Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues
Reload this Page >

President proposes increasing taxes on air tickets to pay for security

President proposes increasing taxes on air tickets to pay for security

Old Jan 27, 05, 11:57 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Programs: AA, WN RR
Posts: 3,122
What is TSA doing at ports? If screening of entering cargo and containers is actually occurring, then there may be some hope that TSA will play a meaningful role in security. Has anyone heard or read anything about TSA and ports?
PatrickHenry1775 is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 12:20 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 46
Originally Posted by PatrickHenry1775
What is TSA doing at ports?
Making cargo ship crews remove their shoes and throw their nail clippers overboard before entering port.
superbad is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 12:32 am
  #18  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BWI
Programs: AA Gold, HH Silver, National Emerald Executive, TSA Disparager Gold
Posts: 15,122
LOL!

Shoe carnivals at sea!
Superguy is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 12:36 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,106
Originally Posted by superbad
Making cargo ship crews remove their shoes and throw their nail clippers overboard before entering port.
ROTFLMAO!!!
gregorygrady is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 9:29 am
  #20  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: FLL/LAX/YYZ/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 33,702
Here is the current breakdown:

* federal excise tax on tickets of 7.5 percent,
* federal flight segment tax of $3 per segment,
* federal security surcharges of $2.50 per segment (up to $5 each way),
* airport passenger facility charges of $4.50 maximum per segment (up to four charges per round-trip ticket),
* international arrival and departure taxes ($13.40 each), INS ($7) and Customs fees
*agricultural inspection fees of $3.10

The burden, as a percentage, is higher on a low fare ticket than on a high fare ticket.

Let's not forget how the ticket tax structure has been abused for years. About the only tax collected on a ticket that is actually mandated to go towards aviation system improvements at the local level is the PFC.

The Federal tax on the ticket has gone into a trust fund for the aviation infrastructure that was turned into a big checking account for Congress to fill missing appropriations on everything from roads to playgrounds to social security. Only recently was that process tightened up to make sure that money was properly distributed to aviation projects, through programs like AIR21/AIP/ACIP.

I have not seen any clear-cut accounting of how the currently collected security fee is being spent, and given the already reported despicable acts of waste by the TSA, I am sure very little of it is going to improve screening and security - in fact, I have seen nothing invested except the larger intense-baggage scanners. Where and how is all the money being spent that was collected at $10/round trip?

No additional increases in the tax are justified until we have strong legislation in place which mandates how all this money is spent and accounts for it (requiring public budgets published by the TSA and subject to audit scrutiny).
bocastephen is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 9:43 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Alameda, CA
Programs: 1 month free at curves,Subway Sub Club, Alameda Library
Posts: 87
Originally Posted by PatrickHenry1775
What is TSA doing at ports? If screening of entering cargo and containers is actually occurring, then there may be some hope that TSA will play a meaningful role in security. Has anyone heard or read anything about TSA and ports?

James M. Loy, the director of the Transportation Security Administration, told transportation specialists last week that the agency this year would work to enhance highway and port cargo security.

Loy made his comments during a luncheon Jan. 15 at the Transportation Research Board, saying that TSA would not limit its efforts to air passenger security.
trixievictoria is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 11:05 am
  #22  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 8,386
I don't know what the answer is. However, seems to me that the time is past due for a thorough cost-benefit analysis be done on TSA. This should include manpower surveys to determine if airports are properly staffed and, more importantly, using them efficiently.

This also should include a serious look at the benefits, if any, of paying for advanced technologies. The walk-thru puffer that everyone seems to advocate may not be necessary if the same results could be accomplished by ETD sampling of hands, shoes and belt buckles as part of secondary screening. These "puffers" are quite expensive, and if the only return we are getting from them is the convenience of people not having to remove shoes or coats, then we're not being very smart about this. I'm just posing this as a thought; it could very well be that the "puffers" are more effective/accurate than the ETD methodology I suggested. My point is: I don't think anyone has done a detailed study. We're just throwing money at the issue to sooth public outcries. That's not very smart; however, it's a typical bureaucratic response.

