When the Transportation Security Administration enacted a radical change in the imposition of the TSA Passenger Fee, industry advocates predicted that doing so would unnecessarily drive up the cost of air travel and force customers to pay millions more in federal taxes and fees than Congress intended.
Unfortunately, this warning from Airlines for America against the TSA busting their fee caps turned out to be true. As NBC News reports, not only is the price tag for consumers pretty steep, but also the fee hike is a pure government money grab that isn’t even being used for security.
From the NBC News report:
Passengers will end up paying over a billion dollars more per year in added fees, said A4A Senior Vice President Sharon Pinkerton, “and the icing on the cake for air passengers is that most of those fees aren’t going back into the TSA program to improve security.”
The NBC News report goes on to say that TSA’s fee hike is being used for “deficit reduction” and may result in a fee that is FOUR TIMES higher than the original fee for some airline customers:
The government is hiking the mandatory security fee put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to fund the Transportation Security Administration. The fee originally had been pegged at $2.50 per leg of a connecting flight, capped at $5 per one-way trip. The new fee will be a flat $5.60 per one-way trip — that is, if you take direct flights or have layovers on domestic flights no longer than four hours.
But some travelers may end up paying a higher fee — as much as four times that amount — because the definition of a one-way trip has been altered and the fees are no longer capped.
Nicholas E. Calio, President and CEO of Airlines for America and Charlie Leocha, Chairman and Founder of Travelers United, joined together to author a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole about the negative impact the fee hike would have on consumers and the rising government imposed costs on airfare.
From the Calio/Leocha letter:
This change will disproportionately hurt consumers from small and rural communities who must often use more one way trips to reach their final destination.
To learn more about the TSA’s fee hike, it’s negative impact and what A4A is doing to protect airline consumers, go to airlines.org.