U.S. News


TSA Fees Go Up: Cue The Outrage

While TSA fees are nearly doubling Monday, is the anger over a few dollars really necessary?
Posted at 12:36 PM, Jul 21, 2014

You might have heard TSA fees are going up Monday. And if you're outraged, it might be because you're hearing it put like this: 

"You will pay more than double." (Via WOFL)

"Security fees are more than doubling." (Via KNTV)

"Nonstop fliers will see a 124 percent increase." (Via KPNX)

"More than double" and "124 percent increase" — sounds pretty scary.  

And to be fair, they're mathematically correct: A nonstop flier used to pay a $2.50 security fee. That's now $5.60. (Via Getty Images)

So it's going up a couple bucks — a tiny fraction of your total ticket price.  

Then again, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked to a travel specialist who points out families buying multiple tickets could really feel the fee increase. 

Which is a good point. And on top of that, here's the part that rubs some the wrong way: You can be charged that new fee more than once on the same trip. 

PASSENGER 1: "It's outrageous."


PASSENGER 2: "To add to the cost for passengers to fly, that's just kind of absurd." (Via WXIA)

That's because if your domestic layover is more than four hours, your connection counts as a separate flight. (Via Getty Images)

A presumably outraged Mark Murphy — writing for FoxNews.com — called that "redefining the definition of a flight."

Murphy also brings up the "taxation without representation" argument. The increase in fees isn't going toward safer air travel. Instead, Congress intends it to help make up a budget deficit by raising an anticipated $16 billion. 

The blog TravelSkills reports in 2013, airlines racked up a total of around $31.5 billion with fees for amenities and services like ticket-change and checked-baggage fees. 

To keep the new fee hike from hitting you extra hard, we'd suggest going with nonstop flights as much as possible — or keeping any domestic layovers under four hours long.