More importantly, an analysis needs to be conducted on the quality of the x-ray machines being used at checkpoints. X-ray machines are the singlemost vulnerable point not only because of the outdated technology, but also because it relies on human interpretation of images. I personally think TSA should spend money on improved x-ray technology before it spends a dime on these "puffers." The risk of erroneously mistaking an x-ray image as a non-threat due to inferior technology (as opposed to poor human judgment) far outweighs the convenience of people keeping their shoes and coats on.

For the usual suspects: I do not oppose fielding advanced technologies. I'm just saying that if the money is tight, then let's first see if we're spending it wisely.
Bart is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 11:22 am
  #23  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: FLL/LAX/YYZ/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 33,702
Originally Posted by Bart
...
This also should include a serious look at the benefits, if any, of paying for advanced technologies. The walk-thru puffer that everyone seems to advocate may not be necessary if the same results could be accomplished by ETD sampling of hands, shoes and belt buckles as part of secondary screening. These "puffers" are quite expensive, and if the only return we are getting from them is the convenience of people not having to remove shoes or coats, then we're not being very smart about this.....
I have to strongly disagree here. The return of passenger convenience is a huge benefit that would make the entire screening process faster, more efficient, less stressful and more accurate than the current system. The dividends of this change are both tangible and intangible - not only would some lost business return to the market, but there would be a better allocation of staff resources at the checkpoints if the technological systems were able to process customers faster, easier and with better accuracy.

I am very troubled by any TSA mindset that considers passenger convenience, comfort, or respect to be something dangerous to the process or an annoying inconvenience that we should 'get over'. WE the passengers are PAYING the security fee, therefore the fee should be used to both enhance security and benefit us in balance. It is OUR money.
bocastephen is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 11:22 am
  #24  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Yiron, Israel
Programs: Bates Motel Plat
Posts: 61,966
Originally Posted by Bart
For the usual suspects: I do not oppose fielding advanced technologies. I'm just saying that if the money is tight, then let's first see if we're spending it wisely.
Agreed, but consider the following:

Secondary searches only check some passengers. Indeed, as nobody is forced to go through a secondary (he can chose not to get on the plane) no terrorist will ever be discovered through one. Puffers, on the other hand, will check everyone.

The puffers would also allow the TSA to reduce personnel costs. Secondaries could be forgotten (except where the metal alarm is set off). Additionally, you would no longer have to search bags for explosives. If you looked quickly for guns and large knives, and forgot about all the silly things on the list, personnel costs would drop even further.
Dovster is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 12:27 pm
  #25  
JS
Suspended
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: GSP (Greenville, SC)
Programs: DL Gold Medallion; UA Premier Executive; WN sub-CP; AA sub-Gold
Posts: 13,393
Having walked through one of those "puffers" before, I will join Bart in my dislike of them and its suspected cost inefficiency.

Besides being expensive, they are slow and (IMHO) more annoying than taking my shoes off. I don't like being trapped in a container and blasted with air like I'm a bomb that needs to be disarmed.
JS is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 12:29 pm
  #26  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bay Area, CA
Programs: UA Plat 2MM; AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 34,953
Originally Posted by bocastephen
* federal excise tax on tickets of 7.5 percent,
* federal flight segment tax of $3 per segment,
* federal security surcharges of $2.50 per segment (up to $5 each way),
* airport passenger facility charges of $4.50 maximum per segment (up to four charges per round-trip ticket),
* international arrival and departure taxes ($13.40 each), INS ($7) and Customs fees
*agricultural inspection fees of $3.10
This is a bit outdated. Current figures can be found here: http://www.air-transport.org/econ/d.aspx?nid=4919
channa is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 2:42 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by FWAAA
Unbelievable. ... any talk of increasing taxes on air travel is just plane moronic.
User-pay. Imagine that!

I would be glad to see air travelers cover a larger share of the costs we create.

