No need to reward this ridiculous scheme for $14 if you can possibly avoid it.
Those planning to still come to the US as nationals of countries whose citizens can use ESTA to come to the US (instead of going to a US consulate/embassy for a US visa), should apply for the ESTA on or before September 7th.
DHS -- the US government arm that treats visiting foreigners and other passengers at US airports as if they are criminals -- is going to be taking even more of your money. $4 out of the $14 is not going to be used for anything to do with directly promoting tourism to the US -- it will in large part end up being used to subsidize DHS-CBP and TSA to hassle passengers even more than is already the case.
Like TSA, DL SkyMiles management treats airline customers as if they are the enemy or sheep to be fleeced and it shows.
"...In December 2008 the Commission carried out an assessment of the interim ESTA rule, concluding that at that stage the interim ESTA system was not to be considered as tantamount to a visa application process as defined in the Common Consular Instructions (now the Visa Code). The Commission will carry out a definitive assessment once the Final Rule on ESTA will be published by the US Federal authorities."
All EU citizens should lobby the Commission to consider ESTA tantamount to a visa, and to impose similar restrictions on US passport holders.
I will say as a US citizen our government is a bleeping joke... $14.00 for tourism COME ON!!!! I will tell ya what it is going to UNION Salary's to pay lazy ... stupid TSA/DHS agents..... I think there needs to be a full out WAR over this so I would encourage everyone if you can (I know sometimes you can't) not to come to the US. Thank You!!!!