Trump wants travelers to take a hike—with a proposed rise in airline ticket TSA fees.
Remember back in 2014, when the TSA fee for each leg of a flight doubled to $5.60 for each leg of a flight, or $11 for a connecting flight? Well, get ready for another rise in cost. This one, a comparatively small $1 increase on those fees, has been proposed by Trump as part of his new budget plan, for a fiscal year beginning October 1. He wants the security fee to go to TSA operations, saying that the total fees collected on tickets should cover 75 percent of those costs.
The increase was not cited in recently released budget documents, but shows in a press release by the Department of Homeland Security, which says the goal is to “ensure that the cost of government services is not subsidized by taxpayers who do not directly benefit from those programs.”
But back in 2014, a hefty amount of the extra revenue gained by that TSA fee increase went toward reducing deficits — and a good portion of this one will, too, as it’s just as addition to the current higher fee. Between now and 2024, it’s expected to bring in $40 billion, with $12.6 billion of that going toward the deficit.
The consumer-advocacy group Travelers United disagrees with the proposed increase. Currently, they said, even though the fees have gone up — costing travelers $1.4 billion more each year — the services have remained the same.
“The concept of a ‘fee’ specifically charged to pay for a specific service has long been lost in our industry and they have all simply become taxes by another name,” Sharon Pinkerton, Travelers United’s senior vice president for legislative affairs, told USA Today. “We would respectfully request this committee do everything in its power to redirect TSA passenger security fee revenue back where it belongs: paying for aviation security.”