In recent years there has been a surge in Canadians traveling across the border to begin their air travels from an airport in the United States. Indeed recent statistics show that in 2011, nearly 1 in 5 Canadians made the decision to "not buy Canadian" when it came to flying. Why would Canadians choose to not support Canadian Airports, Airlines and Jobs? Why would Canadians choose to sit in a border line-up and drive for an hour spewing out carbon emissions into the atmosphere instead taking a shorter drive to the local airport? The answer, like many things in life comes down to money. Take a look at the following example:
Flying Bellingham - Las Vegas
Total Taxes $10.80
Flying Vancouver - Las Vegas
Total Taxes $83.56
Assuming that the actual airfare that the airlines charge is the same, this example equates to a savings of almost $150 for two people travelling from the Bellingham airport. Add to the equation low airport parking rates, and an ever increasing array of flight frequencies and destinations and flying from the US to save some of your hard earned money is extremely worthwhile.
While I am the first to point out that cross border flying saves the consumer money, I am also a firm believer in buying local and supporting our Canadian economy. The tax disparities between Canada and the United States have created an unhealthy situation where Canadian airports such as Vancouver (YVR) and Abbotsford (YXX) are losing airline business, passenger numbers and the associated jobs at an alarming rate. I urge you to write your MP, and MLA and ask that the government to work on finding a solution to keep air travel affordable in Canada.