QUEENS - Following a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the federal government has stopped collecting taxes on airline tickets, opening the door for some airlines to cash in at travelers' expense.

The federal air-travel tax expired Friday night after Congress missed its deadline to reauthorize FAA funding. Airlines were expected to stop collecting taxes on tickets, but instead of passing the savings along to passengers, some airlines simply raised fares.

Consumers would have saved about 10-15 percent off the cost of each ticket.

"I think they should send along the savings if that was what it was meant for," says traveler Rebecca Klein.

However, the Air Travelers Association says there's no impact on consumers, who are generally paying the same ticket prices as they did last week. The group adds that the additional revenue will help airlines invest in their products and services.

Passengers who bought their tickets before the shutdown Friday, but who plan to travel during the shutdown, may be eligible for a refund.

Meanwhile, about 4,000 FAA workers were furloughed yesterday, including 16 in Garden City and six in Ronkonkoma.