[Rushtalk] #BBCtrending: Venezuela's airport 'breathing' tax

Carl William Spitzer IV cwsiv at copper.net
Sun Aug 10 15:59:02 MDT 2014

#BBCtrending: Venezuela's airport 'breathing' tax 

BBC Trending By BBC Trending  What's popular and why 
Passengers at Maiquetia International Airport 

"That will be $20 'breathing' tax please" 
Continue reading the main story 

The biggest international airport in Venezuela is charging a fee for the
right to inhale clean air - and social media users are not happy.

We're used to a seemingly endless range of taxes and surcharges when we
fly - passenger taxes, departure taxes, fuel levies. But Maiquetia
International Airport in Caracas has taken this a step further -
passengers flying out now have to pay 127 bolivars tax (£12; $20) for
the air they breathe.

This is to cover the cost of a newly-installed system which uses ozone
to purify the building's air conditioning system. A press release from
the Ministry of Water and Air Transport says it's the first airport in
South America and the Caribbean to use the technology, which it claims
will eliminate bacterial growth to "protect the health of travellers,"
as well as deodorizing and sanitising the building.

But with tickets out of the country already expensive and scarce because
of Venezuela's economic crisis, many on social media have responded to
the tax with both humour and outrage.

Radio presenter Daniel Martínez tweeted: "Could you explain to me the
ozone thing in Maiquetia? The toilets don't have water, the air-con is
broken, there are stray dogs inside the airport, but there's ozone?"

Depending who you ask, the tax is funny, infuriating, or just one more
surreal aspect of a country that has the biggest oil reserves in the
world, yet at the same time has shortages of toilet paper and sugar.

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