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Get Ready for the New TSA-Issued Fee, Set to Start One Month from Today

June 20, 2014 at 10:53 AM | by | ()

Another day, another new fee for the airline industry and its passengers. The biggest surprise? The airlines have nothing to do with it.

In December, Congress approved an increase in the TSA fees applied to passenger airline tickets, raising the charge to a flat rate of $5.60 each way, up from the previous $2.50 each way for a nonstop one-way flight or $5 for trips that included a layover. The TSA has already said that it will try to add an additional $5.60 for segments that include a layover longer than four hours, most likely assuming that people with such wait times will exit and reenter the secure areas.

Much of the travel community is understandably up in arms over the decision, which will be "published" today and take affect 30 days from now. Part of the reason Congress approved the increase in the face of the criticism is no doubt in part related to the fact that some of the extra money will be applied to the Federal deficit.

"In accordance with Federal Law, the revenue generated from the security fee will be deposited in the general fund of the Treasure," TSA Press Secretary Ross Reinstein told FoxBusiness.com. "The revenue is to be used to offset TSA costs for providing civil aviation security services, after stipulated amounts are applied to the reduction of the Federal deficit."

Hmmm... It would be one thing if the idea was to charge airline passengers more to support security measures, but the fact that flyers are now forced to chip in for the Federal deficit when they buy an airline ticket is borderline ridiculous. We hate to say the TSA and Congress went to bed together on this one, but it seems pretty clear.

If you want to air your frustration, there is a 60-day comment period for the bill, but the only avenue for feedback is to write your local Congressman. Couple that with the fact that it would also take another act of Congress to overturn the bill, looks like flyers are once again getting the short end of the stick without much recourse.

[Photo: ABC News]

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