July 21, 2014 is the day new TSA security fees go into place. The new fees are more than double the old fees, and Homeland Security has removed the $10.00 cap on fees per round-trip. So, now each one-way flight will cost $5.60 and it will cost $11.20 per round-trip. Keep in mind that if travelers have layovers over four hours between flight segments, the $5.60 fee is charged again for that next segment. You can thank your friendly Congressperson for these new fees, courtesy of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. For a complete accounting of how these fees work, visit TSA.
These new fees should change how travelers plan their flights. In the past, direct flights were always the way to go, if only for the savings on the security fees. Now, everyone pays at least $11.20 for one round-trip itinerary. The key to saving money on fees now will be limiting layovers to under four hours. If you sit on the ground for longer than that, the $5.60 fee is added to the next leg of the journey.
I don’t mind funding something that is a necessary evil, though there have been times I wonder about the effectiveness of the TSA. Anyone who has experienced TSA has stories of folks getting “contraband” through, from full size bottles of shampoo (oh the horror!) to news reports of weapons slipping through the x-ray machines.
Hopefully this fee will help pay for training for TSA agents or upgrades to some of those airports that are in dire need. It’s hard to tell since according to the law, the receipts for the fees collected are deposited into the general fund and are not targeted to any transportation projects.
To comment on this regulation, visit www.regulations.gov. Surprisingly, there are only 471 comments as of this evening posted on the website.