U.S. airlines have not made a secret of their unhappiness over the recent increase in the U.S. Sept. 11 Security Fee. Now, the trade group Airlines for American (formerly the Air Transport Association) is suing to get the increase rescinded.
What is This Fee
The Sept. 11 charge on airline tickets is often referred to as the TSA fee since the money supports airport security. As of July 21, it rose from a low of $2.50 to a flat $5.60 one-way. It is not an optional fee and is embedded in the price of your ticket. Airlines collect it and disburse it to the government.
What Airlines Don’t Like
According to the Wall Street Journal, in recent weeks airlines have been “citing the need to make changes to their booking systems” saying that would take time (and presumably money). The WSJ also notes airlines worry that the higher fee will “inflate costs and curtail demand” though so far anyway demand does not appear to be affected. That could change, however, once the peak summer season is over. In the meantime though, airlines have been generating record profits.
What the Fee Means for Passengers
You pay more, but not much more. Previously, the fee was $2.50 per flight segment and capped at a total of $10. Now it’s a flat $5.60 per one-way trip for a round-trip total of $11.20. Goodness knows we’ve seen worse fees.