Today, user fees fall far short of covering operating and capital costs for the TSA's passenger screening service.

Having a separately-stated fee or tax that covered the full cost of each service would actually help keep costs down. This is because the costs would be completely visible to the consumer -- who could then take action.

Canada's air traffic control system is a good example. This arm's-length operation is supported entirely by user fees. Most Canadian airlines pass the fees on to consumers, in the form of an explicit surcharge. There is strong pressure to keep costs down, and indeed, NavCan is less expensive than the prior arrangement.

It's funny to see so much whining about a $3 TSA fee increase.

1. Do travelers want to go back to the old system, where airlines awarded screening contracts to the lowest bidder, which in turn hired screeners at minimum wage?

2. Do taxpayers realize how much -- and in how many different ways -- they're paying for commercial aviation, even if they don't fly much?

3. Do travelers realize how much they're paying toward bloated airport operating budgets? The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) is just for capital. At one major US airport, I found that landing fees, rent, concessions and other related operating revenues amounted to $33 per passenger!

When costs are hidden, you can't make choices.

Paul Marcelin-Sampson
Santa Cruz, California

Last edited by marcelin; Jan 28, 05 at 3:04 pm Reason: Clarification of airport fees
marcelin is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 4:54 pm
  #28  
JS
Suspended
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: GSP (Greenville, SC)
Programs: DL Gold Medallion; UA Premier Executive; WN sub-CP; AA sub-Gold
Posts: 13,393
Originally Posted by marcelin
User-pay. Imagine that!

I would be glad to see air travelers cover a larger share of the costs we create.

Today, user fees fall far short of covering operating and capital costs for the TSA's passenger screening service.
My fellow passengers and I created the need for the TSA? Please explain that one.

Having a separately-stated fee or tax that covered the full cost of each service would actually help keep costs down. This is because the costs would be completely visible to the consumer -- who could then take action.

Canada's air traffic control system is a good example. This arm's-length operation is supported entirely by user fees. Most Canadian airlines pass the fees on to consumers, in the form of an explicit surcharge. There is strong pressure to keep costs down, and indeed, NavCan is less expensive than the prior arrangement.

It's funny to see so much whining about a $3 TSA fee increase.
You make it sound like we have any kind of choice in the matter. Forcing the TSA to be more efficient is like forcing a screaming three year old to recite the alphabet. You are wasting your time. Even Congress has a difficult time controlling this out-of-control agency.

1. Do travelers want to go back to the old system, where airlines awarded screening contracts to the lowest bidder, which in turn hired screeners at minimum wage?
YES!!!

2. Do taxpayers realize how much -- and in how many different ways -- they're paying for commercial aviation, even if they don't fly much?
Who cares? Airlines have lobbyists whose job it is to see to it that the aviation tax dollars are put to good use.

3. Do travelers realize how much they're paying toward bloated airport operating budgets? The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) is just for capital. At one major US airport, I found that landing fees, rent, concessions and other related operating revenues amounted to $33 per passenger!

When costs are hidden, you can't make choices.

Paul Marcelin-Sampson
Santa Cruz, California
Well, at least airports that have made improvements that actually serve the customers -- airlines and their passengers. Jacking up the security fee doesn't make me feel any better that I'm paying more money for the same kind of junk science in the TSA's SOP.
JS is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 5:02 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Alameda, CA
Programs: 1 month free at curves,Subway Sub Club, Alameda Library
Posts: 87
Well, at least airports that have made improvements that actually serve the customers -- airlines and their passengers
I think you got that backwards...the Airports are the Airlines customers...Just look at South West.... who is doing very well with a no hub system...they don't need any particular airport then can shop around....and get the best deal....good business
trixievictoria is offline  
Old Jan 28, 05, 6:19 pm
  #30  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BWI
Programs: AA Gold, HH Silver, National Emerald Executive, TSA Disparager Gold
Posts: 15,122
I think Southwest's no hub system may be changing. BWI is building a huge concourse just for them.
Superguy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread