Airline lobbying group criticizes TSA portion of budget deal

Airlines are closely watching a proposed budget deal that seems likely become law, saying a possible increase increase in Transportation Security Administration fees is not necessary.

The security fee that airlines collect would go up to $5.60 each way on every ticket. Now, passengers pay $2.50 for each segment, though that fee is capped at $5 for every one-way ticket.

So passengers with non-stop flights would see the biggest increases — from $2.50 to $5.60

“This tax increase which will provide no new benefit whatsoever to travelers comes at a time even when TSA is doing less with more resources,” said John Heimlich, chief economist for industry lobbying group Airlines For America, in a conference call Thursday with reporters. “That is not the direction we would like to see. We would like to see better use of existing tax dollars.”

Then Heimlich shared a slide showing that the TSA’s budget and staff levels have increased even as the number of travelers it serves has decreased.

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