Air travelers to pay higher TSA fee

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Higher security fees will reflect on plane tickets beginning Monday as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) charge rises from $2.50 and $5 to $5.60 each way for all flights with any connection longer than four hours.

Non-stop flights will be charged the highest TSA fee increase of 124 percent as the current $2.50 fee becomes $5.60 each way and the $5 fee for round trips become $11.20 each way.

Travelers with long layovers or multiple cities on their ticket also face significantly higher security fees. From the current $10 per round trip, they will be charged $5.60 every time a passenger has a layover or stopover of more than four hours for domestic flights and 12 hours for international flights. For a round trip from Phoenix to New York with a long layover in Atlanta in each direction, TSA fee will be $5.60 for the Phoenix to Atlanta leg and another $5.60 for the Atlanta to New York leg, for a total of $11.20 each way or $22.40 round trip.

Passengers who book a trip with connecting flights will pay the smallest increase of 12 percent. From $2.50 per stop each way up to a maximum of $5 or $10 per round trip, they will pay a flat $5.60 each way, or $11.20 round trip.

Congress approved the TSA fee increase late last year to help balance the federal budget. TSA said the estimated $12.63 billion of $36.49 billion to be generated over 10 years will go to the general fund to help reduce the federal deficit. The $23.86 billion balance goes to the TSA. The agency will receive in 10 years $4.3 billion more than under the current fees.

Airlines for America, the trade group that lobbied in Congress against the fee hike, is complaining.

“Our government must stop using airlines and their passengers as its own personal ATM whenever it needs more money,” spokeswoman Jean Medina said in a statement, according to AZCentral.com.

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