges, and anything additional that you will pay as a total.

If you have a knack for flying and are interested in a dispatcher program, Sheffield School of Aeronautics offers flight dispatcher courses and has trained thousands of people from all around the world for their FAA Aircraft Dispatcher License.

Contact our aircraft dispatch school today to get started on your career in aviation.

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