Hidden Baggage: Behavioral Responses to Changes in Airline Ticket Tax Disclosure

Sebastien Bradley*, Naomi E. Feldman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We examine the impact of a January 2012 enforcement action by the US Department of Transportation that required US air carriers and online travel agents to modify their web interfaces to incorporate all ticket taxes in up-front, advertised fares. We show that the more prominent display of tax-inclusive prices is associated with significant reductions in consumer tax incidence, demand, and ticket revenues along more heavily taxed itineraries. In particular, the fraction of unit taxes that airlines passed onto consumers fell by roughly 75 cents for every dollar of tax.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)58-87
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.All Rights Reserved.


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