TSA Announces Hike in Security Fees
As if airfare wasn’t expensive enough already, the TSA has just announced an increase in the federal Sept. 11 security fee—its first since the administration was founded in 2002. Effective on tickets purchased on or after July 21, the new fees are more than double the current ones.
A domestic round-trip, non-stop ticket is $11.20 (up from $5), while a one-way ticket will cost $5.60 (up from $2.50). According to the Department of Homeland Security, the new fee structure will generate an extra $322 million by the end of 2014, of which $122 million will be contributed to the TSA and $200 million will go toward to the federal deficit. Over the next decade, the increase should bring in an additional $12.6 billion.
A few other important changes to note: The existing $10-per-ticket cap has been eliminated, meaning you’ll pay more for a trip with multiple stops. For domestic travel, an additional $5.60 will be added if there’s a break in travel (or stopover) of more than four hours between flights. For international trips, the fee is charged again if the stopover is more than 12 hours. In addition, the new rules now include a screening fee of $5.60 on people flying to the U.S. from other countries who are making a domestic connection—for example, from London to Atlanta, by way of New York.
On a per-person basis, the fees aren’t that astronomical, but for a family of four traveling domestically on non-stop round-trip tickets, that’s $44.80 (versus the current $20). But with fees for luggage, seat assignments, and on-board snacks and entertainment, it all adds up.
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.