US airline security fees have gone up and travelers aren’t happy

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Flying through the US just became a shade more expensive, as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security fees doubled today. What used to be a $2.50 charge for each flight is now $5.60, and there is no longer a cap on the total price flyers can be charged for a trip involving multiple flights. Each flight after a four-hour layover on a domestic trip, or a 12-hour layover on an international trip, will be charged another $5.60.


This price hike doesn’t go directly to the TSA, however. It will contribute to reducing the US’s budget deficit as part of a congressional agreement reached last year. Air travelers last year paid for less than a third of the TSA’s $6.8 billion in aviation security expenses.

The fee is one of many air travel add-ons, from a $4.50 passenger facility charge to a 7.5% federal excise fee. The TSA is still accepting public comments on the change, and they haven’t been great so far.

“The cost of TSA measures, not just in the fees we pay the TSA, but in lost time and productivity for travelers and airlines, has been exorbitant, and it’s gone beyond illogical to becoming unconscionable. It is, as many people have said, security theater, but it’s unbearably expensive theater.” – Kate Johnson

“I believe that current TSA policies are ineffective and unnecessary. To increase the budget for a program that is invasive and does not keep us safer is asinine. Please do not rase the fees.” -Frank Rose

“I urge the TSA not to increase the Passenger Civil Aviation Security Service Fee. Airplane travel is not a privilege in the 21st Century but a requirement for many Americans. This fee adjustment places a burden on travelers, regardless of whether they are doing so for business or pleasure.” -Aryeh Goretsky