Travel

Venezuelan airport now taxing you for breathing

Take a deep breath. Now exhale. Feel that? It's not just air leaving your lungs making you lighter. If you're flying through Caracas, Venezuela, it's also the feeling of $20 leaving your wallet.

Flyers passing through Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas have to cough up around $20 (127 bolivars) for the air they breathe -- thanks to a new tax imposed by the Venezuelan government on July 1. 

Unless you're holding your breath in the airport's departure lounge, where the air conditioning vents allegedly pump super-clean, bacteria-crushing ozone, you'll need to pay a fee â€śto cover the cost of a newly installed air purification system”, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Water and Air Transport. 

The BBC reports that Maiquetia International Airport is the first in South America to install the fancy air purification system, which apparently "deodorizes and sanitizes" the space, and "eliminates bacterial growth to protect the health of travelers". 

No word on whether or not it can neutralize Terrible BO guy or Halitosis person, however.

Flying to and from Venezuela continues to get more expensive, as a number of US airlines have slashed service, citing repressive government currency exchanges.

And a tax on breathing? Seems like anything but a breath of fresh air.


Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.