TSA rate hike takes effect, flights costs rise

Reported by: Ashley Claster
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Updated: 7/22/2014 12:10 am
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Soon you'll being paying more to fly across the board, no matter which airline you choose. A TSA rate hike took effect Monday adding some bucks to your boarding pass.

"I would have never known that airline fee actually existed. I didn't know TSA was tacking on stuff to help cover," airline passenger Luis Garcia said.

The security fee added to airline tickets after September 11th is more than doubling now thanks to a TSA rate hike. Customers at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport said they are already concerned about being constantly nickeled and dimed.

"If you want a little bit more leg room, you have to pay for that. If you want to check in early, you have to pay for that. And if you want to check in a bag, you have to pay for that," airline passenger Carol Sepulveda said.

Non-stop passengers are getting hit the hardest. The fee jumps from $2.50 to $5.60 each way, or from $5.00 up to $11.20 round trip.

"I actually don't have a problem with it. We get taxed and stuff other ways," airline passenger Craig Anderson said. "So honestly I think however they're going to spend the money is probably good. As long as they're not putting it in their pocket."

"If people want to fly, they're gonna fly," airline passenger Debbie Ford said. "It's like gas, did it stop us? I remember my dad saying, 'when gas goes up to a dollar, I'm gonna stop driving.' Here we're at $3.00."

Passengers with long layovers or multiple stops will also be affected. Right now, fees are capped at $11.20 round trip. With the increase, a $5.60 security fee is charged every time you have a layover or stopover of more than four hours.

"You know, that's a part of life. The bigger picture is why they're doing it and where it's going," Ford said.

But TSA is not responsible for the increase. Congress approved the fee late last year to help balance the federal budget.

"That's interesting because you keep hearing about how they're trying to increase security at the airport," Garcia said. "It would make sense for them to tack on that fee if they were going to increase services, but for them to be taking that money and not using it towards what they're doing, that kind of upsets me."

"I honestly still don't have a problem with that," Anderson said. "Even if it goes to the TSA, it's going to be used for whatever they want anyways. So it might as well be used to help the budget."

TSA would not comment on camera, but released a statement reading, "As required by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, TSA has submitted an interim final rule to the Federal Register to restructure the September 11th Security Fee. In accordance with Federal Law, the revenue generated from the security fee will be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury. The revenue is to be used to offset TSA costs for providing civil aviation security services, after stipulated amounts are applied to reduction of the Federal deficit."

But there are still ways to save money on your ticket like booking early, flying early or flying late at night.

Deborah O'Connor with Bell Travel Services said even after you have already paid for your ticket, you can still save money on the day of.

"A lot of people don't realize that they can take food through TSA," O'Connor said. "They can't take drinks through TSA but they can take food."

TSA will hear public comment on the rule for 60 days following publication. Those comments will be addressed in a final rule.

To learn more about the rate increase, click here.

The law restructures the fee limitation from up to $2.50 per leg of a connecting flight (capped at $5 per one-way trip), to a flat $5.60 per one-way trip.
As required by law, all funds collected are returned to the U.S. Treasury as offsets for TSA’s appropriations and to cover other Federal costs.
The requirements of the IFR are effective 30 days from the date of publication in order to be as consistent as possible with the July 1, 2014, effective date in the BBA, recognizing the need to allow the airline industry time to implement the change to their systems.
TSA is soliciting public comment on the rule for 60 days following publication. Comments received will be addressed in a Final Rule.
This is in the law passes by Congress. Click here to view.
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