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.
Airlines for America is not in favor of added airline ticket taxes.
Airlines 4 America, the lobbying group representing major airlines, was handing out air sickness bags Monday at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. The reason: The airlines don’t want Congress to add any more taxes to your plane tickets.
According to the group, Congress could increase passenger security fees as part of a new budget deal. That’s a problem, the airline industry says, because it is already considerably taxed. The group’s release says: “ Over the past four decades, the tax burden on a typical $300 round-trip ticket has nearly tripled from $22 to $61.”
Airlines 4 America has created an entire website called Stop Air Tax Now. According to the group:
- Aviation is subject to 17 different federal taxes and fees, with the industry contributing nearly $19 billion to federal coffers in 2012.
- Airlines and passengers paid $2.3 billion in taxes and fees to fund the TSA in 2012, twice as much as the industry paid in 2002.
- Between 2007 and 2012, the TSA budget rose 19 percent while the number of people screened dropped 11 percent.
I write a lot about how Los Angeles International Airport doesn’t use any state or local tax dollars, even though it’s a department of the city of Los Angeles.
There are a bunch of reasons for this, and we can get into them in the future. But the airport generates a ton of revenue from all types of sources. And federal law requires that revenue only be used for airport expenses, so none of that money can simply be given to the city.
A big source of revenue is landing fees paid by cargo and passenger airlines.
In its 2014 fiscal year, LAX plans to collect $235 million in landing fees – an increase of about $10 million from the previous year, according to airport records. The 2014 fiscal year starts July 1.
The fees for passenger airlines will be $4.60 for every 1,000 pounds of landing weight starting next month. It’s an increase of 14 cents from the previous year.
You may not think too much of these fees. But when you buy a plane ticket, you’re paying for them indirectly.