The Trump Administration is aiming to increase the TSA fees travelers pay as part of their airline tickets.
TSA Fees Hike on the Horizon
USA Today reports that the recent budget proposal from the White House proposes a two-phase hike to the fee. In October, the fee would rise from $5.60 to $6.60 on a one-way ticket, and $6.60 to $8.25 in 2020.
The budget also proposes an increase in the customs user fee from $5.65 to $8.40 and immigration user fee from $7.00 to $9.00.
The Administration proposed a similar fee hike last year, but Congress chose not to raise the fee. Airline trade groups and passenger advocates also oppose the proposal. The TSA fee increases, while not substantial in their own right, would cost travelers $2 billion per year collectively.
Airlines for America, an airline trade group representing most of the large airlines in the U.S., opposes the fee in part because some of the funds would be used for deficit reduction and other non-aviation uses. “Increasing taxes in any form will add to the cost of flying for millions of Americans,” Airlines for America CEO Nicholas Calio said in a statement. “Billions of dollars have already been diverted from aviation security to go towards deficit reduction or other sectors of government.”
The fee proposal comes as the TSA invests in new technology, notably new scanners that could speed up security lines and allow travelers to leave liquids in their baggage. I suspect many people would gladly pay an extra buck or two for that convenience.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, this proposed fee hike appears to be mostly earmarked for other uses, which clearly makes it a tough sell.