TSA 'Security Fee' Expected To Double Next Year, Current Level Of Ineptness To Remain Unchanged

from the rights-to-be-violated-twice-as-effectively-in-fiscal-2014 dept

The TSA, having earned every bit of its ~$8 billion/year, is now looking for just a little bit more. As Kevin Underhill at the ultra-enjoyable Lowering the Bar blog notes, the “security fee” that’s been tacked onto tickets is about to increase — more than doubling in most cases.

[T]he AP says that Congress is currently debating whether to double the TSA fee that is currently $5 per ticket. (It’s actually $2.50 per “enplanement,” but close enough.) Passengers pay that, not the airlines. The TSA collects about $1.8 billion from us every year just through this fee, and in return, provides virtually nothing in addition to what’s already provided by (1) alert passengers and (2) reinforced cockpit doors.

And it will definitely be passengers paying the fee. The CEO of Delta Airlines has already gone on the record to inform the public that this increase will be all theirs.

“Airfares are going up for consumers. So that tax increase will not be absorbed by Delta,” Richard Anderson said at a Delta Air Lines Inc. presentation for investors in New York on Wednesday.

As if there was ever any doubt. Any new fee levied by the government, whether to cable companies, wireless providers or airlines, is immediately dumped into the laps (or rather, extracted from the pockets) of Joe Public.

The AP story offers a slightly deeper explanation of the fee that doesn’t do much to justify the increase.

The fee is meant to offset some of the cost of the Transportation Security Administration. A report last year by the Government Accountability Office found that the fees currently cover about 29 percent of the cost of airline security. The higher fee is meant to get travelers to pay for more of those costs, although some of the new money is slated to be spent on non-security items.

Hmm. As far as I know, every government program is already paid for by travelers, including our extra-useless Theatrum Satis Absurdum. The only way to get travelers to pay more of the cost is to double-dip, first through income taxes and second, through this ridiculous “security fee.”

Not that this fee increase will result in better or more efficient “security.” Travelers will just pay more and see nothing in return. The $5 fee will increase to roughly $11.20 per round trip ticket, with some of the funds earmarked for “covering” security costs, and the rest vanishing into the “non-security” ether.

In exchange, travelers will continue to be saved from toy guns carried by toy monkeys, small children with rare medical conditions, breast cancer survivors and dozens of “suspicious people” given “ocular patdowns” by Behavioral Detection Officers employing the best in modern junk science.

Filed Under: ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “TSA 'Security Fee' Expected To Double Next Year, Current Level Of Ineptness To Remain Unchanged”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Sources of payment

Government programs are paid for by its subjects, but there is a distinction between extracting it via income taxes or extracting it via this fee increase. If extracted via income taxes, then non-fliers pay too. If the program is funded by the people buying the tickets, those who manage to avoid the TSA also avoid paying for it. As one who avoids American airports as much as possible, I prefer to see TSA funded not at all, but if at all, then by ticket buyers.

Jasmine Charter (user link) says:

I have no problem with this...

I have no problem paying more. I mean, it takes alot of work to harass the elderly, small children, disabled veterans and sock puppet monkeys with 2 inch toy guns.

Seriously, I think about how much good they do… rifling through our bags and taking extra money and electronics that could potentially be used by terrorist sock moneys to wreak all sorts of havock!

Thank god for the TSA! Without which, the terrorists could have never won.

mattshow (profile) says:

Typical. Increase the fees with no increase in service. If my fees are being doubled, I would expect the level of ineptitude I have to deal with to increase by at least 50%.

Hell, even with small fees increases, my ISP manages to increase the ineptitude of it’s customer service agent by at least 400% (my conservative estimate). Just another example of the government lagging behind privacy industry.

Mark Wing (user link) says:

We don’t really fly anymore after having our disabled daughter felt up a few years ago for “not following instructions” which she was incapable of following. I hope they really crank up the fees so that the airports will be empty and the average person will understand what a screwed up system this is. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

99guspuppet (profile) says:

TSA is moving even more toward totally funded irrelevance

Traveled Denver to LAX in December 2013. Both ways I was selected for fast tracking. ( I am an old white male ) Going to LAX I had to open one bag. Nothing else. Kept my shoes on. Going back to Denver. I passed my bags through the Xray machine. That was it. I was untouched. ( Well I did walk through a metal detector. ) Imagine if TSA could have lots of funding and employees … and they went in a black box for 8 hours ( maybe used their psi power ) and then went home. Travelers simply walked through the airport, unimpeded , got on their plane, flew. What a wonderful world. 99TSA 99guspuppet

Not That Anonymous Coward says:


It should be noted that this was not requested by TSA, but included in the bipartisan agreement on how to keep the government running past Jan 15. I’ve also read, in connection to that bundle of Congressional maneuvers, that the fee would not go to the TSA, but to the “general government fund”.

So really, this is increasing the fee to pay for other things marketed as a “debt reduction” measure. Sure, some of that money may be used to fund the TSA, but I’m guessing it will be rapidly diverted to some Representative’s pet project in the district.

All blame lies on Congress. Fix the cause, not the symptoms.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...