by Tim Cushing

Filed Under:
security fee, tsa

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.

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  1. icon
    mattshow (profile), 13 Dec 2013 @ 11:31am

    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.

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